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ENERGY

How could Austria’s new electricity price brake benefit you?

Austria has confirmed a new electricity price limit to try and contain rising costs in the country. Here's what you should know about it.

How could Austria's new electricity price brake benefit you?
Austria is putting a cap in electricity. Here's what will happen. (Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash)

Austria’s federal government confirmed on Wednesday that the “electricity price brake” regulation was approved by the Council of Ministers.

The price cap for electricity will last until June 30th 2024, benefiting every household in Austria. The relief should be in place by December 1st, Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) told the media.

“With the electricity cost brake, we are launching another measure to relieve the burden on people in our country quickly and directly. Households should be able to afford a basic need such as electricity”, Nehammer said.

How much will I pay for electricity?

The price of electricity will be subsidised up to a consumption of 2,900-kilowatt hours, the government said. Until that limit, it will cost only ten cents per kilowatt hour – the energy price from before the current energy crisis.

Above that consumption limit, people will have to pay market prices for what they consume.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Why did Wien Energie ask for €6 billion from the Austrian government?

This way, the government hopes to help cushion rising costs but still incentivise people to decrease their consumption.

How high will the savings be?

The Austrian government estimates that the measure will help Austrian homes save from €400 to €800 on energy bills a year. The Finance Ministry added that the average household’s savings would be €500.

Will it be the same for everyone?

Yes and no. The price cap will work the same for everyone, yes, but lower-income households, as well as those with more than three persons, will be able to apply for further assistance.

Those who are exempt from the broadcasting fees (GIS), meaning they are lower-income, will receive an additional subsidy of up to €200. Additionally, households with more than three persons can apply for further relief, Nehammer said, without giving further details.

READ ALSO: Energy crisis pushes nuclear comeback in Europe

Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) told the press during the event that the subsidies were intended to secure people’s basic electricity needs.

How much is this costing the government?

The subsidy will cost public coffers. Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) said the costs would amount to €3 billion to €4 billion.

READ ALSO: Energy crisis: What to do in case of a power outage in Austria

Measures to cushion high inflation

Austria is seeing high inflation rates, with prices soaring to a 50-year high.

In particular, high energy prices bring more uncertainty to residents of the alpine country.

The federal government has taken some measures announced as part of relief packages with one-off payments and changes in the tax system.

READ ALSO: When will Austria make the €500 anti-inflation payment and how do I get it?

One of the main payouts is the “anti-inflation” payment to be paid together with a “climate bonus” sum to all adults in Austria, totalling €500 already this month.

Still, as consumer prices are expected to continue rising in the coming months, the government stated it is “already working intensively on the possibility of further mitigating measures”.

BACKGROUND: EXPLAINED: What we know about Austria’s planned electricity price cap

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ENERGY

Vienna Energy Bonus: How to get a €200 payout

The City of Vienna is sending out bonuses of €200 to households to help cushion the effects of rising energy costs. Here's what you need to know.

Vienna Energy Bonus: How to get a €200 payout

The City of Vienna announced on Monday, November 28th, more government assistance to cushion rising costs for residents. 

Viennese households will receive €200 in a new “energy bonus’, according to statements given by the City Councillor for Finance Peter Hanke (SPÖ). The administration said the bonus would benefit about two-thirds of all city homes.

Single households with a gross annual income of a maximum €40,000 or multi-person households with an income of up to €100,000 gross per year are entitled to receive the payment. 

READ ALSO: ‘I’m still waiting’: Foreigners in Austria still not been paid Klimabonus handout

The City of Vienna will send, from November 29th to December 13th, an information letter to every address registered as a main residence in the Austrian capital. The letter will contain a password that will need to be used for the online application. 

The bonus should arrive in the account specified in the application within a few days and the payment will be made automatically, Hanke said.

Online applications can start from December 5th and can be sent until March. You can check more information HERE.

The administration provides an online tool to help people calculate whether or not they are eligible. However, the city will check all applications afterwards, and if people who earn too much apply, they will have to pay back the bonus. 

READ ALSO: How expensive are gas and electricity in Austria right now?

Around €130 million is being spent on the subsidy, Hanke said.

Other subsidies and government assistance

Vienna has had other support for citizens, including transfers of €200 to help people of lower incomes cope with rising costs. 

The Austrian federal government has also announced several measures, from the €500 Klimabonus payment which went to every resident in the country to an energy price cap, as reported by The Local. 

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