Key Aspects of Amendment of Electricity and Gas Grid Charges Ordinance

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has drafted an amendment changing the Electricity Grid Charges Ordinance (StromNEV) and the Gas Grid Charges Ordinance (GasNEV). It also released a background paper informing about the key aspects of the proposal.

The drafts shall provide legal and planning security for investments into the grid infrastructure in Germany by making necessary clarifications, BMWi said. Besides, the amendments shall ensure that all the consumers will pay their fair share for grid costs, BMWi pointed out.

Last week the Higher Regional Court of (OLG) declared the provision in the Electricity Grid Charges Ordinance (StromNEV) void that provides for grid fee exemptions for large energy customers, so-called energy-intensive customers. Besides, the Commission opened an in-depth investigation to find out whether the exemptions for large electricity consumers from the network charges constitutes unlawful state aid (please see links below for reference).

The key aspects of the amendments are:

  • A new system of staggered grid charges which depend on the consumption and the annual hours of use shall be introduced for large energy consumers.
  • Uncertainties with regard to the calculation method of the grid costs shall be eliminated. To this end clear rules concerning the parameters of the calculation shall be introduced, eg. by stipulating the applicable price indices (Preisindexreihen);
  • The amendments also incorporate recommendations by the Plattform „Zukunftsfähige Netze“ (Future Proof Network Platform), in particular improved conditions for investments into the high voltage grids. This shall help to accelerate the necessary grid expansion in Germany.

The draft is currently undergoing consultation with the other ministries, BMWi said, adding that they would be submitted to the federal states and the trade associations in due course with the aim to have the Federal Cabinet decide about it in April. The Federal Council, which represents the interests of the sixteen Länder (federal states) on the federal level, could then decide in June, BMWi pointed out.

Source: Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology

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