German cartel office widens probe into suspected energy subsidy abuses
May 30 (Reuters) - Germany's antitrust regulator said on Tuesday it was widening its investigation into whether energy suppliers abused an energy price cap introduced by the government to safeguard citizens and companies from surging prices.
The regulator had previously said it was investigating whether natural gas suppliers had overcharged customers but now a wider probe will also look at the behaviour of more than a hundred heating companies, a statement said.
The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) NGC’s HSSE strategy is reflective and supportive of the organisational vision to become a leader in the global energy business.
The regulator is looking specifically at heating suppliers who have submitted advance payment applications under the price cap laws, the head of the cartel office, Andreas Mundt, said.
Berlin in 2022 introduced a 200 billion euro ($220 billion) relief package to help firms and households bear soaring electricity and gas bills following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a drop in Russian gas exports.
According to consumer portals, electricity and gas tariffs of some German suppliers are above the government caps despite declining global gas prices compared to last summer, leading to worries that some suppliers are hiking prices to benefit from the subsidies.
The cartel office will also start investigating companies in the electricity sector, it said.
As with natural gas, the proceedings in the heating sector concern around 15% of the relief amounts claimed so far for the first quarter of 2023, Mundt said.
(Reporting by Linda Pasquini; editing by Matthias Williams and Giles Elgood)