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Controllable consumer appliances

From 2024, obtaining a connection for controllable consumer appliances such as heat pumps, wall boxes and battery storage will be simplified and accelerated – with operators also benefiting from reduced network charges. In return, these appliances must also allow the temporary limitation of their performance during peak hours – that is, they must be controllable. When needed, distribution system operators will be given the option to remotely control newly installed appliances in order to ensure the stability of the system.

As per the specifications made by the Federal Network Agency under Section 14a of the German Energy Industry Law (Energiewirtschaftsgesetz - EnWG), from 01.01.2024, all new controllable consumer appliances must be subject to an agreement on control to the benefit of grid operation. To this end, the operator is obliged to have their electrician report the piece of equipment as a 14a appliance via our customer portal.

controllable consumption device heat pump

Strengthening network reliability

To reach climate goals, in the next few years, a large number of heat pumps and charging facilities for electric vehicles and battery storage will need to be installed. This is a positive development, but a challenge for the electrical grid: on the one hand, these types of high-power appliances place a greater burden on the grid than most other household appliances. On the other, many of them often come online at the same time – say, in the evening, when many electric cars are charged simultaneously. Both these factors lead to bottlenecks and can cause critical situations in the distribution system.

In the future, these powerful appliances will need to be connected to the distribution system without a long wait period; at the same time, security of supply must be ensured when incorporating the equipment in the grid.

Good to know!

At times when control is exerted, appliances will always be able to draw on a minimum of 4.2 kW of power, meaning that heat pumps can continue to be operated and electric cars charged, as long as the equipment is technically capable of doing so.

Normal household consumption is never affected by this.

For this reason, the Federal Network Agency has adopted a new regulation on integrating controllable consumer appliances and controllable network connections as per Section 14a EnWG.

This is intended to simplify and accelerate grid connection for these appliances – with operators also benefiting from reduced network charges. In return, these appliances must also allow the temporary limitation of their performance during peak hours – that is, they must be controllable.

What are controllable consumer appliances?

Controllable consumer appliances are the following, with electrical capacity over 4.2 kW that are supplied from the low voltage:

  • heat pumps, including auxiliary heaters / elements
  • publicly inaccessible (private) charging stations for electric vehicles
  • air conditioners for cooling internal spaces
  • storage systems that draw on power.
Charging a car with wallbox

Start of the new regulation

The Federal Network Agency's new regulation on integrating controllable consumer appliances and controllable network connections as per Section 14a EnWG. (Ref.: BK6-22-300) and on reducing charges (Ref.: BK8-22/010-A) come into force on 01.01.2024.

Important: we are well prepared to implement the new regulation and are working hard to take all the steps needed to ensure a smooth transition.

Deadlines for the transition of existing appliances

Appliances commissioned from 01.01.2024 fall under the new regulation. Existing appliances connected before this date are subject to the following transitional arrangements.

Existing appliances controllable by the network operator

Up to 31 December 2028, existing agreements continue to apply to appliances for which a reduction of network charges has already been granted by the network operator. After this transitional phase, the new regulations will also apply to these appliances. The previous regulations continue to apply in perpetuity to storage heaters.

Existing appliances not controllable by the network operator

Existing appliances without an agreement on control by the network operator remain permanently exempted from the new rules. There is, however, the option to voluntarily draw up an agreement with the network operator allowing it to exert control for the better performance of the grid. No change is possible for storage heaters.

Options for reduced grid fees

In return for the network operator gaining the ability to control devices for the better performance of the grid, operators will benefit from reduced grid fees. As there may be great differences between households in terms of their connection and consumption, the Federal Network Agency has set out different options for the fee reduction. Operators of controllable consumer appliances must choose between the following modules:

  • With Module 1, 14a customers receive a flat-rate grid fee reduction.
  • Alternatively, with Module 2, you can choose a percentage fee reduction on each kilowatt-hour drawn by the controllable consumer appliance. A separate meter is required for this option.
  • If desired, it will be possible from 01.01.2025 to combine Module 1 with Module 3, an incentive module with time-variable grid fees.

Operators can switch between the modules as desired. On basic and temporary supply, network charge reductions are only possible as per Module 1.

The Modules compared

The grid fees reduction is set out separately on the supplier invoice and may not be higher than the actual grid fee.

