In April 2015, Mr F.’s system operator sent him a € 900 bill for an increase in his system provision charge, equivalent to an increase in his connected capacity from 4 kW to 7 kW. Mr F. contacted the operator and was informed that he had exceeded the 9,000 kWh consumption threshold in 2011 and therefore had to retroactively purchase the corresponding flat-rated capacity. The system operator pointed to provisions in the general terms and conditions for the distribution network in the grid area. They stated that the connected capacity was to be increased from 4 kW to 7 kW if someone consumed more than 9,000 kWh during a single year. Mr F. contacted our dispute settlement service, which in a first step could only confirm what the system operator had said about the retroactive charge. However, we asked the system operator to send us Mr F.’s consumption data so we could see when exactly the excess use had taken place. This data in turn confirmed what Mr F. had stated, i.e. that he had breached the 9,000 kWh threshold in June 2011. With this information, we could remind the system operator of the three-year cut-off point for retroactive charges. The system operator then cancelled the bill and provided Mr F. with the increased connection capacity free of charge.
Good to know: the system provision charge is a charge that compensates the operator for the investments it had to previously make at grid levels above the connection level. Household consumers are usually billed a flat-rate that corresponds to their consumption band. For instance, if you consume up to 9,000 kWh electricity a year, your connection must be 4 kW; for consumptions between 9,000 kWh and 15,000 kWh a 7 kW connection is needed and beyond that, 10 kW connection capacity.