German gas commission chief prefers one-off payment for price brake -Funke media

A general view of a manometer at the gas trading company VNG AG in Bad Lauchstaedt, Germany July 28, 2022. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

BERLIN, Oct 7 (Reuters) - The head of a commission drawing up plans for a gas price brake in Germany favours a one-off payment which would encourage consumers to keep saving energy, she told the Funke media group on Friday.

The government last week set out a 200 billion euro ($196 billion) relief package to shield households and industry in Europe's biggest economy from surging energy prices, including a gas price brake to be worked out by an expert commission in the next few weeks.

"It will be important to maintain a big incentive to save. With a one-time payment, that would clearly be the case," commission head Veronika Grimm told Funke media.

"You would have a much smaller incentive to save if you reduced the price of gas by a certain percentage," she added, cautioning, however that there was a range of possible instruments to be discussed.

Europe is in a gas standoff with Russia, prompted by the war in Ukraine, that has left governments scrambling to secure energy supplies and cushion households from soaring prices.

Grimm also echoed comments made by politicians that gas prices will not fall to levels seen before the war in Ukraine, not least due to higher prices for liquefied natural gas.

"The commission can't pretend nothing has happened," she said.

Spiegel weekly reported that some members of the commission favoured a staggered model that would see gas customers receive up to four cents off per kilowatt hour in the heating season and a more complex model replace it in the summer.

($1 = 1.0209 euros)

Reporting by Madeline Chambers Editing by Marguerita Choy

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