Ruling Chamber 4
Ruling Chamber 4 is responsible for the approval of investment measures in electricity and gas, individual system charges for electricity, pipe-to-pipe competition for gas and for determining the return on equity
Under section 37 of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the electricity utilities pay an EEG surcharge to the transmission system operators (TSOs) for every kilowatt hour of electricity supplied to final consumers. These payments cover the difference between the TSOs’ revenue and expenditure as referred to in section 3 subsections (3) and (4) of the Equalisation Mechanism Ordinance (AusglMechV) and section 6 of the Equalisation Mechanism Implementation Ordinance (AusglMechAV). Ruling Chamber 4 monitors the fact-finding for, and the determination, publication and passing on, of the EEG surcharge.
Operators of energy supply networks can apply for investment measures for special expansion and restructuring projects to the Bundesnetzagentur under section 23 of the Incentive Regulation Ordinance (ARegV). Eligible investments are those necessary to connect new power plants to the network or transport energy from renewable sources. Connecting offshore wind farms is also a particular focus. Based on the investment decision, network operators may increase the revenue cap by the capital costs of the approved investment projects and an operating cost allowance. The equity return rate, which is a basic condition for investment and is used to calculate the revenue cap, is set by Ruling Chamber 4 in accordance with section 7(6) of the Electricity Network Charges Ordinance / Gas Network Charges Ordinance (StromNEV / GasNEV).
Special cases of network usage can lead to individual fees for which Ruling Chamber 4 assumes a monitoring function. Under section 19(2) StromNEV final consumers who are expected to have an annual peak load at periods of light load (atypical network users), or final consumers whose network use is especially intense (at least 7,000 hours of use and 10 gigawatt hours), can make arrangements for an individual network tariff. Since 1 January 2014, Ruling Chamber 4 is to be notified of any such agreements made. Section 19(3) StromNEV opens up the possibility to bill resources used by a single user separately. Final consumers can then reach the next voltage level through this type of rental tariff. Under section 118(6) of the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) network tariffs may also be waived for electricity storage facilities.
Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 allows project developers to submit applications for cross-border cost allocation (CBCA) for international and national projects of common interest. The Ruling Chamber reaches a decision on such applications in agreement with regulatory authorities of other EU Member States.