Electricity price hikes banned by German state

19th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 December 2005, WIESBADEN - The German state of Hesse prohibited Sunday the hikes in electricity charges sought by local utilities, the first time any of Germany's 16 states has used its price setting authority this way. The 50 utilities had applied for increases averaging 6 per cent from January 1 in the state which includes the central city of Frankfurt. Regulators at the state economy ministry in Wiesbaden said the utilities had failed to prove the increases were necessary. Some 3.7 million home and s

19 December 2005

WIESBADEN - The German state of Hesse prohibited Sunday the hikes in electricity charges sought by local utilities, the first time any of Germany's 16 states has used its price setting authority this way.

The 50 utilities had applied for increases averaging 6 per cent from January 1 in the state which includes the central city of Frankfurt. Regulators at the state economy ministry in Wiesbaden said the utilities had failed to prove the increases were necessary.

Some 3.7 million home and small-business users in the state will be protected by the ruling, which follows months of criticism in Germany of the healthy earnings of big energy enterprises.

The electricity industry attacked the ruling, saying it was "utterly wrong" that customers were helpless. "They can change to another supplier," said Eberhard Meller, secretary of the electricity industry federation VDEW.

Consumer groups praised the decision, which can still be appealed, and called on other states to follow suit.

DPA

Subject: German news

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