News Digest Item
23 Mar 2018

Court ruling in favour of Germany’s grid operators dashes hopes for lower power prices

dpa / Westfälische Nachrichten

Under a ruling by a regional court in Germany in favour of the country’s grid operators, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) cannot cut the guaranteed rate of return on power and natural gas grids, meaning that customers’ hopes for lower power prices will be dashed, the news agency dpa writes in an article carried by Westfälische Nachrichten. The higher regional court in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) agreed with a complaint lodged by more than 1,100 grid operators, and ruled that the guaranteed rate of return for German grid operators had been “unlawfully undervalued” by the BNetzA, which wanted to achieve a decrease to the tune of two billion euro over five years, the article says. Grid costs account for roughly a quarter of the power bill of German households, and the ruling’s effects on private customers’ energy bills are still difficult to gauge, the article says. “According to estimates, the average household could have saved about ten euros per year under the BNetzA’s original scheme,” it states. The court said the agency will have to recalculate the rate of return, but did not indicate how high it ought to be. The ruling is not binding yet, and the BNetzA can still appeal to the Federal Court of Justice to repeal, the dpa says.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheets Re-dispatch costs in the German power grid and Power grid fees – unfair and opaque?

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