Government Clears Ordinance on Itemised Energy Billing of State and Regulation Induced Price Elements

In its meeting yesterday, the government did not object to an Ordinance on the Transparent Presentation of State or Regulation Induced Price Elements in Gas and Electricity Universal Service proposed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

The ordinance supplements the Ordinances on General Terms Regulating Universal Service for Household Customers and Replacement Supply with Electricity via the Low Voltage Network (StromGVV) respectively with Gas From the Low-Pressure Network (GasGVV). Under German law, the universal service provider is the energy supply undertaking that provides general supply to the largest number of household customers within a given system area (Sec. 36 para. 2). The universal service tariff applies if a customer seeks no special supply arrangement. Universal tariffs and services are regulated by StromGVV and GasGVV.

The aim of the ordinance is to render the calculation of the universal service tariff (Grundversorgungspreis) more transparent for customers. To this end the state or regulation induced price elements of the electricity or gas price and the grid charges in the electricity sector have to be set out separately in contracts and on the internet.

For electricity bills this comprises the following charges (cf. Article 1 no. 1 a):

  • Electricity tax (Stromsteuer)
  • EEG surcharge (EEG-Umlage)
  • Concession fee (Konzessionsabgabe)
  • CHP surcharge (KWK-Aufschlag)
  • Section 19-surcharge for network charge exemption (Umlage nach § 19 StromNEV)
  • Offshore surcharge (Offshore-Umlage)
  • Surcharge for interruptible  loads (Umlage abschaltbare Lasten)
  • Network charges (Netzentgelte)
  • Operation of meters and metering (Messstellenbetrieb und Messung)

For gas bills this comprises (cf. Article 2 no. 1 a)

  • Energy tax (Energiesteuer)
  • Concession fee (Konzessionsabgabe)

Due to the “heterogeneous” grid charges the ordinance abstains for the time being from making a separate listing of the grid charges mandatory, the explanatory notes state.

Besides the ordinance stipulates that if the above-mentioned price elements change the electricity respectively gas supplier is entitled to a new calculation of the tariff that includes the change. If the burden of the mandatory charges is reduced in total the supplier is obliged to re-calculate the tariff taking into consideration the lower legal charges.

In the event of a change of tariff, the supplier has to state the extent, reason and prerequisite for the amendment and inform customers about their rights in a written statement.

The ordinance is issued by BMWi in cooperation with the Ministries for Justice and Consumer Protection and needs approval by the Federal Council, the body that represents the interests of the sixteen German states on the federal level. BMWi hopes for an entry into force by autumn.

Source: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

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