According to the plans of the Federal Government, unjustified tariff increases are to be put a stop to in the planned gas and electricity price brakes.
Price increases should be banned until the end of 2023 - unless the supplier can prove "that the increase is objectively justified," according to the draft price brakes that have been submitted to the Bundestag.
A justification could result from “market-based price and cost developments”.
An "abusive use" of the regulations to relieve end customers is to be prevented.
A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Economics said on Saturday that the abuse control serves to prevent unjustified price increases - i.e. those that cannot be justified by rising procurement costs.
"That means not every price increase is automatically illegal, but those that are abusive and unjustified."
The FDP energy expert Michael Kruse told the "Bild" newspaper (Saturday): "We want to prevent free-rider effects that encourage utility companies to pay higher tariffs." SPD specialist politician Nina Scheer said: "As a result, abuse must be ruled out."
The gas and electricity price brake planned by the traffic light coalition is intended to cushion the consequences of the sharp rise in prices for households and companies.
A certain amount of consumption should be subsidized by the state, and current, high market prices apply.
The brakes should take effect from March 2023, but retrospective relief is planned for January and February.