In order to secure the heat and energy supply in the coming period of cold weather, a temporary gas security surcharge based on Section 26 Energy Security of Supply Act entered into force today. The aim is to prevent insolvencies and disruptions to supply amid the energy crisis caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine, and thus maintain the security of supply for citizens and industry, during the next heating period in particular. The temporary surcharge will be supported by additional, targeted relief for citizens and the extension of assistance programmes for industry.

The Federal Government’s ordinance was published in the Federal Gazette yesterday and communicated to the Bundestag prior to this, in accordance with Section 26 Energy Security of Supply Act. The gas security surcharge will be levied temporarily from 1 October 2022 until 1 April 2024. In line with the statutory requirements of the Energy Security of Supply Act, the validity of the ordinance will expire on 30 September 2024.

The ordinance on the introduction of a gas security surcharge is based on Section 26 Energy Security of Supply Act. The overarching goal is to maintain market mechanisms and supply chains for as long as possible, in order to prevent insolvencies on the part of gas traders and domino effects in the energy industry’s supply chain.

The gas importers affected will continue to bear the entirety of the much higher costs for substitute gas until the beginning of October. With the adopted ordinance, from 1 October they will be able to receive financial compensation for the costs incurred from purchasing gas from other sources, but only for a limited period. Gas importers can apply for compensation through the market area manager, Trading Hub Europe. They can claim 90 per cent of their actual additional procurement costs, but only for existing contracts. An auditor, or other inspectors specified in the ordinance, will have to test the validity of their claim. The Federal Network Agency will supervise the process as an independent authority.

To fund the compensation, the costs can be distributed across many shoulders through the netted price adjustment, i.e. a kind of surcharge. This will also prevent a portion of gas customers – namely those being indirectly supplied by gas importers with high costs incurred from purchasing gas from other suppliers – from having to bear unsustainable price increases and distortions of competition occurring in the industry.
Trading Hub Europe will calculate the exact amount of the temporary surcharge. It will be disclosed on 15 August.

Specific issues that cannot be conclusively clarified in the course of interministerial coordination and the consultation of Parliament will be further examined independent to the entry into force of the ordinance.
A detailed list of FAQs on the ordinance can be found here.