Berlin – Good news for electricity consumers in Hamburg, Berlin and the eastern German states: 50Hertz, the electricity transmission system operator responsible for the north and east of Germany, is expected to lower its grid fees for 2019 by 23 per cent compared to the current year. This drop is first and foremost due to the recalculation of the offshore costs, which in the future will be financed by the consumers via the so-called offshore grid surcharge (formerly the “offshore liability surcharge”) as a result of new legislation. Lower costs for the 50Hertz congestion management are also positively reflected. 50Hertz was already able to reduce the grid fees by eleven percent from 2017 to 2018. The tariffs for 2019 will be definitively established at the end of this year.
Most decisive for the change in grid fees at 50Hertz are the changes resulting from the German act modernising the grid fees (Network Charges Modernisation Act (NEMoG)), which entered into force in July 2017. As of next year, the offshore costs will be distributed evenly for all of Germany through the offshore grid charge instead of through the regionally different grid fees, as is the case now, and as such help lower these regional grid fees. In the scope of the NEMoG, the transmission grid fees will also be gradually adjusted from 2019 until 2023. For 2019, this means that a standard national grid fee slice of 20 per cent is applied to the grid fees of the four German transmission system operators for the first time. In addition, 50Hertz was able to reduce its congestion management costs (redispatch with conventional power plants and lower output of renewable generating units) compared to last year.
The 23 per cent drop in the 50Hertz grid fees means that a private four-person household with an annual consumption of about 4,000 kilowatt-hours will save about ten euros a year, as the share of the grid fees of the transmission system operator in the total electricity price of private households is only five per cent. This share is higher for companies, and especially for energy-intensive companies, that are directly connected to the transmission grid. For example, an industrial customer such as a steel mill with an annual usage of around 4,000 hours in 2019 will pay 16 million euros in grid fees instead of 20 million euros in 2018.