Surcharge levy increased – Germans are “worsening” the gas situation in Austria

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Germany will increase the controversial gas storage tax from 1.86 euros to 2.50 euros per megawatt hour from July. This also has a huge impact on Austrian imports from and exports to Germany. The government in Vienna renewed its criticism due to the circumstances.

“The gas storage tax makes the purchase of non-Russian gas more expensive and therefore makes it more difficult to diversify our gas supply,” Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler said on Tuesday. “The increase will further aggravate this situation,” Gewessler criticized. From the point of view of local experts, the levy is contrary to European law, she recalled. Discussions with Germany about a withdrawal have apparently not been fruitful so far. The European Commission therefore started a trial procedure in March as a first step in the infringement procedure. “We expect the next steps to follow soon,” the minister said.

What is the gas storage tax?
The gas storage tax is a surcharge on the gas price that was introduced as part of the energy crisis. Germany wants to use the levy to cover the costs of gas storage. The levy was initially introduced at 59 cents per megawatt hour in 2022 due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and its consequences for the energy market.

This is how the Germans justify the increase in taxes
At the time, the German government had set minimum filling quantities to guarantee sufficient gas supplies, especially in winter. Trading Hub Europe GmbH justified the current increase by saying that gas had to be purchased at high prices in 2022 to fill its storage facilities, but was later sold at significantly lower prices. The reason is, on the one hand, the development of the world market and, on the other hand, a significant decrease in gas consumption in Germany.

Source: Krone

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