Government unveils energy price cap

21 Jul 2022

Austria’s federal government has agreed to set an electricity power cap following Wednesday’s Council of Ministers meeting.

The aim of the initiative is to “support the Austrian population to ensure unaffordable energy supply for a certain basic need,” according to a government statement, which added that the price cap would be developed by the end of next month.

According to the task force, headed up by Austrian Institute of Economic Research chief Gabriel Felbermayr and Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler, Economy minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP), and Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP), nationwide measures are scheduled to be ready by autumn.

“The aim of the measures is to secure a quote per household at affordable prices in the least bureaucratic way possible.” The government added it would consider the social impact and focus on people affected by “energy poverty.” In addition, uniform prices would be implemented across the country at “more favourable prices at pre-war levels.”

Initially, the price cap will be for electricity, but may also be used for energy sources, the task force went on to say, and the government will also research possible support measures for energy-intensive businesses, The Local reports.

Inflation rates are soaring in Austria with prices at 50-year highs, and the elevated energy prices are bringing further uncertainty to residents. As such, the federal government has announced relief packages featuring one-off payments and reforms to the tax system.

One such pay-out is the “anti-inflation” payment which will be paid alongside a “climate bonus” sum to all adults in the country in autumn, amounting to €500.

However, as consumer prices are forecast to continue to climb over the next few months, the Austrian government said it is “already working intensively on the possibility of further mitigating measures.”