Many sources provide information on state-introduced components of the electricity price. The information platform operated by Germany's transmission system operators (www.netztransparenz.de [only in German]), for example, contains a wealth of material on the EEG surcharge, the CHP surcharge and the surcharges required under Section 19 subsection 2 of the Electricity Network Tariff Regulation (StromNEV), Section 17f of the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) and Section 18 of the Regulation on Interruptible Loads (AbLaV). Electricity and turnover tax rates are directly determined by the provisions of the Electricity Tax Act and Turnover Tax Act promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette. Section 4 subsection 1 of the Concession Fee Regulation (KAV) governs the presentation of concession fees as defined in Section 48 EnWG (or Section 46 EnWG if charged in connection with easement contracts) in network access charges and general tariffs, while Section 40 subsection 2 no. 7 EnWG covers the presentation of concession fees in utility bills for retail consumers.
These components may be described as "state-introduced", but they rarely go directly into the government budget. They serve various purposes and are levied in different ways:
1. EEG surcharge
The Renewable Energies Act (EEG) gives power plant operators a fixed tariff for every kilowatt-hour of renewable power that they feed into the grid over a 20-year period. The tariff is paid by a transmission system operator (TSO), who then sells the power on a power exchange. Operators can also opt for a market premium instead of the fixed feed-in tariff. In this case, the operators or specialised traders (direct marketers) sell the electricity themselves and receive a premium from the TSO that is equal to the EEG tariff minus the market price.
The difference between income and expenses (the "EEG differential costs") is divided up across the power consumption (EEG-liable final consumption) that is not fully or partially exempted from the EEG surcharge under special regulations. The resulting amount is the EEG surcharge.
Every 15 October, they set the EEG surcharge for the following year. To do this, they consult with recognised research institutions and prepare a sound, rigorous forecast of their expected expenses (primarily the EEG tariffs to be paid to plant operators) and their projected income from the sale of EEG power on the power exchange.
In 2014, the EEG surcharge on power supplied to household customers was 6.240 ct/kWh. In 2015, it is 6.170 ct/kWh.
2. CHP surcharge
The CHP surcharge was introduced in 2002 by the Combined Heat and Power Act (KWK-G).
Combined heat and power (CHP) plant operators can qualify to receive premiums for CHP power if they satisfy certain criteria. The KWK-G also grants premiums to promote the use of heating and cooling networks and accumulators in certain circumstances. Once again, the transmission system operator is initially responsible for paying the premiums. The costs are then evenly distributed among the TSOs by a cost equalisation mechanism. If a transmission system operator ends up with net costs after the premium and cost equalisation payments have been made, it can add these costs to network usage tariffs as long as it meets certain requirements. The CHP surcharge is levied wherever the electricity suppliers have agreed to provide the network access needed to supply household customers and have included network usage tariffs in their final price calculations.
In 2014, the CHP surcharge on power supplied to household customers was 0.178 ct/kWh. In 2015, it is 0.254 ct/kWh.
3. Section 19 subsection 2 StromNEV surcharge
This surcharge was introduced in 2012.
Final consumers can request an individual network tariff under Section 19 subsection 2 sentence 1 or sentence 2 of the Electricity Network Tariff Regulation (StromNEV) if they meet certain criteria. Individual network tariffs can cause downstream operators of electricity distribution networks to lose revenues, however, and so transmission system operators must reimburse them for these losses. The transmission system operators are required to balance these reimbursements and their own lost revenues among themselves. The resulting lost revenues are charged to all final consumers proportionately as a "Section 19 StromNEV surcharge" on the network tariffs.
In 2014, the surcharge on power supplied to household customers was 0.187 ct/kWh. In 2015, it is 0.237 ct/kWh.
4. Offshore surcharge under Section 17f EnWG
The offshore surcharge was introduced in 2013 in order to create a predictable environment for the expansion of offshore wind energy. This includes providing clarity with regard to compensation between transmission system operators and plant operators. Under Section 17f subsection 5 Energy Industry Act (EnWG), transmission system operators may charge final consumers a surcharge on network tariffs in order to recover the costs of compensation paid due to delays in connecting offshore plants to the grid or due to technical problems with these connections.
To protect consumers, the offshore surcharge is capped at 0.25 ct/kWh. Also, the operators of offshore wind farms and transmission system operators are required to cover significant percentages of any damages incurred. This ensures that costs are distributed fairly. In addition, the time for which the offshore wind farms receive compensation is deducted from the end of their funding period under the Renewable Energies Act.
In 2014, the offshore surcharge on power supplied to household customers was 0.25 ct/kWh. In 2015, it is -0.051 ct/kWh.
5. Section 18 AbLaV surcharge
The surcharge for interruptible loads has been levied on final consumers since 1 January 2014 and covers the costs of interruptible loads used to maintain grid and system reliability.
Suppliers can receive compensation for providing interruptible capacity for a specified period (demand price) and for every activation of interruptible capacity (unit price) as long as they sign agreements with transmission system operators to provide services that meet the requirements laid out in the Regulation on Interruptible Loads (AbLaV).
Transmission system operators are required to balance payments and expenses among one another through financial settlement. Costs are balanced as stipulated in Section 18 AbLaV in conjunction with Section 9 KWK-G, provided that the cost limits for certain final consumer groups are not used. The AbLaV surcharge is thus applied to the total final consumption per service point.
The charge was 0.009 ct/kWh in 2014. In 2015, it is 0.006 ct/kWh.
6. Concession fee
Concession fees are paid by grid operators to municipalities in exchange for using public rights of way. Fee amounts vary depending on the easement contract between the grid operator and the municipality, but are capped by the Concession Fee Regulation (KAV).
Concession fee caps on power supplied to standard-rate customers are based on municipality population numbers under Section 2 subsection 2 KAV. They range from 1.32 ct/kWh for municipalities with up to 25,000 residents to as much as 2.39 ct/kWh for municipalities with more than 500,000 residents. According to the Monitoring Report 2014 published by the Federal Network Agency and Federal Cartel Office, the average concession fee on power supplied to household customers was 1.60 ct/kWh.
7. Electricity tax
In 1999, the Electricity Tax Act introduced a tax on electric power. It aims to support climate policy objectives by encouraging electricity conservation. It also serves to lower and stabilise pension contribution rates since part of the tax revenue goes toward reducing contribution rates for social security.
The tax is incurred by consuming self-generated electricity or drawing electricity from the grid for consumption. The taxpayer is determined based on who provides or generates the electric power and who draws it from the grid. Generally, electricity is drawn from the grid by a final consumer. The taxpayer, in this case, is the utility company (the electricity supplier). However, the taxpayer can also be an autoproducer. The tax is managed by the Customs Administration. The revenue goes toward the federal budget.
The electricity tax on power supplied to household customers is 2.05 ct/kWh.
8. Turnover tax (value-added tax)
Items supplied by businesses to customers are generally subject to turnover tax. Under the 1994 Turnover Tax Act, "items" refer to not only products, but also services. Turnover tax per se is ultimately borne by the final consumer. The supplying company merely serves as a trustee: it collects turnover tax from customers and, since only businesses owe turnover tax, pays it over to the internal revenue service.
Turnover tax revenue is shared between the federal, state and municipal governments based on formulas set out in the Revenue Sharing Act (FAG).
Turnover tax for electricity is 19% and is levied on the total amount made up of generation and supply, network tariffs and other state-introduced price components.