Berlin households facing huge spike in gas prices
An average family in Berlin will see its gas bill increase by a whopping 26% starting in May, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday, citing Berlin-based energy provider GASAG. Rising gas prices are expected across Germany and the rest of Europe as the EU prepares plans to phase out Russian energy supplies.
“Current developments and events ensure a steady increase in procurement prices. We will therefore increase our gas prices from 05/01/2022,” reads the statement on the company’s website.
GASAG has also suspended any new electricity and gas contracts, citing rising procurement prices and inability to offer fair rates to new clients, Thursday’s Berliner Zeitung quoted the provider as having said.
The developments come as the EU plans to phase out Russian energy supplies, including gas, due to the war in Ukraine. The EU and the US imposed four rounds of unprecedented sanctions against Moscow, with Washington banning all imports of Russian energy products earlier this week. The EU has pledged to be entirely free of its dependence on Russian gas before 2030. Currently Moscow meets 40% of the EU’s natural gas needs and accounts for 25% of its crude-oil imports.
Hungary spoke out against sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, which, according to Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, will place a disproportionate burden on citizens. The EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell asked citizens to turn down the heating in their homes, as a way of reducing dependence on Russian gas.
Gas prices in Europe have been hit hard by the current crisis, soaring to an all-time high of $3,900 per 1,000 cubic meters on Monday. A year ago the prices fluctuated around $250-300 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, RIA Novosti writes. Russia’s energy giant Gazprom insists it is meeting its contract obligations by keeping the gas flow to Europe at the maximum level and is not responsible for price hikes.
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