Renewable Surcharge for 2013 Rises by Almost 47% to 5.277 ct/kWh

Today the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) officially announced the surcharge for renewable energy pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) for 2013, the so-called EEG surcharge (EEG Umlage). As widely expected it will rise from  3.592 ct/kWh in 2012 to 5,277 ct/kWh in 2013, constituting an increase of 46.9%. Consumers that cannot reclaim the (additional) 19% VAT will pay 6.28 ct/kWh in total.

With the EEG surcharge, consumers pay for the difference between the fixed feed-in tariffs paid pursuant to the EEG for renewable energy fed into the grids and the sale of the renewable energy at the EEX energy exchange by the TSOs Amprion GmbH, 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, Tennet TSO GmbH and Transnet BW GmbH.

At 5.277 ct/kWh, the EEG surcharge is reaching “exchange parity” – with the surcharge sometimes being higher than actual electricity prices at the EEX electricity exchange. EEX spot market prices have been between 30.27 EUR/MWh and 52.69 EUR/MWh for baseload contracts (Phelix Day Base) in the period from Monday, 8 October to Monday, 15 October 2012 and from 34.24 EUR/MWh to 60.71 EUR/MWh for peak load contracts (Phelix Day Peak).

For private households with an average consumption of 3,500 kWh per year this means that electricity costs will rise by EUR 58,96 annually (excluding VAT). Unlike undertakings that are entitled to deduct input tax, private households also have to pay 19% VAT on top of the EEG surcharge (also called EEG reallocation charge). According to previous government estimates, VAT payments on the surcharge for 2012 will amount to EUR 937 million in 2012.
The Liberal coalition partner in the conservative (CDU/CSU) and liberal (FDP) coalition government under Chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly called for a radical reform of the EEG before the general elections next year. Various Liberals suggested a replacement of the EEG with its fixed feed-in tariffs by a quota system in which utilities would be obliged to purchase a certain share of renewable energy for their portfolio, leaving them the choice between different renewable energy forms.

Last week Environment Minister Peter Altmaier, into whose competence the EEG falls, presented a framework proposal for a reform of the EEG, with details of specific changes to be developed and discussed until May 2013 in order to introduce more market-oriented elements. The quota model is mentioned as one of the possible options. Mr Altmaier stressed in the past that he wanted to achieve a lasting solution, not another EEG amendment that was followed by the next one a few months later.

To help consumers in the short-term, the head of the Liberal party, Economics Minister Philipp Rösler suggested to cut the electricity tax, a proposal that was rejected by Mr Altmaier, the news agency dapd reported. Mr Rösler also dismissed criticism by the opposition of the exemptions of the EEG surcharge for which energy-intensive companies can apply pursuant to Sections 40 to 44 EEG, dapd said. He pointed out that only 0.6 ct of the current surcharge were caused by the exemptions, but that the companies which benefited provided roughly 850,000 jobs.

Source: EEG-KWK.net

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