Dear energy, EU discusses measures: gas price node

Work is being done on cutting consumption and lowering demand. The Commission appears to be in trouble on the gas price cap

The EU discusses measures to tackle expensive energy with the gas price cap in the background. The college of European Commissioners in Strasbourg today turns the spotlight on the advance package last week on energy saving, the ceiling on the revenues of companies that produce low-cost energy, the solidarity contribution for Oil & Gas and support for the liquidity of multi-utilities .

Despite the importance of the energy package that will be “discussed”, the Commission has decided, according to EU sources, not to hold any press conference to illustrate the measures, given that Ursula von der Leyen will deliver her State of the Union address. The energy measures will only be “discussed”, but will be approved “later”.

After the college of commissioners, it is common practice to make a readout, a report to the press of what happened: today in Strasbourg, contrary to what always happens, there will be no readout. The Commission appears to be in trouble on the price cap for gas and the decision not to hold any readout seems to confirm this: the non-paper presented last week contained an explicit reference to the gas price cap. The Energy Council on Friday, however, limited itself to asking the Commission to study the measure, to understand exactly how to do it. The member countries remain divided on the issue. The Commission took a half step backwards over the weekend: von der Leyen reported via Twitter that the college is working on the package of measures, without mentioning, as it had explicitly done in the non-paper and at the press conference, the ceiling on the price of gas.

According to rumors published by Bloomberg News, the measures that the Commission is preparing to launch would include, among other things two energy objectives: one related to the overall cut in consumption and another, binding, to lower demand during the hours when this is at its maximum, in line with what von der Leyen said last week.

The binding target would involve selecting 3-4 hours for each day of the week in which consumption will be reduced, to “flatten the peaks”, as von der Leyen said. There would also be a temporary tax on Oil & Gas companies, which are collecting large profits, with the setting of a minimum level (states would be free to increase it). A cap on the excess revenues of energy companies that produce from sources other than gas is also expected, designed so as not to jeopardize existing plans and investments.