BONN (dpa-AFX) - Households and companies in regions with a strong expansion of wind and solar power plants are to be relieved of grid charges for electricity. The higher costs there are to be passed on to all electricity consumers in Germany. This is provided for in a detailed proposal by the Federal Network Agency, which was presented in a key points paper on Friday. "The energy transition is a joint task and investment in the grids benefits everyone. We want to achieve a fairer distribution of costs," explained Klaus Müller, President of the Agency. Grid fees are part of the electricity price.

Grid costs are refinanced by electricity customers via the grid fees. Because a lot is being invested in the grids in large parts of northern and north-eastern Germany due to the strong expansion of renewables, the grid fees there are noticeably higher than in other regions of Germany.

According to the grid agency, the fees in some grid areas are up to 15 cents per kilowatt hour. On the other hand, there are regions where they are less than 5 cents. There are also significant differences within federal states. The authority cited Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg as examples. "This development has taken on an unacceptable dimension over the years," said the Federal Network Agency. It would continue to worsen with the further expansion of renewables.

According to the key points, 17 grid operators would currently be entitled to pass on their additional costs to all electricity consumers. The 17 operators supply around 10.5 million grid users. "Their grid fees would fall by up to 25 percent." This would put them mostly below and only in some cases slightly above the national average. An average household with an annual consumption of 3,500 kilowatt hours in such an area would save up to 120 euros a year. Grid operators in Brandenburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Saxony-Anhalt in particular would benefit. There would also be noticeable relief in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Bavaria and Lower Saxony.

The significant relief for the affected regions would be offset by manageable additional costs for all electricity consumers, the authority emphasized. According to the Federal Network Agency, an average household with an annual consumption of 3,500 kilowatt hours would incur additional costs of 8.40 euros per year.

The authority is now putting its proposal up for discussion. It will then draw up the final regulation in a multi-stage process. It should come into force on January 1, 2025 at the earliest./tob/DP/jha