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Relief for district heating customers

Customers of STEAG Fernwärme GmbH, STEAG Fernwärme Essen GmbH & Co. KG and Fernwärmeversorgung Gelsenkirchen are to receive a one-off payment under the Natural Gas and Heating Emergency Assistance Act

Essen/Bottrop/Gelsenkirchen. A few days ago, the two houses of the German parliament passed the Natural Gas and Heating Emergency Assistance Act (EWSG). The Act also includes provisions on the so-called electricity and gas price brake. As those provisions also apply to district heating, customers of STEAG Fernwärme, STEAG Fernwärme Essen and Fernwärmeversorgung Gelsenkirchen will also benefit from it.

Financial relief under the Natural Gas and Heating Emergency Assistance Act is provided from federal funds and paid directly by the district heating suppliers. The aid is intended to compensate consumers for increased energy costs and will bridge the period until the introduction in spring 2023 of the “gas and heating price brake” announced by the German government. All eligible customers will receive a one-off bank transfer from their district heating supplier by December 31, 2022. The district heating suppliers will use the bank details stored in the customer data they hold.

“In the few cases where the customer data does not contain banking information, we are already writing to the customers concerned and asking them to provide their account details,” says Michael Zimmermann, who heads the heating billing department at STEAG Fernwärme.

It is important to note that the one-off payment will not be offset against the instalment due for December 2022. In other words, customers must pay the full amount of the December instalment. The one-off payment also has no effect on the amount of the heating account for the year as a whole. However, it will be shown as a separate item on that account.

Who gets the one-time payment?
Customers whose annual consumption does not exceed 1.5 gigawatt hours or 5,400 gigajoules receive a payment. Furthermore, the entitlement extends to landlords whose supply connection is used to bill the heat consumption of several households, and tenants whose heat consumption is billed exclusively via a supply point assigned to them, and to homeowners’ collectives. Other customer groups entitled to a relief payment are listed in the Natural Gas and Heating Relief Act (Section 4, para. 1).

How much is the payment?
The amount of the one-off payment is calculated for all customers on the basis of a uniform system. However, since individual factors such as the relevant consumption and the amount of the instalments paid also play a role, the amount of the relief payment is not the same for all recipients. “There is, then, no single lump sum for all our customers. We have posted a sample calculation on our website for a better understanding of how the payment is calculated,” says Michael Zimmermann.

All the relevant information on the subject of the relief payment is also available on the website Due to the extraordinarily high workload currently involved in preparing the relief payment, Michael Zimmermann asks customers to bear with him and accept that individual telephone enquiries cannot currently be answered as promptly as usual: “All the available employees are currently working flat out to ensure that the money the federal government has made available to ease people’s financial burdens will now actually reach them by the end of December. That is an absolute priority now.”

Please submit customer enquiries by e-mail
In the light of that situation, as Michael Zimmermann says, it is urgently requested that any enquiries be directed to the district heating suppliers by e-mail. The e-mail address is available for that purpose: “We will answer all enquiries as soon as payment of the relief amount has been organized for all our customers,” Michael Zimmermann promises, and appeals for understanding in the current exceptional situation.