Elering changes principles for network charges for key electricity customers, average charge remains unchanged
From 1 January 2024, Elering will introduce new price plans for electricity transmission services, which aim to offer customers, including storage devices, a more flexible price model and to distribute the costs of maintaining the transmission network more fairly between different customer groups.
The changes were approved by the Competition Authority on 28 September. The allowed revenue and the average network charge for the transmission service agreed with the Authority remain unchanged. Only the electricity consumed from the grid will be charged, while supplying energy to the grid will continue to be free of charge. The change will affect key customers connected to Elering’s transmission network, i.e. about 30 companies, mainly electricity distribution networks and a few large electricity consumers.
While Elering has so far collected the money needed to maintain and develop the electricity transmission network in the form of energy-based transmission fees, from the new year onwards customers will have the choice between a fully fixed plan or a partially fixed charge plan.
“The energy system is changing rapidly. The share of distributed generation and renewable energy is increasing gradually, and as a result, the electricity transmission network is becoming a security of supply provider. The structure of network charges needs to keep pace with change. The price plans must offer customers the opportunity to choose the most suitable solution for their business, while ensuring that the electricity system as a whole operates safely and securely at all times,” explained Kalle Kilk, the CEO of Elering.
“The change will also reduce inequality, i.e. eliminate the situation where customers who use the transmission network on a regular basis pay the network connection costs for customers who only use the transmission network for a few hours as a back-up and contribute modestly to the maintenance of the network. On the other hand, the new charge structure will allow large storage devices, such as battery banks and hydro accumulation stations, to enter the market, where the same amount of energy moves through the grid twice and for which the current energy-based charge is therefore not commercially appropriate,” Kilk explained.
Elering’s customers can optimise the use of their connection capacities, i.e. give up capacities that are not actually used. In this way, the freed-up capacity could be redirected to new connectees, or the costs of maintaining and upgrading the network could be saved in places where the freed-up capacity would not be used in the future.
The new transmission charges are the same all year round. Current charges are higher in winter than in summer. The new price plans are available at Elering’s website.
Elering has been preparing the structural change of the transmission charges since 2018 and several public consultations with market participants have taken place. The last public consultation carried out by the competition authority ended in mid-August.