The German government plans to allow energy providers to raise prices next year only if objectively justified, the economy ministry said on Saturday, denying a media report that Berlin planned a ban on all energy price hikes for consumers.
"Not every price increase is automatically illegal," an economy ministry spokesperson said, but added that the ban would apply to unjustified price hikes that exploited consumers.
Mass-selling Bild newspaper reported the government wants to ban all electricity and gas suppliers from increasing prices next year.
Energy suppliers in Germany would have to prove that the price increases they plan are justified, for instance if they have rising procurement costs, the ministry added.
The cabinet approved a cap on gas and electricity prices in an expedited process last month as part of efforts to tackle soaring energy bills for households and businesses.
(Reporting by Joern Poltz and Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Christina Fincher)