BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s expert commission tasked with drawing up plans to soften the impact of rising gas prices on consumers agreed on a series of proposals early on Monday, sources close to the talks said.

A draft document seen by Reuters earlier showed the commission favors the state giving households and businesses a one-off payment equal to their monthly gas bill this year and lower prices from March or April next year.

The Commission is currently developing a separate scheme for large industrial gas consumers.

In the second stage, the state could subsidize 60-80% of the projected gas consumption, and consumers would have to pay the rest at market prices, encouraging energy savings. The subsidized price can be about 12-14 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), the newspaper reports.

If passed, the scheme would be paid for by a 200 billion euro ($194 billion) aid package that Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government announced late last month to cushion the impact of rising energy prices on Europe’s biggest economy.

The commission will present an interim report at a press conference on Monday. The government is expected to take over the main results. A representative of the Ministry of Economy said that there is no final concept yet.

Experts say the benefit of the lump sum is that it provides immediate relief. The downside is that it provides no incentive to save, despite estimates that a minimum of 20% gas savings are needed to avoid shortages.

The implementation of the gas price brake takes longer.

(Reporting by Marcus Waket; Writing by Sarah Marsh and Paul Carrell; Editing by Cynthia Osterman, Robert Birsel)

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