BERLIN, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Energy-intensive industries in Germany will have to pay a lower surcharge to fund environmentally-friendly power stations than originally envisaged, a draft law seen by Reuters on Thursday shows.
According to the draft law from the economy ministry, companies with high-energy costs will have to pay a surcharge of 0.03 cents per kilowatt hour to support the building of heat and power co-generation plants.
An earlier draft had envisaged a surcharge that was almost 20 percent higher. As a result, other large consumers will now be forced to pay more, the document said.
The new rates will, however, only apply to customers who consume more than one gigawatt per year. Up to that level customers will pay the same rate as households, 0.53 cents per kilowatt hour.
To meet a target of cutting CO2 emissions in the coal sector by a further 22 million tonnes by 2020, support for combined heat and power generation is due to be doubled to 1.5 billion euros per year and will be paid for by a co-generation levy.
Energy-intensive industries have been largely exempt from paying green energy surcharges, or have enjoyed large discounts, which they say they need to remain competitive. (Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Caroline Copley, editing by David Evans)