RWTH: RWTH scientists publish study with reform proposals for the EEG surcharge

With the energy transition, Germany wants to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The expansion of renewable energies is financed by end consumers in particular through the EEG surcharge on the electricity price. This levy, named after the Renewable Energy Sources Act, is the same for all households. In a European comparison, German households pay the highest electricity price, which averaged 17.19 cents in 2003 and 31.94 cents per kilowatt hour this year.

A study by the Chair of Energy System Economics at RWTH Aachen University has now come to the conclusion that the EEG surcharge is a major challenge for low-income households. “It has been extremely effective for the success of the energy transition to date. However, we can measure a significant negative effect on the Gini coefficient, which represents the gap between low-income and high-income households. In Germany, as a result of the income-independent EEG surcharge, around 40,000 households also fall below the risk of poverty threshold, ”analyzes Professor Aaron Praktiknjo, holder of the Chair of Energy Systems Economics.

In the meantime, the new traffic light coalition is planning to abolish the EEG surcharge from 2023. However, the RWTH scientists propose a reform of the EEG surcharge as an alternative, in which it should initially increase for all households. In return, private households would receive credits, the amount of which depends on the respective income situation. According to the calculations, lower-income households would have overall lower expenditure on electricity, while higher-income households would raise more money for the energy transition. “With our proposal, around 30,000 fewer households would be below the risk of poverty threshold compared to the planned abolition of the EEG surcharge. The additional capital available through the credit could be invested in more energy-efficient devices ”, says Jan Priesmann.

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