Was tun, ange­sichts der hohen Energie­kosten?

Die Frage stellt sich nicht nur in Deutschland: Was soll, was kann getan werden, um die Bürger und Unternehmen vor den steigenden Energiepreisen zu schützen. Der Tankrabatt ist es wohl genauso wenig wie das 9-Euro-Ticket. Martin Sandbu von der FINANCIAL (FT) mal wieder mit einer intelligenten Betrachtung:

  • “(…) Estonia`s (…) prime minister (…)  said: ‘I think that gas has to be in the seventh package but I am realistic as well. I don’t think it will be.’ And why not? Because as we get into sanctions on fossil energy imports, EU consumers and businesses are really starting to feel the effects. ‘Gas is a lot more difficult than oil ever was but all the other sanctions will be more difficult because so far they have only hurt Russians but now they are also having effects on Europeans.’” – bto: Ganz eindeutig wird ein Gasembargo die europäische, vor allem die deutsche Wirtschaft massiv treffen.
  • “This tension can be resolved in one of three ways: resigning ourselves to our dependence (so no embargo and no attempt to stop funding Putin’s war), pushing energy sanctions through regardless of the social consequences, or finding some way of mitigating the pain that shores up political support for further limits on Russia’s capabilities. That third option is clearly what we should try to achieve.” – bto: wobei wir uns nichts vormachen dürfen. Die Kosten sind massiv und was Sandbu diskutiert, ist das Verteilen dieser Kosten nicht das Vermeiden.
  • “(…) you can go about it either by pushing prices down (by capping them or cutting energy taxes below efficient levels) or by letting markets drive prices but compensate energy users directly or redesign market structures so that more stable affordable prices are easier to come by in the market itself. It is a tragedy that politicians are badly tempted to meddle with prices, which, as I explained in the column, makes things worse: you encourage people to consume more of the thing whose very scarcity has got you into trouble.” – bto: Es verwundert nicht, dass Politiker einen ineffizienten und ineffektiven Weg wählen, er muss halt nur populär sein.
  • “(…) policies to protect people against energy price rises must work with the grain of the market: compensate people for their hardship but retain high prices precisely to keep strong incentives to shift energy consumption and make the rewards high for those who do so. The easiest way to do this is, of course, through a cash grant that is unrelated to previous consumption. Properly designed, it could make those on the lowest incomes better off than before, even after paying more for energy, and if they could reduce their consumption they would be financially better off still.” – bto: Das stimmt. Zugleich ist es eine große Gruppe, wo es auf jeden Fall einen Einsparanreiz geben muss.
  • “A clever alternative to this has been garnering interest. Rather than sending out cheques, a government could subsidise dual tariffs on energy bills, so that while households face market-driven costs for the last unit of energy they consume, they would be able to buy a protected amount at a more modest price. (…) The government would pick up the bill for the difference with gas suppliers’ current costs. But, crucially, above this modest allowance (which they say is half the average consumption of a 100 sq m home) consumers would face the full market-clearing price.” – bto: Das ist der Punkt, wo es eben keinen Einsparanreiz für die kleinen Haushalte gibt. Noch schlimmer ist es bei Hartz-IV-Empfängern, die ohnehin die Kosten vom Staat bezahlt bekommen. Da gibt es gar keinen Anreiz.
  • “Such dual pricing, like outright price caps, has an obvious attraction for politicians: they may mechanically lower inflation rates in a way that direct cash compensation does not. (…) But this raises a hard question about the calls for tighter monetary policy to ‘control’ inflation. If central banks can reduce price pressures, it is by curtailing demand (and hence jobs and income growth). But since the measured inflation rate can depend on whether help for households comes in the form of cash compensation or price caps, must we, therefore, think that the right amount of demand, jobs and income growth depends on what form a given amount of household support takes? I should think not; cash compensation and price subsidies in similar magnitudes in principle contribute the same to demand. An accounting trick surely cannot change what the right central bank policy is.” – bto: Außerdem bekommen die Unternehmen keinen Rabatt. Demzufolge zieht sich die Inflation durch.
  • “(…) there is much to like about dual-pricing schemes. In particular, they reconcile the (bad) political desire to cap prices with the importance of not capping marginal prices. (…) They are also somewhat better targeted than outright price caps, since those who consume the most (who tend to be higher earners) do not get more help. It would be better still to go for a straight flat compensation amount, or even a means-tested one — an “energy cheque” straight into your account. But I will take a scheme that approximates such a policy while tickling politicians’ predilections enough to make them actually adopt it.” – bto: ja, wobei wir auch bei den kleineren Verbrauchern einen Anreiz benötigen.

ft.com (Anmeldung erforderlich): „How (not) to protect households against soaring energy costs“, 2. Juni 2022