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The Association for Energy Cost Allocation

Europäischer Verein zur verbrauchsabhängigen Energiekostenabrechnung – e.V.

Guidelines for the billing of heating, air-conditioning and hot water heating costs according to the actual consumption


(1) The Council of the European Union has with resolution of the “Directive 93/76/EEC of the Council for limiting the carbon dioxide emissions by more efficient energy use (SAVE)” reinforced its will to undertake further efforts to protect the climate and the natural resources. Here the European Union has made it its task, among other things with the new SAVE Directive to initiate projects which lead to the emission of carbon dioxide being reduced in the Community.

(2) The environmental policy of the Community has according to article 130 r of the EC agreement the objective of guaranteeing a circumspect and rational use of the natural resources. Mineral oil products, natural gas and solid fuels belong to these natural resources. They are not only the most important sources of energy, but also the strongest anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission sources.

(3) In this regard the residential building sector including the tertiary sector requires special attention. Around 40% of the final energy consumption of the entire European Union arise in this sector. The further growth of these areas will also cause its energy consumption and thus its carbon dioxide emissions to rise.

(4) The improvement of the general economical situation causes a rejuvenation of the new building activities both in residential building and in the tertiary sector, in which case comfort is also increasing faster and in particular the importance of central heating increases strongly. It is just in this sector that much depends upon the behaviour of the individual. The demotivation is particularly clear here; this can be proven by the development of the statistics which show energy consumption as a function of the outside temperature.

(5) According to article 3 of the Directive 93/76/EEC, prerequisites shall be created in all Member States for billing the costs for heating, air-conditioning and hot water heating in the future on the basis of consumption. A recommendation of the Council from as early as 1976 (76/493/EEC) refers to the high importance of such measures. With the new SAVE Directive, the Council of the European Union has now given all Member States an important incentive to sensitize the consumer in the area of billing of energy costs as well to a larger sense of responsibility in economical and rational use of energy and other resources. For the behaviour of the consumer is positively influenced by the consumption-based billing of these costs, since the billing of costs is in the financial interest of the consumer.

The more the billing of costs is oriented to the individual consumption, the stronger is the incentive to use energy and water economically. The consumption-based billing of costs thus also leads to a more equitable calculation. It thus contributes to avoiding disagreements between the consumers in a building.

(6) The objective of the guidelines is reducing the energy consumption for the heating and/or air-conditioning of rooms as well as for hot water heating, in that the consumer is prompted to make cost savings. If the consumer has control over the generation of the heat and/or cold consumed by him as well as over his hot water consumption, then the billing of costs takes place at the level of the energy supply before the generation of heat or air-conditioning or at the level of the water supply, so that there is a direct motivation to save costs.

(7) Efforts have also been undertaken already in the area of technical harmonization. The work for the two European standards for devices for registering and billing heating costs is done. Two harmonized technical standards (EN 834, EN 835) have been available since November 1994. What is therefore more appropriate, in unison with the removal of technical barriers to trade, than also achieving comparable regulations in individual countries, in order to stimulate the companies operating in this field to more competition for the consumers. Improved competitive conditions create better products and lead hand in hand with a more conscious behaviour of the consumers to higher energy saving.

(8) In some Member States, there are already legal regulations for individual subareas. In Germany there is the ordinance on the consumptionbased billing of heating and hot water costs from the period 1981/1989. In France, various edicts and decrees from the period 1975 to 1991 help in performing a billing of heating and hot water costs. In Spain, work was done on a draft regulation in 1991 to create the possibilities for fitting counters in apartments with common heating systems. So far no regulations have been made in the overwhelming number of the Member States. These guidelines shall help the Member States to take corresponding measures in the area of billing of energy costs within a relatively short time.

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