Austria announces price cap to curb rising power prices

Sep 6, 2022, 5:21 PM | Updated: Sep 7, 2022, 6:59 am
FILE - Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer addresses the media during a joint press conference with H...

FILE - Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer addresses the media during a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Vienna, Austria, Thursday, July 28, 2022. The Austrian government has presented plans for a power price cap to curb the rise in energy costs. Chancellor Karl Nehammer said Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, that the cap should ease costs for an average household of three by about 500 euros per year. (AP Photo/Theresa Wey, File)

(AP Photo/Theresa Wey, File)

BERLIN (AP) — The Austrian government on Wednesday announced plans for a power price cap to curb the rise in energy costs tied to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Chancellor Karl Nehammer said the cap should ease costs for an average household of three by about 500 euros ($494) per year. The government will provide around 3-4 billion euros to finance the measure, which will come into effect in December and last through the end of June 2024.

“No one in Austria should be unable to afford their basic electricity needs,” the chancellor said in Vienna.

“This is about quick and unbureaucratic help, which is why no one needs to apply for it,” he added. “The electricity price cap is handled automatically for every household. It is another building block in the relief of people in a difficult time.”

Nehammer added that low-income households can apply for additional financial support.

The cost-relief plan comes at a time when Austria and other European countries are struggling to contain an energy crisis and rising prices as Russia has throttled back supplies of natural gas.

European officials have said it’s energy blackmail, aimed at pressuring and dividing the European Union as it supports Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.

The 27-nation EU should set a price cap on Russian natural gas and pass other measures to ease the energy crisis, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.

Individual governments across Europe have passed relief for households as high energy prices drive up utility bills and fuel inflation.

Austria’s government announced other financial aid earlier this year, including extra payments of child bonuses and financial aid for retirees on low pensions.

Guenther Hawelka, who runs the family-owned Cafe Hawelka in Vienna, said he had to respond to increasing costs by raising the price of coffee.

“We went up a little bit — we increased the price by 20 to 30 cents,” he said. “Thank God we are roasting our own coffee. That means we import the coffee from South America, from Latin America. That’s why we can say it’s not yet as grave here as compared to other places. We can make our own prices.”

Marcel Reiter, a university student from Vienna, said the growing cost of living “is going to be a challenge.”

“Of course everything is getting more expensive,” the economics student said. “But I think it’s doable.”

Fellow student Laura Illoldi said she wasn’t worried about the rising prices.

“I have a positive mindset. Of course the prices are going to go up a bit, that’s possible,” she said. “But I think it’s feasible — I’m not too worried.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


UCLA's Jaime Jaquez Jr. (24) shoots while defended by Gonzaga's Rasir Bolton (45) in the first half...
Associated Press

Gonzaga beats UCLA 79-76 in Sweet 16 on Strawther’s shot

Julian Strawther hit a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left to answer a 3-pointer by UCLA's Amari Bailey, lifting Gonzaga to a wild 79-76 NCAA Tournament win over UCLA Thursday night in the Sweet 16.
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Officials: Safety device, human error derailed Wash. train

A safety device failed, knocking a train off the tracks last week, spilling 3,100 gallons of diesel after leaving an oil refinery in Anacortes
9 hours ago
File - Credit cards as seen July 1, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. A low credit score can hurt your ability...
Associated Press

What the Fed rate increase means for your credit card bill

The Federal Reserve raised its key rate by another quarter point Wednesday, bringing it to the highest level in 15 years as part of an ongoing effort to ease inflation by making borrowing more expensive.
1 day ago
police lights distracted drivers shooting...
Associated Press

Authorities: Missing mom, daughter in Washington found dead

A missing Washington state woman and her daughter were found dead Wednesday, according to police.
1 day ago
Associated Press

Google’s artificially intelligent ‘Bard’ set for next stage

Google announced Tuesday it's allowing more people to interact with “ Bard,” the artificially intelligent chatbot the company is building to counter Microsoft's early lead in a pivotal battleground of technology.
2 days ago
Evelyn Knapp, a supporter of former President Donald, waves to passersby outside of Trump's Mar-a-L...
Associated Press

Trump legal woes force another moment of choosing for GOP

From the moment he rode down the Trump Tower escalator to announce his first presidential campaign, a searing question has hung over the Republican Party: Is this the moment to break from Donald Trump?
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!
safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Austria announces price cap to curb rising power prices