 Modul 1Modul 2Modul 3
Valid from01.01.2024 for customers with and without registered power measurement01.01.2024 for customers without registered power measurement01.04.2025 for customers without registered power measurement
Reducing grid feesFlat-rate reductionReduction of the grid fee working price by 60%Time-variable grid fees
Measurement setup

Joint consumption measurement

Separate consumption measurement is possible.

Separate metering is necessary.

Joint consumption measurement

Separate consumption measurement is possible.

Frequently asked questions about controllable consumer appliances

General

What are controllable consumer appliances?

Controllable consumer appliances under Section 14a EnWG are the following equipment having a reference power of more than 4.2 kW and with a direct or indirect connection to the low-voltage grid:

  • a publicly inaccessible (private) charging point for electric vehicles (Section 2 No. 5 of the Charging Point Regulation (Ladesäulenverordnung – LSV),
  • a heat pump including auxiliary or emergency heating equipment (e.g. heating elements),
  • an interior cooling system, or
  • battery storage that draws on power.

 If several appliances are operated in the heat pumps and interior cooling systems category, what is important is whether the total connected load for all of them adds up to more than 4.2 kW per case group. In this case, the grouped appliances are treated as a single appliance and must also be reported as such as per Section 14a EnWG.

From when does the new regulation apply?

The Federal Network Agency's new regulations on integrating controllable consumer appliances and controllable network connections as per Section 14a EnWG. (Ref.: Decision BK6-22-300) and on reducing charges (Ref.: Decision BK8-22/010-A) come into force on 01.01.2024.

Am I affected by the new regulation?

The regulation under Section 14a EnWG is obligatory for all operators of controllable consumer appliances commissioned after 01.01.2024. For already existing appliances with an agreement in place under Section 14a EnWG, the transitional arrangements apply. Initially, the current agreements apply unamended up to 31.12.2028. Subsequently, controllable consumer appliances will be transferred to the new regime (with the exception of storage heaters).

Existing appliances without such an agreement are permanently exempted. This means that if you started operating a non-controllable heat pump, charging facility or battery storage before 01.01.2024, everything stays the same for you. You don’t need to do anything. There is an option to join the new system voluntarily.

I am planning to commission a controllable consumer appliance after 01.01.2024. What rights and obligations do I have? How do I report it?

As the operator of a controllable consumer appliance, you are entitled to reduced network charges. Here, you can choose between two modules:

Module 1: flat-rate reduction, or

Module 2: percentage reduction of the unit cost for the controllable consumer appliance.

To qualify for grid fee reductions, the controllable consumer appliance must be reported via our customer portal by an electrician registered in our directory. The controllable consumer appliance must fulfil all the technical conditions of connection (Technische Anschlussbedingungen - TAB), and the explanatory notes to the TAB. Please talk to your electrician in this regard.

Do the rules also apply to normal household consumption?

No. The rules only apply to controllable consumer appliances such as heat pumps or private electric vehicle charging points (wallboxes). Interventions in normal household consumption are neither possible nor permitted.

How do I calculate the minimum supply capacity?

The information in Annex 1 to Decision BK6-22-300 of 27.11.2023 of the Federal Network Agency must be observed when determining the minimum supply capacity for controllable consumption facilities in accordance with Section 14a EnWG.

Direct control (in accordance with Section 4.5.1 of Annex 1 to Decision BK6-22-300 of 27.11.2023)

  • Charging facilities for electric mobility with a connected load > 4.2 kW: 4.2 kW
  • Heat pumps / air conditioning systems with a connected load > 4.2 kW and ≤ 11 kW: 4.2 kW
  • Heat pumps / air conditioning systems with a connected load > 11 kW: Connected load x 0.4

Control via EMS (in accordance with section 4.5.2 of Annex 1 to resolution BK6-22-300 dated 27.11.2023)

Charging facilities for electromobility, heat pumps and air conditioning systems

Pmin = 4.2 kW + (nsteuVE - 1) x GZF x 4.2 kW

Simultaneity factors (Gleichzeitigkeitsfaktor - GZF):

nsteuVE2345678≥9
GZF0.80.750.70.650.60.550.50.45

Heat pumps and air conditioning systems with a respective total connected load > 11 kW

Pmin = Max(0.4 x PSumme WP; 0.4 x PSumme Klima) + (nsteuVE - 1) x 4.2 kW

Notes

Mathematical aggregation of systems (in accordance with section 2.4.2 of Annex 1 to resolution BK6-22-300 of 27.11.2023):

If there are several systems in the heat pump heating and air conditioning category, the decisive factor is whether the sum of the grid connection capacities of all systems exceeds a total of 4.2 kW per case group. In this case, these grouped systems are treated as one controllable consumption device.

