BBH takes case to the ECJ on behalf of the German industry

On 06/10/2021, the European General Court (EGC) ruled that the full exemption from grid charges for large electricity consumers pursuant to sec. 19 subs. 2 Electricity Grid Charges Ordinance (Stromnetzentgeltverordnung – StromNEV) in the years 2012 and 2013 constitutes State aid incompatible with EU law – and thus confirmed the European Commission’s stance in that regard. Today, the law firm Becker Büttner Held (BBH) filed an appeal against this decision before the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

As certain industrial companies have a continuous electricity consumption pattern, they are granted cost relief in the form of individual grid charges. On 28/05/2018, the European Commission (Commission Decision C(2018)3166) decided that the full exemption of electricity-intensive companies from paying grid charges in the years 2012 and 2013 was, however, incompatible with EU State aid law. On 06/10/2021, the EGC confirmed this decision.

On behalf of its clients, BBH has now filed an appeal before the highest European court. “We don’t find the EGC’s arguments very convincing and we are of the opinion that the court misjudged the content and scope of the German energy law in regard to essential points. The exemptions from grid charges simply do not constitute State aid”, say the BBH experts lawyer Dr. Thies Christian Hartmann, lawyer Dr. Markus Kachel and lawyer Dr. Dörte Fouquet, who represented the clients in the court proceedings.

Becker Büttner Held is a leading provider of advisory services for energy and infrastructure companies and their customers. Energy and supply companies, particularly public utilities, municipalities and local authorities, industrial companies and international groups are among its core clients. BBH advises these and many other companies and organisations in all legal matters and also assists them with business and strategic advice.

Prof. Dr. Ines Zenke                                                  
Lawyer (Rechtsanwältin), Partner
Phone +49 (0)30 611 28 40 - 179                                                             

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