Article Austria: New Law Provides for Partial Reimbursement of Energy Costs to Offset Rising Prices

On October 25, 2022, the Act on a Temporary Energy Subsidy for Households (Energy Subsidy Act) entered into force in Austria. Starting on December 1, 2022, all households will receive a nonrepayable energy subsidy. Low-income households will receive an additional nonrepayable network-connection-charge subsidy. (Energy Subsidy Act § 3.) The subsidies will be paid until June 30, 2024. (§ 5, para. 1.) The Austrian Ministry of Finance estimates that consumers will save 500 euros (about US$498) per year on average.

Content of the Energy Subsidy Act

The Energy Subsidy Act provides reimbursement for 80% of the average yearly energy consumption, meaning for a maximum of 2900 kilowatt hours (kWh), but not for more than the actual consumption. (§ 3, para. 1; § 5, paras. 1, 3.) The amount of the subsidy is the difference between the contractually agreed upon energy price and the lower threshold value, but is limited by an upper threshold value. The lower threshold is set at 10 cents/kWh and the upper threshold at 40 cents/kWh. For energy prices that exceed this upper threshold, consumers will have to pay market rate. (§ 5, paras. 2, 3.) The upper threshold is meant to prevent sudden price increases by energy companies and encourage consumers to save energy.

In addition, low-income households will receive an additional subsidy to cover 75% of network connection charges. (§ 3, para. 2; §§ 7, 8.) They will therefore receive additional savings of 200 euros (about US$199) per year. (§ 8, para. 2.)

The calculations are based on a three-person household. Households with more than three people will have to apply for an additional quota in a second step. (§ 6.)

Jenny Gesley, Law Library of Congress
November 10, 2022

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Austria: New Law Provides for Partial Reimbursement of Energy Costs to Offset Rising Prices. 2022. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-11-09/austria-new-law-provides-for-partial-reimbursement-of-energy-costs-to-offset-rising-prices/.

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Austria: New Law Provides for Partial Reimbursement of Energy Costs to Offset Rising Prices. 2022. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-11-09/austria-new-law-provides-for-partial-reimbursement-of-energy-costs-to-offset-rising-prices/>.