EU approves cuts in surcharges for German, Italian energy intensive firms

The EU has approved reductions in extra charges for energy intensive firms in Germany and Italy. The Commission found measures to support operators of cogeneration plants, financed by a surcharge […]

Register now!

By Jonny Bairstow

The EU has approved reductions in extra charges for energy intensive firms in Germany and Italy.

The Commission found measures to support operators of cogeneration plants, financed by a surcharge imposed on electricity consumption and connection, furthered EU energy and climate goals and increased competition in the marketplace.

In 2016 the EU investigated whether German reductions to these surcharges for users with high yearly energy consumption and certain energy intensive industrial users were in line with EU state aid rules.

In the course of the investigation, Germany limited the reductions to energy intensive companies exposed to international trade and to a maximum of 85% of the surcharge.

Under Italy’s plans, the reductions of the surcharges used to finance the support for renewable electricity and cogeneration will also be limited in this way.

Both countries have agreed to better align the level of reductions for eligible companies and completely phase out reductions for those not eligible.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, said: “Cogeneration both produces electricity and puts to use the heat generated in the process – this efficiency can help us reach Europe’s energy and climate goals.

“Today’s decisions make sure that Member States can design sustainable financing to support cogeneration, same as for renewable energy. These promote green policies whilst preserving the competitiveness of companies that are heavily dependent on energy.”

The EU recently approved state aid to support renewable energy and cogeneration power plants in Latvia built between 2007 and 2012.