PSumme WP
Sum of the grid-connected loads of the heat pumps (in accordance with 2.4.1.b. if applicable in conjunction with 2.4.2. [mathematical grouping of systems])

PSumme Klima
Sum of the grid-connected loads of the air conditioning systems (in accordance with 2.4.1.c., if applicable in conjunction with 2.4.2. [mathematical summary of systems])

nsteuVE
Number of all controllable consumption devices that are controlled in accordance with section 4.4.b.

Grid fees

What are the options for reduced grid fees?

As a customer, you can choose between two modules:

  • Module 1 – flat-rate reduction: you receive a flat-rate reduction of your network charges each year. The amount of the flat-rate reduction can be found in our current price list, on the page fees.
    For this module, you do not need a separate meter.
  • Module 2 – percentage reduction of the unit cost (separate meter needed): in this module, you receive a 60 % reduction in the unit cost for the electricity used by the controllable consumer appliance (= network charge). As the unit cost reduction only applies to the controllable consumer appliance, you are required to install a second meter. The second meter can be requested when you report the controllable consumer appliance via the customer portal. Please note that you may incur additional costs on top of those for the installation of the new meter (e.g. alteration of the meter cabinet). This module can be combined with the tax exemption for electricity used in heating (CHP and offshore contribution, exemption from contributions as per the Energy Funding Act (Energiefinanzierungsgesetz - EnFG)) and could thus in many cases be particularly suitable for heat pumps.
  • Module 3 (to be introduced in future): from 2025, time-variable network charges will be offered. We will set various price levels within the day, reflecting the typical load on the grid. Connected consumers should, in this way, be incentivised by lower charges to move consumption to times of day when the load on the grid is low. From 2025, Module 3 will only be selectable as a supplementary module to Module 1; no combination with Module 2 is currently planned.

How is the flat-rate reduction worked out in Module 1?

The flat-rate reduction of the network charges in Module 1 is calculated as follows:

compensation for the additional costs of intelligent metering systems as per the Metering Operation Act (Messstellenbetriebsgesetz - MsbG), currently 50 euros

+ compensation for the additional costs of the control box as per the MsbG, currently 30 euros

+ individual, operator-dependent “stability bonus” (resulting from the unit cost of the network charge per kWh on the relevant updated price sheet, the consumption of an average controllable consumer appliance of 3,750 kWh/a and a “stability factor” of 0.2

unit cost x 3,750 kWh x stability factor 0.2)

Where can I choose the right Module for me?

You can choose the Module you want on the customer portal when you report the controllable consumer appliance as a 14a appliance.

If you do not select a Module, you will automatically be assigned Module 1.

Do I need a second meter?

A second meter is only needed if you opt for Module 2.

If you choose Module 1 (flat-rate reduction in network charges), you do not need a second meter. The flat-rate reduction is independent of your consumption. However, the appliance needs to be set up by the installer in such a way that it fulfils the technical conditions of connection (TAB), and the explanatory notes to the TAB. You can find information on our page installer documentation.

How are the reduced network charges billed?

The reduced network charges will be billed by your electricity supplier. Your electricity supplier is obliged to indicate the network charge reduction clearly on your consumer invoice. No new billing relationship will be set up between connected consumers and ourselves.

Is it possible to choose Module 1 (flat-rate reduction with percentage reduction of unit cost) if I have another meter in addition to my household meter?

Yes, even then you can still choose Module 1. The flat-rate reduction is calculated in this case for each market location.

Is it possible to choose Module 2 (percentage reduction in unit price) if I only have one household meter?

No, for Module 2 separate metering is required. The reduction in the unit price (network charge) is calculated for the electricity drawn by the controllable consumer appliance.

Technical requirements and reducing power use (control)

What technical requirements applied to a 14a connection set up before 31.12.2023?

