Germany’s heating bills to triple by 2023 according to gas regulator

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Germany’s energy regulator estimated Thursday that the country’s consumers will likely see their monthly heating bills triple next year due to declining Russian gas imports.

“For those who get their heating bills now, the payments are already doubling, and that’s before taking into account the war in Ukraine,” Federal Network Agency head Klaus Muller told RND news outlet on Thursday.

“From 2023, customers should prepare for bills to at least triple,” he stressed, adding that market prices will increase sevenfold in some cases.

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“It won’t affect all consumers immediately or in full, but at some point it will have to be paid for. And that’s why it makes so much sense to save more now,” Muller added.

Muller has suggested that rising procurement costs could be met by subsidizing gas companies to the tune of billions of euros or simply passing the cost on to consumers and offering state aid to those who cannot afford the price hike.

Germany is heavily dependent on imported Russian gas, supplies of which have plummeted since the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

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German authorities currently fear that Moscow will not resume supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline once its annual maintenance period ends on July 21.

The German government has repeatedly called on consumers and industry to save energy and is trying to bolster gas supplies before the heating season begins, fearing severe shortages.

Muller has stressed that private households would be protected during a severe energy crisis under German and European law, and said it was “not very likely” that gas supplies to households would be stopped.

“Even in a worst-case scenario, Germany will continue to receive gas from Norway and from terminals in Belgium and the Netherlands, and soon directly from terminals on the German coast,” he concluded.

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