Laws and background
All the details for conversion of the natural gas supply are set out in the Energy Industry Act [EnWG], which has assigned implementation of the conversion process to grid operators. Under §19a EnWG, each grid operator must carry out “the necessary technical adaptations to the grid connections, customer equipment and consumer appliances at the operator’s own expense”. You can find the complete text of the Act here.
Rights and duties
During the natural gas conversion period between 2018 and 2029, all natural gas appliances will need to be surveyed and technically adapted. For this, all natural gas customers and consumers (tenants and property owners) will need to give the technicians contracted by ErdgasUmstellung access to the sites and premises containing the appliances to be adapted.
We will give each natural gas customer three weeks’ notice in writing (by letter or public notice) of the visit for which such access will be needed. When visiting your premises, every ErdgasUmstellung employee will be able to identify himself by presenting his works identity card and a letter of authorisation and by quoting your personal identification number (PIN). You can find this PIN in our covering letters about the survey or adaptation visit. The right of access and duty to present identification are set out in §19a (4) EnWG.
Financial support under the Energy Industry Act [EnWG]
If you, as an owner of a natural gas appliance, install a new appliance during the market area conversion that does not need to be adapted to use H gas, you can claim a cost refund: under certain conditions you can claim €100 from Rheinische NETZGesellschaft mbH for each new appliance. Here, you can download the relevant refund application form plus explanations.
The conditions are:
- Installation of the new appliance takes place after publication of the technical conversion date by the grid operator and before adaptation of the existing consumer appliance to the new natural gas quality in the respective grid area. About two years beforehand, ErdgasUmstellung will send you a briefing letter showing your technical conversion date.
- The owner must demonstrate to the grid operator that the old appliance has been used properly and that the new appliance has been obtained.
Additional claims for reimbursement in accordance with the German Gas Appliance Reimbursement Regulation (Gasgerätekostenerstattungsverordnung, GasGKErstV)
If your old appliance is a gas appliance that cannot be adapted to H gas and is used to heat rooms (in other words, not a gas stove, for example), and you decide to purchase a new heating appliance, you are entitled to an additional reimbursement in accordance with the German Gas Appliance Reimbursement Regulation (Gasgerätekostenerstattungsverordnung, GasGKErstV).
You can claim this additional reimbursement as the owner of the appliance if you meet the requirements for the reimbursement claim set out in Section 19a(3) sentence 1 of the German Energy Industry Act (Energiewirtschaftsgesetz, EnWG).
The amount you can claim for depends on the age of the old appliance on the date on which the technical conversion is scheduled:
- €500 for appliances that are less than 10 years old
- €250 for appliances that are more than 10 years old, but less than 20 years old
- €100 for appliances that are more than 20 years old, but less than 25 years old
You cannot submit a reimbursement claim for appliances that are more than 25 years old.
Please use the application form to claim your reimbursement.
You can find more information on this in our FAQs and on the website of the Federal Grid Agency. We are also happy to answer your questions on our free helpline on 0800 4698 444 (Mon – Fri, 07:00 to 20:00 hours and Sat, 08:00 to 16:00 hours) or by e-mail – email@example.com.
The federal authority has laid down the details of the market area conversion in §19a Energy Industry Act. As the competent regulatory body, the Federal Grid Agency oversees implementation of the statutory provisions. As a German federal authority with its head offices in Bonn, it comes within the remit of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy [Bundeswirtschaftsministerium]. During the conversion process, the Federal Grid Agency ensures that the process proceeds transparently and acts as an important link and source of information between all the parties involved in the market area conversion.
Bundesnetzagentur für Elektrizität, Telekommunikation, Post und Eisenbahnen [BNetzA] (Federal Grid Agency for Electricity, Telecommunications, Postal Services and Railways)
Tel: 0228 / 14-0