Responsibility and Task Delimitation
With entry into force of the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) on 13 July 2005, the Bundesnetzagentur and the respective regulatory authorities at state level (Landesregulierungsbehörden) took up their regulatory activity in the field of energy and gas supply.
The Bundesnetzagentur performs tasks and executes powers which under the EnWG have not been assigned to the regulatory authorities of the German Länder. The regulatory authorities of the German Länder are responsible for regulating power supply companies with fewer than 100,000 customers connected to their electricity or gas networks und whose grids do not extend beyond a federal state's borders.
It is the Bundesnetzagentur's central task to create the prerequisites for functioning competition on the upstream and downstream markets by unbundling and regulating the power and gas supply grids. The regulatory task of the Bundesnetzagentur covers ensuring non-discriminatory network access and the control of the network usage rates levied by the power supply companies. The Bundesnetzagentur's range of tasks also includes the supervision of anti-competitive practices and the monitoring of the regulations concerning the unbundling of network areas and the system responsibility of the supply network operators.
An examination of end customer prices does not fall into the Bundesnetzagentur's sphere of responsibility. Objections to excessive rates for end customers will continue to be dealt with by the federal states or by the civil courts. The Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) is responsible for verification in the case of the energy prices levied by energy suppliers operating on a nationwide basis.