German minister advocates banning power cuts to homes

As a protection measure for people who cannot pay their bills, the German Minister for Consumer Protection, Steffi Lemke, called for a ban on gas and electricity cut-offs.

The German Minister for Consumer Protection, Steffi Lemke, today advocated prohibiting electricity and gas cuts to consumers who cannot pay the corresponding bills, in statements to dpa.

“The government has decided to put in place a brake on the price of electricity. This will reduce the number of people who cannot pay the electricity bill,” she said. “In addition, we will establish a law that prevents the prohibition of electricity or gas cuts.”

Lemke added that the combination of both measures provides effective consumer protection. “When it comes to cushioning the consequences of rising energy prices and inflation, social policy and consumer protection go a long way,” he said. “I am worried that there may be cases of social hardship next winter.”

The minister explained that electricity and gas cuts are already subject to certain conditions and that energy supply companies have to comply with the notice periods.

“And a (energy) cut must not be disproportionate,” Lemke stressed. To do this, consumers should point out their special difficulties, such as if sick people or children live in the home. “Now it’s about adapting these options for the coming winter. This will make sure that no one is left without heat or electricity because they can’t pay their bills.”

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Source: dpa

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