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20 Jan 2022, 13:28
Kerstine Appunn

German grid agency to get consumer advocate as new president - media

Handelsblatt

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), in charge of regulating the power grid and overseeing the country’s grid expansion planning, will reportedly get the prominent head of the Federal Consumer Association (VZBV) as its new president. Klaus Müller will replace incumbent Jochen Homann, who headed the agency for ten years and will retire at the end of February, Handelsblatt reports. The decision was made by economy and climate minister Robert Habeck after the Green Party secured the right to propose the next BNetzA president in the 2021 coalition deal. With Green Party member Müller, who was previously environment minister in Schleswig-Holstein and an MP in the federal parliament, the Greens strengthen consumer protection in the agency.  

The BNetzA has a wide range of responsibilities also for renewable energy tenders, supply security checks, rail networks, postal services and telecommunications, and is currently investigating suspicions that low-cost power suppliers instead of supplying their customers have sold gas and electricity to wholesalers for a profit. In recent years, it has entered into battle with power grid operators to cut their guaranteed return on investments to reduce consumer grid fees. Furthermore, the BNetzA is the authority that has halted the operating permit procedure for the Russian-German natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 citing the absence of legal requirements in the certification process.

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