EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has called for cuts to electricity use across the bloc and windfall taxes on energy firms to tackle high prices. She told the European Parliament that gas and electricity prices had hit all-time highs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
She called for electricity consumption to be cut at peak hours by at least 5%.
But plans for a cap on the price of natural gas, a key Russian export to the EU, were put on hold.
The plan outlined in Strasbourg targets “excess revenues” with proposals to skim the profits of low-carbon electricity producers and implement a de facto windfall tax on the oil, gas and coal sectors.
The money raised, estimated to be €140bn (£121bn; $141bn), would go to families and businesses across the EU’s 27 states.
Companies producing energy from low-carbon sources such as wind, solar and nuclear would face a cap of €180 per megawatt hour (MWh) on their revenue.
By comparison, the front-year electricity price in Germany, the EU’s biggest economy, was trading at just below €500/MWh on Wednesday.