FAQs


Do you still have questions about the natural gas conversion? We have listed the most frequent questions and answers for you.

We will add each new question to this list. Was your question not there or wasn’t it answered to your satisfaction? Then ask your question here by using our question form or contact our helpline (free): 0800 4398 444 (Mon – Fri, 7-20 hours and Sat, 8-16 hours).

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Background

The natural gas grid in Germany basically supplies either L gas or H gas. Due to the declining production of L gas with a low calorific value in the Netherlands, the natural gas grid in Germany is being gradually converted to H gas with a higher calorific value. This gas comes mainly from Norwegian and Russian sources. Conversion of the natural gas grid is also known as market area conversion (MRU) and will take place progressively until 2030.

Inspection of the first natural gas appliances in the area covered by the Rheinische NETZGesellschaft mbH (RNG) grid will begin in the 2nd quarter of 2018 – and conversion will continue gradually area by area until the year 2030. Please search here for a map of the conversion districts and conversion periods.

Change is necessary because of the diminishing yields from L gas extraction in the Netherlands. The natural gas conversion is necessary in order to ensure that Germany continues to be supplied with natural gas in the long term. The natural gas conversion or market area conversion is required by law and is governed by § 19a Energy Industry Act. The only body authorised by law to implement the natural gas conversion is the local distribution grid operator.

Under § 19a Energy Industry Act, only the local distribution grid operator has the proper authority to deliver the natural gas conversion. In the Rhineland region, this is Rheinische NETZGesellschaft mbH (RNG). This company, operating under its ErdgasUmstellung brand, is responsible for the safe processing and organisation of the conversion.

The different types of gas differ in their chemical compositions, hence their different levels of energy. The energy content of gas is generally indicated by its calorific value, which is expressed in terms of kilowatt hours per cubic metre (kWh/m³). H stands for ‘high’ – the energy content of H gas is correspondingly higher than that of L gas (approx. 11.5 kWh/m³ to 10 kWh/m³).

Implementation / Technical questions

ErdgasUmstellung will give all households concerned early notice by letter of the period in which we will be operating in your town and carrying out the house visits. Please search here for a map of the conversion districts and conversion periods.

No. Basically, your natural gas supply is guaranteed at all times and no unannounced interruptions to the gas supply will happen. Your natural gas appliances will only need to be switched off during the conversion process. Please expect the conversion of conventional household appliances to take between 45 and 90 minutes.

Yes, as tenant or owner you are legally obliged to give the companies commissioned by ErdgasUmstellung, i.e. their technicians, access to your land or flat / house where the natural gas appliances requiring conversion are located.

Practically all natural gas heating systems already installed can be adapted to operate with the properties of the new type of gas. However, if your heating system is technically inadequate, unsafe to operate or can no longer be repaired, you may need to replace it with a new one.

Conversion takes place in three stages: In the first stage, we will inform all consumers concerned by letter about the forthcoming natural gas conversion. In the second stage, all the natural gas appliances in your household will be inspected. Up to two years after the inspection visit, an appointment will be made to carry out the technical adaptation of the natural gas system. In this third stage, your natural gas appliance will be converted to use H gas. For quality assurance purposes, we conduct a spot-check on every tenth natural gas appliance to ensure that the inspections and/or adaptations in the region have been properly carried out.

Close to the agreed conversion date, a meter reading will be taken. This will ensure that billing is accurate during the transitional phase.

Conversion to the new type of gas will ensure the safe and efficient supply of natural gas into the future.

No, you will keep your current natural gas meter. Close to the conversion date, all that is necessary is a meter reading.

The ErdgasUmstellung technicians have detected one or more faults in your natural gas appliance during their survey and have issued you with the corresponding warning label. The concern about your appliance stated on the label must be addressed within four weeks.
The warning label will help you to take the right action to eliminate the fault. The second side of the label names four different types of faults in a bullet point list. If the technician has marked one or more of the first three fault types, please inform ONLY an installer or contract installation company (CIC) to correct the fault. On the other hand, the chimney sweep is responsible for all structural concerns (faults listed under point 4).

Get the specialist operative or company to confirm successful fault correction on the reverse of the warning label and then send it to ErdgasUmstellung. See the warning label for the postal address to send it to. ErdgasUmstellung will pay the postage.

In that case, we will not be able to adapt your natural gas appliance for use with H gas. For safety reasons, we will be obliged to isolate your gas connection point.

