Berliners could receive help directly from their local government , Source: Mykola Makhlai / Unsplash

Berlin’s Energy Hardship Fund – way out for households in the winter

Berlin’s Energy Hardship Fund – way out for households in the winter

Authorities believe that "no Berliner should have to sit in the cold and dark"

Yesterday, Berlin city authorities announced they want to set up an Energy Poverty Hardship Fund (Härtefallfonds Energiearmut). The fund would be aimed at helping households in the event of a sharp spike in energy prices during the winter, on top of current social aid.

The hardship fund was announced by Senator for Social Affairs, Katja Kipping, and should be available to citizens at the start of 2023. This is because December bills should be covered under the German national aid scheme.

Nobody in Berlin should sit in the cold and in the dark

Senator Kipping explained that "no Berliner should be left behind", sitting in the cold and in the dark, as dpa reports. This is why the social administration wants to set up the hardship fund. The fund will have 20 million euros and is intended as an aid mechanism for households, threatened with energy cuts due to high prices during the winter.

Local authorities believe that Berlin’s current social package, coupled with the Federal heating aid scheme would be enough to cover the rest of the year. Under the aid scheme, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that households and small and medium-sized businesses should get 5 billion euros of aid.

The latter would come in the form of an energy bonus, covering one month’s worth of energy bills, most likely for December. Additionally, the scheme also calls for capping energy prices for consumers at 12-14 cents per kilowatt hour, however, that would start in March-April of 2023.

Berlin’s relief package

Berlin also offers a host of other measures to help with price rises during the coming winter. The measures include a comprehensive savings plan for local industry, public infrastructure and tips on how to save energy for households.

Measures also include the 29-euro ticket (a monthly pass for public transport worth only 29 euros), as well as the so-called ‘network of warmth’ (Netzwerk der Wärme), an information campaign for neighbourhood solidarity to help Berliners cope with the hard winter to come.



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