Partial Payments, Vouchers, and Deferments for High Energy Bills are being requested by the EU.
As the debate over nuclear power returns, the European Union’s executive body recommended governments to enact tax cuts, state aid, and other measures to help households cope with the impact of high energy prices, according to the Associated Press.
Months of economic instability triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the European Commission to seek a swift and coordinated action to assist mitigate the effects of price hikes, particularly for low-income individuals.
“The EU is concerned about rising global energy prices. It is critical to safeguard vulnerable customers and support European businesses as we emerge from the pandemic and begin our economic recovery “Kadri Simson, the EU’s Energy Commissioner, stated.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
To assist consumers, the European Commission proposed that governments provide income assistance in the form of vouchers, bill payment deferrals, or partial bill payments, which could be financed with proceeds from the EU’s emissions trading scheme.
Other ideas for national governments include putting in place protections to prevent service disconnections, lowering tax rates, and providing assistance to certain enterprises or industries.
The commission also wants to see longer-term initiatives, such as increased investment in renewable energy sources and the development of energy storage capacity, to prepare the EU for such price shocks. According to EU officials, the bloc as a whole now has enough storage capacity to store more than 20% of its yearly gas consumption, but not all member countries have storage facilities.
The commission also stated that it would consider forming a cooperative purchase scheme for gas reserves, as proposed by Spain lately. The European Union is significantly reliant on imported gas, primarily from Russia.
“The system should obey competition regulations,” Simson said, adding that participation in the joint purchase program would be voluntary.
Officials from the European Union claimed that 20 member countries have already taken or are considering to take steps to relieve the financial strain. According to a survey issued last month by a labor organization, nearly 3 million EU workers do not have the money to turn on the heat at home.
Spain, which, like Italy and Portugal, has seen a sharp spike in energy costs, has already cut energy taxes, repealed a 7% levy on power generation, and lowered a consumer energy tariff. This is a condensed version of the information.