Czech Government Clears Way for Price Caps on Electricity, Gas

The Czech government cleared the way on Wednesday to impose caps on electricity and gas prices for households, public institutions and small companies for 2023 as the country faces soaring prices pushed higher by the war in Ukraine.

The Czech Republic, like others in the European Union, has sought to shield people from soaring energy costs as gas supplies from Russia fell, driving up market prices.

The Czech caps, finalised by a government order approved on Wednesday, will be set at 6 crowns per kilowatt hour of electricity and 3 crowns for gas throughout 2023, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said.

The caps, first agreed by the government last month, apply also to public institutions like hospitals or schools, are in line with the government’s previous announcements. Smaller businesses will also be covered.

Last month, the government agreed larger companies would draw from a 30 billion crown package, and a further 30 billion should be made available for smaller companies within a framework proposed by the European Commission.

EU governments have debated a gas price cap for weeks, without reaching agreement, and the topic will be up for talks when member states’ leaders meet on Thursday and Friday in Prague for a summit.

Along with the 27 EU countries, 17 non-member states, including Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Switzerland, Norway, Kosovo, and the UK have also been invited to the EPC summit, which will also be attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The EPC meeting will see the biggest participation of European leaders in Czechia’s history.

The new platform of the EPC, which is meeting for the first time, was proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron in May and is intended to help political coordination of all European countries and support political dialogue and cooperation.

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