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Energy price brakes: Cartel Office initiates first abuse proceedings against energy suppliers

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Energy price brakes: Cartel Office initiates first abuse proceedings against energy suppliers
Business energy price brakes

Cartel Office initiates first abuse proceedings against energy suppliers

Violations can be punished with high fines

Violations can be punished with high fines

Quelle: picture alliance / Zoonar

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Because of the energy price brakes, some suppliers are suspected of having demanded excessive reimbursements from the state. Since March, the price caps for gas and district heating have also applied retrospectively for January and February. From the outset it was feared that companies could take advantage of this.

Das Federal Cartel Office in Bonn has initiated the first abuse proceedings against energy supply companies that may have demanded excessive reimbursements from the state because of the energy price brakes. It is a two-digit number of gas suppliers, said the President of the Cartel Office, Andreas Mundt. “We have indications that the underlying prices could not be objectively justified to end customers.”

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The energy price brakes for gas and district heating as well as for electricity have been in effect since March, retrospectively also for January and February. The state thus caps the price for gas, district heating and electricity for 80 percent of consumption – and pays the suppliers the difference to the market price. There was fears in advancethat companies could take advantage of this and charge above market prices.

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The Cartel Office had therefore set up a new department; in suspicious cases, it checks whether prices have been increased unjustifiably. Violations can be punished with fines; Compensation payments obtained unlawfully must be reimbursed by companies.

Mundt announced on Monday that further proceedings would also be initiated on suppliers in district heating and electricity are imminent. He emphasized: “Although there is no general suspicion, in future we will subject all application data on compensation payments from the applicant companies to a regular systematic examination.”

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