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

EEG surcharge

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.

Investment and its conditions

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

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.

International and national projects of common interest

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.

Other responsibilities
Offshore liability surcharge
Under the conditions specified in section 17e EnWG, TSOs are to pay compensation for economic loss to the operator of the offshore facilities affected in the event of a malfunction, delay or maintenance of the network connection. Ruling Chamber 4 monitors the fact-finding for, and determination and publication of, the offshore liability surcharge.
Exemptions (electricity)
New interconnectors between European states can, upon request, be exempted from certain regulatory provisions under Article 17 of Regulation (EC) 714/2009. For Ruling Chamber 4 to grant an exemption, the conditions have to be met that competition in electricity supply will improve, that the investment would not be implemented without the exemption being granted, and that the exemption does not hinder the working of the internal market in electricity or that of the regulated system.
Congestion management
Lines can become congested as a result of changes in electricity offtake or generation. In addition to performing general monitoring duties, Ruling Chamber 4 has to make decisions in this context as necessary on creating bidding zones under section 15 in conjunction with section 27(1) para 10 of the Electricity Network Access Ordinance (StromNZV).
Pipeline competition in accordance with section 3(2) and (3) GasNEV
Under section 3(2) GasNEV, operators of gas transmission systems that cross regional borders can set tariffs in derogation of sections 4 to 18 GasNEV in accordance with section 19 GasNEV if the transmission network is exposed for the most part to effective or potential pipeline competition. Ruling Chamber 4 makes the determination in this respect.
Enforcement of network expansion obligations under section 65(2a) EnWG, section 39 GasNZV
Under sections 38 and 39 GasNZV, operators of storage, LNG and production facilities, and operators of gas power plants are granted priority in the provision of capacity. In the event capacity cannot be provided, the aforementioned operators have a claim to capacity expansion vis-à-vis the gas transmission system operators, which is monitored by the Ruling Chamber.
Please note that following links provide regularly updated information in German only!

Contact

Bundesnetzagentur
Ruling Chamber 4
Tulpenfeld 4
53113 Bonn

Telephone: +49 228 – 14-0
Fax: +49 228 – 14 64 64
E-Mail: BK4-Postfach@BNetzA.de