The electricity price brake for private households will take effect on Thursday. However, the new measure is only “to combat symptoms”, said Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP). A pan-European solution would be the best way to lower prices.
Minister of Energy Leonore Gewessler (Greens), who is in favor of joint gas procurement in the EU, sees it that way. On December 13, she will meet with EU energy ministers. In any case, the electricity cost brake for private households has been established in Austria.
People who have a valid electricity supply contract for a household metering point benefit from this. In concrete terms, the federal government supports the price up to a consumption of 2900 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. The subsidy is provided if the lower limit of ten cents per kilowatt hour is exceeded. The federal government subsidizes the price share above that up to a threshold of 40 cents/kWh. According to Brunner, the electricity cost brake relieves a household by an average of 500 euros per year.
Additional quota of three persons
Households of four or more people who have higher electricity costs will receive an additional quota. If more than three people live together, there is an additional subsidy of 350 kWh at 30 cents per additional person. That equates to more than 100 euros per person per year, Brunner calculated. In addition, a network cost subsidy of 75 percent is planned (upper limit of 200 euros per year), to which households exempt from the GIS levy are entitled. No separate application is required for the electricity cost brake, the subsidy must be settled in the annual accounts at the latest.
The state cannot compensate for all crises one hundred percent, but it can absorb hardships, Brunner said at a press conference on Wednesday. Gewessler also spoke of an important part that works “quickly and easily”. The federal government spends a total of four billion euros on the brake on the electricity price. This is provisionally valid until June 2024.