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Efficiency comparison throughout Germany
In 2016, the German government decided to implement some changes to the incentive regulation. These changes were intended to make allowances for new challenges faced by Distribution System Operators during the energy transition and, in particular, to provide an upgraded regulatory framework within which the network operators could implement intensive investments in order to retrofit and expand their grids; the framework would also, for example, facilitate the development of smart grids.
Stromnetz Berlin (SNB) has received an outstanding rating in the recent nationwide efficiency comparison of Distribution System Operators. The Federal Network Agency attested not only to an efficiency value of 100% on the part of the Berlin-based Distribution System Operator, but to the highest possible "super efficiency" rating of 105%. This means that the Federal Network Agency's cost audit resulted in Stromnetz Berlin being granted an additional efficiency bonus of around EUR 3 million per year for the current regulatory period (2019-2023). This rewards efficiency efforts that have already been made.
SNB's grid usage fees are, in fact, especially low by German standards. At 3,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) of annual consumption, a typical household customer in Berlin pays only 5.87 cents/kWh, while the average rate in Germany as a whole is approximately 7.27 cents/kWh (source: BDEW, Strompreisanalyse 2018 [German Association of Energy and Water Industries, Electricity Cost Analysis 2018]).
This 'super efficiency' is the result of the nationwide efficiency comparison for the third regulatory period (2019-2023). The efficiency bonus will only be distributed to network operators that have managed to reduce their costs beyond the level of mere efficiency through innovative approaches. This gives these companies an incentive to continue working on innovative, cost-effective solutions. Another result of the falling costs is that end customers benefit in the form of declining grid fees.