Energy prices: too high, too complex, too regulated?

The pricing challenge: While consumers would like their energy to be priced fairly and reasonably, suppliers are regularly faced with the task of adequately taking into account the complex cost structures and surcharge mechanisms in their calculation. More than 15,000 rules and regulations relevant to the energy industry do not make this task any easier.

According to the special report on the implementation of the energy transition recently published by the Federal Audit Office (Bundesrechnungshof), the energy transition poses the threat of asking too much of households and companies in financial terms. Secure and affordable electricity supply is increasingly under threat. The Federal Audit Office recommends a fundamental reform of the system of state-imposed (sur-)charges. It is true that the major share of the electricity price is subject to state regulation or directly imposed by the state. In this context, the number of approx. 15,000 rules and regulations relevant to the energy industry is steadily increasing – take, for example, the Fuel Emissions Trading Act (Brennstoffemissionshandelsgesetz – BEHG) that entered into force at the beginning of this year. In parallel, the market mechanisms are undergoing fundamental changes due to the key issues of expanding renewable energy sources, phasing out nuclear power, the digital transformation and the implementation of hydrogen. Pricing in the energy industry has thus become a highly complex task.

How complex a task it is can be gathered from the practical handbook of BBH partners Prof. Dr. Ines Zenke, Stefan Wollschläger and Dr. Jost Eder. The second edition has just been published by de Gruyter under the title “Energiepreise” (energy prices). The team of authors, who are dealing with this topic on a daily basis as legal advisors, have explored all aspects of pricing in the energy industry. The handbook is a valuable companion for everyone who is concerned with the topic of prices in the utility sector.

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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