Rösler: Eco-tax cap is an important step to maintain Germany's industrial competitiveness
The cabinet adopted today the draft law amending the energy tax and electricity tax act. This provides a basis for the continuation of the cap on the "eco-tax" for the next decade from 2013. The draft act is backed by an agreement between the Federal Government (Economics, Environment and Finance Ministries) and German commerce to boost energy efficiency. In future, the tax cap will only be granted if the goods-producing companies make a contribution towards energy conservation.
Minister Rösler commented: "The continuation of the tax cap is an important step to maintain Germany's industrial competitiveness. And the agreement signed with the business community today on improving energy efficiency in the goods-producing companies is also an important step forward towards attaining our objectives in the field of energy policy and environmental policy. This shows once more that successful economic policy goes hand in hand with intelligent environmental policy."
The draft law provides for the introduction of energy and environmental management systems and for compliance with ambitious energy efficiency targets, without imposing too great a burden on small and medium-sized firms. The target figure for the increase in energy efficiency has been set at 1.3% p.a. in 2013-2015. The figure for 2016 is 1.35%. The figures for the rest of the 10-year period covered by the draft act will be stipulated in the course of an evaluation. Compliance with the energy efficiency targets is subject to regular monitoring by an independent scientific institute.
The tax cap was introduced in 2002 as part of the SPD-Green Federal Government's ecological tax reform, in order to maintain the international competitiveness of the companies in the goods-producing sector. The follow-up regulation is to apply from 1 January 2013 for the next ten years (2013-2022). By making the introduction of energy management systems compulsory, the Federal Government is going way beyond the existing requirements.