Network charges


Network charges or network usage charges are the charges paid to the network operator for using the network. These are part of the electricity price and correspond to measures to expand and maintain the power grid. The relevant laws governing grid usage charges are the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) and the Electricity Charge Ordinance (StromNEV).

What are the network charges for retail prices at the moment?

The average network charges for household customers stated by the federal government for 2021 were 7.52 ct/kWh. This represented a share of around 23 percent of the total electricity price. The average network charges for commercial customers were 6.64 ct/kWh and for industrial customers 2.67 ct/kWh.

Who determines the level of network charges?

Because of the monopoly structure of electricity grids, grid charges are regulated. A regulatory authority reviews the estimated costs on a company-specific basis and sets revenue ceilings. The basis for the test is StromNEV. The calculation is carried out gradually. In the first step, the audited costs are divided between the various cost centers, and the costs are then assigned to individual cost units. These are in turn converted into specific annual costs due to the maximum annual load at the network and substation level. Using the g function, network charges are calculated from the specific annual costs. The costs of all upstream network operators are passed on to the end customer.

Are the costs the same everywhere in Germany?

Network charges vary within Germany. These differences are due to the different utilization of the networks, the population density of individual regions, the feed-in management costs and the age and condition or quality of the networks.

Particularly high network charges are found in Schleswig-Holstein (9.47 ct/kWh), Brandenburg (8.56 ct/kWh), Hamburg (8.45 ct/kWh) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (8.31 ct/kWh). By contrast, average network charges are lowest in Bavaria (6.8 ct/kWh), Berlin (6.4 ct/kWh) and Bremen (5.13 ct/kWh).

Do battery storage systems have to pay network charges?

Battery storage systems connected to the German power grid are exempted from grid charges for an operating period of 20 years in accordance with Section 118 (6) of the Energy Industry Act. This regulation is valid for 15 years from 04.08.2011.