BERLIN - Germany plans to extend the electricity and gas price caps it introduced last year until March 2024 and the European Commission is examining the measure, a source told Reuters on Friday.

Berlin last year introduced a 200-billion-euro ($211.26 billion) relief package to help companies and households shoulder soaring electricity and gas bills following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a drop in Russian gas exports.

The government, however, plans to abolish a sales tax cut for gas and district heating it introduced as part of last year's relief measures at the beginning of 2024, the source said, amid more stabilized prices and a tighter federal budget.

Despite the caps and the tax cut, energy prices for private households rose by 52% for natural gas in the first six months of 2023 year-on-year and by 26.2% for electricity, data from the federal statistics office showed. ($1 = 0.9467 euros)

(Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Riham Alkousaa Editing by Rachel More)