Leading German utility RWE has issued a statement refuting the suggestion by the German Federal Cartel Office that it has been directly passing on the cost of carbon credits to customers.

The German cartel office has accused RWE of having unlawfully included the costs for CO2 in the electricity price for industry customers between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2005.

RWE said that it had received a statement of objections from the authority, which it is examining with a view to giving a detailed response to by the end of February.

However, in the meantime, RWE said that it strongly objects to the view taken by the Federal Cartel Office, adding that the authority’s arguments ignore the basic facts about how prices are determined in a competitive market and disregard fundamental market instruments that are essential for a successful climate policy in Europe.