The owner of the natural gas appliance is responsible for ensuring that it works perfectly, so the owner must pay for any fault correction. If you are not the owner of the natural gas appliance, please pass the warning label to the owner immediately (e.g. landlord or building administrator). Under the Energy Industry Act, ErdgasUmstellung is not authorised to carry out fault correction itself for reasons governed by competition law.

The trade and chimney sweep associations responsible for your region can help you find a contract installer. Authorised tradesmen and chimney sweeps can also be found in Yellow Pages.

We have to identify all appliances running on natural gas in all private households and companies within our grid area. As part of the survey, we gather the appliance data which will be relevant for the adaptation later. The survey includes the following action in particular:

  • Identification of the natural gas appliance and the CE/DE mark by way of the name plate
  • Photographing the natural gas system
  • Checking the meter number and recording the meter reading
  • Exhaust gas measurement during full and part load operation
  • Measurement of gas concentration level in room air
  • Assessment of the general state of the appliance and pipework
  • Fixing an inspection sticker to the natural gas appliance

If we detect faults during the survey, we will give you a warning label there and then. You will have to get an HVAC business of your choice to correct the faults named on it. This is for your own safety. The basic principle is that without a successful survey and adaptation, safe operation of your natural gas appliances with H gas cannot be guaranteed.

Cost

In your bill, natural gas will continue to be measured in terms of ‘energy quantity’ (ct/kWh). The kilowatt-hour rate will not change at all during adaptation.
The charge for the quantity of natural gas delivered (ct/m³) will rise to reflect the higher energy content of H gas. At the same time, however, you will consume less gas in all your natural gas appliances so that in total the cost of your natural gas supply will not change at all. Therefore, the ‘new’ gas will not be more expensive because of the conversion.

Please ask your supplier for the precise charge for the natural gas supplied to you.

Inspection and adaptation of the natural gas appliances, and any subsequent quality control by ErdgasUmstellung are free of charge to you. We only ask that you make time for the technician’s visits, in order to ensure that the conversion goes smoothly.

The costs will be absorbed into the grid usage charges, so that all users of natural gas in Germany will bear the same share of the costs on the solidarity principle.

No, in order to ensure the safe supply of natural gas, in the majority of natural gas appliances only the jets will need to be replaced and new supply pipes for this will not be needed in your flat / house. Any costs incurred through the conversion will be distributed throughout the country between all customers via the system charges – in accordance with the provisions of § 19a Energy Industry Act.

If you, as owner of a natural gas appliance, install a new natural gas appliance because of the natural gas conversion in your grid area and if it cannot be adapted in the conversion process, you will have a claim to reimbursement of the cost against the grid operator. Some new natural gas appliances will be among these but also systems operated with oil or district heating.

The claim to reimbursement comes to 100 euro for each new appliance.

The conditions are as follows:

  • The new appliance must have been installed after your written notification from your grid operator of the conversion and before adaptation of the existing natural gas consumer appliance to the new type of gas in the particular grid area.
  • The owner must be able to prove to the grid operator that the old appliance has been removed and the new appliance has been bought.
  • Gas supply grid operators must publish each technical conversion date two years previously on their internet pages and inform the affected customers of this in writing. This also includes reference to the claim to cost reimbursement for new appliances.
  • Please search here for the application form for reimbursement.

This countrywide cost apportionment, which is regulated by law, distributes the costs of effecting the conversion. Since 2017, natural gas grid operators have been receiving a standard cost apportionment from all natural gas customers. This sum is charged for the market area conversion and is additional to the system charges.

For this, please refer to your natural gas supplier.

For this, please refer to your natural gas supplier.

For this, please refer to your natural gas supplier.

For this, please refer to your natural gas supplier.

Safety

No, to ensure the safe supply of gas, most appliances will only need to have their gas jets replaced. There will be no differences in the everyday use of your appliances. There should be no smell of gas, but if there is, please open doors and windows and telephone Technical Support as soon as possible.

Formal questions

No. Natural gas appliances which at the user’s request are not adapted must be isolated from the grid by Rheinische NETZGesellschaft mbH (RNG). Continued use with wrong settings could otherwise create risks of damage to the appliance or its complete destruction and even put life and limb at risk.

For this, please refer to your natural gas supplier.

Natural gas conversion or market area conversion is required by law and is governed by § 19a Energy Industry Act [EnWG].

Other

Please contact ErdgasUmstellung. We recommend putting special questions on the conversion project straight to ErdgasUmstellung via their helpline on 0800 4398 444 (Mon – Fri, 07:00 to 20:00 hours and Sat, 08:00 to 16:00 hours) or by using our contact form.

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