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    District heating supplier FVS reduces its carbon footprint

    Phase-out of coal improves emissions balance and requires adjustment of the tariff system

    Saarbrücken. STEAG and Fernwärme-Verbund Saar (FVS) are making further progress with the energy transition. As the district heating supply in the Saar region is to do without energy from hard coal in future, the system, which already plays a part in conserving resources, will now be even more climate-friendly. The new energy mix will also require a change in the tariff system, because it will no longer be possible to calculate the district heating charges on the basis of hard coal price indices.

    Germany is to phase out coal-based energy production by 2038 at the latest. For customers of Fernwärme-Verbund Saar (FVS), the coal phase-out will become reality as early as next year. From then on, district heating will no longer be produced with hard coal in the area supplied by FVS.

    This will be made possible by forward-looking planning on the part of STEAG and FVS, aimed at gradually switching to other heat sources. Towards that end, STEAG has modernized existing gas engines at the Völklingen-Fenne site, which function according to the principle of combined heat and power generation and are therefore particularly efficient and conserve resources.

    To cover peak load requirements, new natural gas fired heating plants will also go into operation in Völklingen and Saarlouis at the beginning of the 2021 heating period, and, together with the waste disposal group Entsorgungsverband Saar (EVS), STEAG is currently converting the Velsen waste to energy plant into a heat supplier for FVS. In future, an additional 170 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of climate-friendly district heating per year will be available to the district heating system. This will result in several advantages for district heating customers of FVS.

    Improved carbon footprint means lower CO2 levy
    Firstly, the carbon footprint of the heating supply system continues to improve. That is not only good news for the climate and the environment, but also for district heating customers’ wallets. From January 2022 onwards, a CO2 levy will also be applied to district heating purchases under the provisions of the Fuel Emissions Trading Act (BEHG). With the improved carbon footprint, the associated additional costs will be correspondingly lower. STEAG and FVS have absolutely no influence on this price component. It is a legal requirement and will be adjusted annually in future.

    Secondly, because heat generation will no longer be based on hard coal as an energy source, STEAG and FVS are adjusting the price change formula. In future, the price index for hard coal will no longer be taken into account, and will be replaced by other price indices. These are calculated and published by the Federal Statistical Office, i.e. by an independent third party. These indices are transparent and can be viewed at any time on the website www.destatis.de.

    Cost-neutral tariff changeover
    The tariff changeover due to the change in the price change formula will take place for all district heating customers on October 1, 2021. There will be no increased costs for anyone for the current 2021 billing year.

    Any questions? Just ask us!
    Customers who have questions about the tariff changeover can find information on the FVS website at www.fvs.de or contact the FVS customer service center. It can be reached by telephone on 0681 94 94 91 00 or by email at info@fvs.de.