BRUSSELS - Companies that provide power in the European Union (EU) and are profiting disproportionately from soaring energy prices are to face extra levies, according to an agreement reached by EU ministers on Friday.
"Ministers reached a political agreement on measures to mitigate high electricity prices," read a tweet by the Czech EU presidency.
The agreement was reached at a crisis meeting of EU ministers responsible for energy portfolios.
The levies target the excess revenues and profits of those energy companies that have been prospering from soaring prices since the start of Russia's war on Ukraine.
The money collected by member states is to be made available to struggling households and businesses who are facing intimidating bills.
One levy agreed on Friday targets plants using cheaper feed-in sources than high-priced gas to generate electricity. It is to impose a revenue cap of EUR 180 per megawatt hour (MWh) on such firms.
The other, the so-called solidarity contribution, targets the excess profits of fossil fuel companies.
The two emergency measures combined could make up to EUR 140 billion available to EU member states to finance relief packages for consumers.
EU ministers also approved a mandatory electricity savings target of 5 percent in times of high demand and committed to voluntarily reduce the overall electricity consumption by 10 percent.