EU sets out plan to tackle soaring energy costs

STORY: Europe has unveiled plans to curb soaring energy prices.

On Wednesday (September 14) European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said it was time to limit earnings for low-cost producers that don’t use gas.

She set out the plans in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg:

"We are proposing a cap on the revenues of companies that produce electricity at a low cost. These companies are making revenues they never accounted for, they never even dreamt of."

Under the proposals, fossil fuel firms will also have to share the profits they make from soaring energy prices.

EU governments will use any money raised to help firms and consumers with their bills.

The Commission chief said she would also propose ways for member states to cut their energy usage.

It all comes after Russia slashed gas supplies to Europe in retaliation for sanctions.

Von der Leyen says the EU is working fast to adapt:

"Last year, Russian gas accounted for 40 percent of our imported gas. Today it’s down to nine percent. But we also see that Russia keeps actively manipulating our energy market. I mean they prefer to flare the gas instead of sending it to Europe.”

EU gas storage facilities are now around 84% full - a level experts say looks healthy.

But analysts say Europe will still need deep cuts in usage to avoid winter shortages.

Member states will now haggle over the Commission’s proposals, but it’s hoped a final deal can be struck this month.