J.G. Knopf’s & Sohn’s services are in demand in a number of industries. The company from Helmbrechts, a town in northern Bavaria, dyes and coats fabrics, everything from uniforms to car seat upholstery. It’s one of the many thousands of industrial Mittelstand companies in Germany that successfully compete on the world market and make an essential contribution to Germany’s economic success. But some complain the price of electricity is damaging their competitiveness.
J.G. Knopf’s & Sohn’s annual electricity bill comes up to €400,460, or $459,968. But only €77,160 of that goes to actually generating and supplying electricity. The rest, €323,000, is made up of state-imposed taxes and levies. The levy from the Renewable Energies Act (EEG) alone is €137,600. J.G. Knopf’s & Sohn’s competitors outside Germany have no such burden — at least on this scale.