Increase of Surcharge Due to Grid Fee Exemptions for Energy-intensive Companies?

The surcharge covering lost revenue due to grid fee exemptions for energy-intensive companies is likely to rise as more companies than initially expected have filed applications for exemptions with the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), Frankfurter Rundschau (FR) writes.

Pursuant to Section 19 para. 2 sent. 2 Electricity Grid Charges Ordinance (StromNEV) as applicable since early August 2011 consumers can apply for an exemption of grid charges if the electricity consumption at a delivery point (Abnahmestelle) exceeds 7,000 hours and 10 GW.

The transmission system operators are required by law to reimburse downstream network operators for lost revenue. Among themselves TSOs have to balance the reimbursements to downstream network operators as well as their own lost revenue. Costs are eventually passed on to end consumers pursuant to Section 19 para. 2 sent. 7 StromNEV in combination with Section 9 para. 7 Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG). Depending on the energy consumption of the final consumer, the surcharge applies in a staggered manner. Based on a decision by BNetzA of 14 December 2011, the four transmission system operators (TSOs) published staggered surcharges for 2012, amounting from 0.151 ct/kWh for a consumption up to 100,000 kWh to 0.025 ct/kWh a consumption exceeding 100,000 kWh for certain industry sectors. Regarding consumers with a consumption of up to 100,000 kWh the surcharge for 2012 was much lower than their preliminary surcharge for 2012 that amounted to 0.467 ct/kWh.

The grid fee exemption and the surcharge that has to be borne by the remaining consumers was criticised upon its introduction, in particular by the Federal Association of Consumer Protection Agencies (vzbv). A number of lawsuits have been filed against the surcharge.

According to FR, BNetzA did not want to comment, saying the Section 19 para. 2 sent. 2 StromNEV surcharge would be published in October.

Until 15 October 2012 the TSOs also have to publish the EEG surcharge for 2013. With the EEG surcharge consumers pay for the difference between the feed-in tariffs paid pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) for renewable energy fed into the grids and the sale of the renewable energy at the EEX energy exchange by the TSOs. There is also speculation of a considerable rise of the EEG surcharge, in view of the growing amount of renewable energy, especially solar power.

Source: Frankfurter Rundschau

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