After the amendment to the heating costs ordinance stalled, the plenary session of the Federal Council in its 1010th meeting on November gave its approval under certain conditions (ZfK reported).
New requirements and market opening
With the amended Heating Costs Ordinance (HKV), the requirements of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive are implemented in national law. This includes, in particular, the remote readability of consumption recording devices, provision of consumption information during the year, further billing information (e.g. for the fuel mix) and benchmarking for tenants (e.g. individual heating energy consumption compared to average users).
What is still open in regulatory terms?
The Federal Council has only approved the amendment to the HKV with reservation: After three years, an evaluation must be carried out to determine whether tenants will be charged with additional costs as a result of the amendment. The Federal Council is thinking on the one hand of higher measurement costs due to the now more complex technology – and on the other hand of the (possible) allocation of CO2-Costs on tenants that the amendment brought to a halt before the Bundestag election (ZfK reported).
Furthermore, the Federal Council has passed a resolution calling on the federal government to provide evidence of how costs for tenants can be saved through joint measuring systems for electricity, gas and water. It will be exciting to see how the federal government will provide this evidence.
New challenges – but also opportunities for municipal utilities and metering service providers
The amendment to the HKV gives rise to various challenges: The inventory of devices – if they cannot yet be read remotely – has to be replaced by meters that can be read remotely by 2026. In addition, the IT for remote reading must be set up and the more extensive billing and benchmarking processes must be implemented.
On the other hand, the remote reading and digitization that is now required also offers considerable opportunities for opening up a new market by bundling metering and submetering. Building on this, other attractive value-added services can then be offered for the real estate industry (e.g. tenant electricity, charging station infrastructure, vacancy management).
Cooperations where limits are reached
Where smaller municipal utilities and metering service providers in particular come up against their procedural and technical limits, cooperations are also conceivable: Municipal utility companies can use the smart meter gateway and the underlying IT infrastructure for remote reading, metering service providers their high level of expertise in the area of ancillary and operating cost accounting as well as good existing contacts at the relevant interface in the housing industry.
But PropTechs, agile start-ups who are committed to digitizing the housing industry, can also offer themselves as competent cooperation partners.
Many EVUs, measurement service providers and PropTechs are already developing solutions. It is now important to make strategic decisions quickly in order to enter the newly structured market.