Appliances that started operation before 31.12.2023 and are subject to an agreement under the version of Section 14a EnWG then in force must continue to have a separate meter and comply with the minimum technical requirements. The electrical supply to such facilities is interrupted at agreed times. Up to 31.12.2028, the agreements drawn up apply unamended.

What technical requirements must a network user fulfil for new controllable consumer appliances in order to benefit from reduced network charges from 01.01.2024?

The controllable consumer appliance must fulfil the technical conditions of connection (TAB), and the explanatory notes to the TAB. You can find information on the minimum technical requirements to be fulfilled on our page installer documentation. Please refer to the information in TAB NS Nord 2019, explanation Berlin, Section 8.1. In this regard, please talk to your electrician.

Can Stromnetz Berlin simply switch off appliances controlled under Section 14a EnWG?

No. The regulations on controllable consumer appliances stipulate that every controllable consumer appliance has a right to draw a minimum amount of power, as far as technically possible for the appliance in question. As a rule, this is 4.2 kW. The connected consumer will usually never notice any intervention, as the basic level of power is guaranteed. Heat pumps can continue to run and electric vehicles can still charge, as a rule allowing a journey of 50 kilometres after 2 hours. Normal household consumption is also completely unaffected by this.

Will Stromnetz Berlin control new controllable consumer appliances from 01.01.2024?

Under the regulations of the Federal Network Agency, we will receive the right to limit the power drawn by controllable consumer appliances as needed. As a customer, you have the right to a minimum of 4.2 kW, to the extent that your appliances can implement this.

  • With several appliances using a single grid connection, a simultaneity factor is used.
  • For heat pumps and air conditioning units over 11 kW, a higher minimum power is stipulated, dependent on the connected load.

What simultaneity factors are used to calculate the minimum power for several controllable consumer appliances located on a single grid connection?

The specifications on the use of simultaneity factors can be found in the Federal Network Agency's specifications on implementing control over controllable consumer appliances to the benefit of the grid under Section 14a EnWG, No. 4.5.2 (Annex 1 to decision BK6-22-300 of 27.11.2023).

Transition deadlines and regulations for existing appliances

What transitional periods apply to existing appliances with a 14a agreement in place?

For existing appliances with a 14a agreement in place (appliances for which operators already received a network charge reduction before 31.12.2023), the transitional period will run to 31.12.2028. Until then, the previous regulations continue to apply and the network charge reduction will be frozen at its percentage level in 2023. From 31.12.2028, these appliances will be transferred to the new regulations. Storage heaters are exempted from this; they continue to operate under the existing regime. You can find out if your appliance is subject to an existing agreement in your electricity supply contract.

Will anything change for me as a customer whose appliance has a 14a agreement in place on 01.01.2024?

No, not for the time being. If your appliance was commissioned before 31.12.2023 and you have already signed a 14a agreement, until 31.12.2028 you have the right to receive network charge reductions in accordance with your preceding agreement. If your existing 14a appliance is a storage heater, the previous regulations apply in perpetuity. The network charge reduction will be frozen at its percentage level in 2023. You can switch to Module 1 or 2 at your own discretion.

What transitional periods apply to existing appliances without a 14a agreement in place?

Existing appliances without a 14a agreement are exempted from mandatory participation but can voluntarily join the new 14a regulatory system. Here, please note that the new technical requirements for the appliance must be fulfilled and there may be additional costs if the operator needs to convert the appliance.

I have a heat pump commissioned before 01.01.2024. Is it cheaper for me to continue to run it as before?

All heating systems commissioned before 01.01.2024, subject to an existing 14a agreement and with a control unit, are considered “existing appliances”. They continue to benefit from reduced network charges. Naturally, if your appliance is a controllable consumer appliance (see above) and you fulfil the new technical conditions of connection, you can switch to the new regulatory regime.

We cannot decide for you whether to make the switch. Please ask the electrician of your choice what costs the switch will involve for you. A registered electrician will be able to advise you.

I already have a heat pump/wall box but it isn’t controllable. What do I need to do to benefit from the new regulations?

The controllable consumer appliance must fulfil the technical conditions of connection (TAB), and the explanatory notes to the TAB. You can find information on the minimum technical requirements to be fulfilled on our page installer documentation. Here, please note that any additional costs arising for the conversion of the appliance will need to be borne by the operator. Please contact a registered electrician. They will help you to determine the measures required here.