BERLIN (Dow Jones) – According to a random sample, the electricity network charges of the distribution network operators have increased slightly on a national average. The network fee for a typical household customer rose this year from 7.60 cents to 7.65 cents per kilowatt hour (plus 0.7 percent), as the Federal Network Agency announced. For medium-sized industrial customers, the fee increases by 0.8 percent to 2.64 cents per kilowatt-hour, for commercial customers it remains at 5.80 cents.
“The efforts of the network operators and the regulatory authorities to limit the costs are showing success,” said agency president Jochen Homann. “Together with a falling EEG surcharge and low electricity prices, electricity customers could be relieved moderately for the first time in years.”
However, in the as yet unpublished monitoring report by the Federal Network Agency, which Dow Jones Newswires had insight into, the Federal Network Agency used other figures for network charges in the previous year as a basis. There it says that the average network charge for household customers was 7.50 instead of 7.60 cents per kilowatt hour. This means that the current increase over the previous year would be 2 percent and not 0.7 percent. The authority plans to publish the report at the end of January.
The current sample also shows considerable regional differences. In the control area of the transmission system operator Tennet, the distribution network operators benefit from falling upstream costs, whereas they rise at TransnetBW and 50Hertz. At 50 Hertz, the positive effects of the standardization of the transmission network charges are overcompensated by the expected rising costs for congestion management, explained the Bonn authority. At the largest German transmission network operator, Amprion, there are almost no changes with some network operators, while others have increased network charges by almost 12 percent, for example for medium-sized industrial customers.
Due to the Corona crisis, a relevant number of distribution network operators are also assuming a slightly lower utilization of their networks. This results in higher network charges: If transport volumes decrease, the costs per kilowatt hour increase. According to the Federal Network Agency, this protects the network operators from corona-related utilization risks. However, if it later turns out that the companies have overestimated the volume decline caused by the pandemic, excessively high network charges will be returned to network users in the following years – with interest.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 14, 2021 09:46 ET (14:46 GMT)