Germans averse to power surcharge exceptions for big firms - poll
Jul 22, 2013 - The majority of Germans oppose to the exemption of energy-intensive companies from the surcharge imposed to support Germany's shift to renewable power, a survey has shown.
About 78% do not approve the surcharge exemption, according to a poll commissioned by daily Handelsblatt and published on Monday.
The surcharge is Germany's main instrument of funding its planned transition to renewable energy. It is calculated based on the gap between the wholesale power price and the guaranteed higher fixed price at which green power producers sell their electricity. Large companies are freed from the surcharge under the pretext that higher power bills would handicap them on an international level.
A total of 2,245 company facilities are currently freed from paying the green power levy, compared with 979 last year.
Environment minister Peter Altmaier has indicated repeatedly that he would like to see the privilege for big companies abolished. The European Commission, EU's executive arm, will launch an investigation into possible competition distortion after the summer break.