Stuttgart. The Federal Court of Justice decided against ENBW Regional yesterday in a case brought by Bayerischer Maschinenring, determining that a network operator has to demonstrate that tariffs for the use of its network are reasonable, as set out in § 315 of the German Civil Code. The judgment against EnBW Regional merely relates to the legal obligation to provide evidence and in no way represents a judgment about the level of EnBW Regional’s network tariffs. The company is still among the cheapest network operators in Germany in a low voltage structural sector comparison.
EnBW Regional AG will now prove that its network tariffs from 2002 to 2004 were reasonable to the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court. The association agreement between energy producers and industrial consumers II plus provided the basis for the costing of the network tariffs.
Yesterday’s Federal Court of Justice judgement is irrelevant to the future because network tariffs will now be audited and approved by the Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway. EnBW has repeatedly emphasised in the past that it would like to operate transparently viv-a-vis the Federal Netwrtok Agency and other appropriate public authorities, even though they wish to disclose costings. Public disclosure for everyone – and thus for every competitor too – is in contrast the end and not the beginning of competition. This is also true for the network sector where incentive regulations with competitive provisions – propagated by EnBW – are becoming increasingly important.
In EnBW’s view competition in the energy industry should be encouraged. For this reason EnBW has always been a committed promoter of more competition in the energy industry. With the EnBW incentive regulations model, the essential foundations could be laid in law that now represent the basis for the regulator’s forthcoming work.