Austria wants EU to separate electricity, gas prices

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Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer on Sunday called on the European Union to decouple electricity prices from those of gas to keep them from rising further due to ripple effects from the Ukraine war.

“Electricity prices must go down,” he said in a statement. “We can't let (Russian President Vladimir) Putin decide every day” about the price of energy, he said.

“We have to stop this madness that is happening right now on energy markets,” he said, adding that he would raise the issue at an emergency meeting the bloc is due to hold on the issue.

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“The subject (of decoupling) will be on the agenda,” he said, adding that he had already discussed it with the leaders of Germany and the Czech Republic, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

European electricity prices soared to new records this week, presaging a bitter winter as Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Russian cuts of gas deliveries to Europe inflict economic pain across the continent.

On Friday, the year-ahead contract for German electricity reached 995 euros ($995) per megawatt hours while the French equivalent surged past 1,100 euros -- a more than tenfold increase in both countries from last year.

In Britain, energy regulator Ofgem said it would increase the electricity and gas price cap almost twofold from October 1 to an average of £3,549 per year.

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