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Decentralisation refers to the division of grid operations as a "natural monopoly" in the competitive areas of energy generation, trade and sales. This is also known as unbundling. Decentralisation should promote transparency and guarantee network operations that are free from discrimination, to produce the same competition terms for all market stakeholders. The decentralisation regulations are set out in the Energy Industry Act (EnWG).
Stromnetz Berlin GmbH is an independent distribution system operator. As a full subsidiary of Vattenfall GmbH, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH makes Berlin's electricity grid available to all users to the same degree, without discrimination. The former distribution system operator Vattenfall Europe Distribution Berlin GmbH was renamed Stromnetz Berlin GmbH in April 2013, with an entry in the Commercial Registry. The new name and the new logo have been used since that date in internal and external communication and guarantee that Berlin's distribution system operator can be identified unequivocally.