Habeck declares gas emergency plan alert level

Robert Habeck has declared the second stage of the emergency decree on gas supply with the alert stage. As a result, gas prices are likely to rise even further for consumers. Apparently, the 55 members of the board of the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industries have already been informed of this step. In this context, the suppliers should be prepared for the fact that the declaration of the emergency stage could take place at short notice.


This means that consumers will soon feel the consequences of the cut in gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline. According to current information, Habeck did not want to declare the alert level until next week. The situation is obviously much more explosive than officially admitted. An Eon spokesperson said: “We are experiencing an escalation of the situation”.

Serious consequences for industry and private households

The declaration of the alert level has serious consequences for companies and private households. First of all, it will immediately make the price of gas considerably more expensive. When the alert level comes into effect, the recently amended Energy Security Act provides for a special right of termination for the gas companies. The suppliers can then immediately terminate agreed tariffs in the gas contract with their customers. The law provides for a warning period of only one week.

Habeck prepares emergency plan alert level. Ampel has manoeuvred himself into a hopeless position with regard to energy supply.
Habeck prepares emergency plan alert level. Traffic lights have manoeuvred themselves into a hopeless position on energy supply
Image: Michael Brandtner, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Although the Ministry of Economics repeatedly emphasises that there is no legal automatism for passing on prices, gas prices for industry and private households are likely to rise drastically. However, after the Ministry of Economics has declared an alert, the Federal Network Agency must first issue an official notification. Only when this confirms the considerable reduction in gas imports will the corresponding price mechanism take effect.


Consumer protectionists warn of skyrocketing gas prices

Consumer protection agencies are already warning. Thomas Engelke, head of the energy and building team at the consumer advice centre, says. “If the alert level applies, gas prices can basically be increased by the suppliers without limit by the additional costs of a replacement purchase”. There is no cap on this.

According to a spokeswoman of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, decisions are made every day according to the current situation and the current situation picture. At the moment, security of supply is still guaranteed, but the situation is serious.


Traffic lights have manoeuvred themselves into a hopeless position on energy supply

The German government has manoeuvred itself into a hopeless dilemma by boycotting the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. With the throttling of supply volumes via Nord Stream 1, the decision to do so is becoming increasingly questionable. The replacement supplies of LNG promised by Habeck are far from able to meet demand. New contracts with LNG suppliers will in some cases not take effect for several years. Even if we manage to get through the coming winter halfway, next year at the latest the supply will no longer be guaranteed. The government’s calls to save even more energy are like whistling in the forest. At current gas prices, industry and private households are already saving where they can.

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