EEG 2021

Options for reducing the EEG surcharge

At currently 6.5 ct/kWh, the EEG surcharge will continue to be the largest and probably most painful item on the electricity bill for many companies in 2021. But not all companies have to pay the full rate here. In addition to the widespread self-supply models, it is also possible to apply for a reduction in the EEG surcharge for electricity purchased from third parties, with the so-called special equalization scheme.

The regulation stipulates that electricity-cost-intensive companies only have to pay a reduced EEG surcharge. This exemption only applies to electricity-cost-intensive companies from those industries that are in international competition. The competitiveness and thus the jobs of electricity-cost-intensive industry, which pays high electricity prices compared with international competitors, should not be jeopardized.
Electricity (cost)-intensive companies can and should continue to apply for a reduction in the EEG surcharge for the following year in the future. To do so, they must prove in particular a high electricity cost intensity as part of the fully electronic application process.

New requirements for the special equalization scheme

Electricity-cost-intensive companies can also apply in 2021 for a reduction in the EEG surcharge for the following year 2022 by submitting an application. To do so, they must demonstrate a high electricity cost intensity in particular. Here, the EEG amendment brings certain relief for the applying companies in their future applications for the special equalization scheme.

The required electricity cost intensity threshold is set 1 percent lower in each of the next three years, from 14 percent in claim year 2021 to ultimately 11 percent in claim year 2024. The successive reduction of the so-called CIP threshold could just about catch up in particular those companies that would not have reached the required thresholds in the future (due to the crisis).

In addition, there is a real relief for companies that have recently suffered production declines or fluctuations, the new “2 out of 3 rule”. In the three application years of 2021, 2022, and 2023, only any two (favorable) of these fiscal years shall be used in the calculations of electricity consumption and GVA instead of the last three completed fiscal years that would otherwise be used. Companies can therefore decide, for example, that the crisis year 2020 and its low electricity consumption will not be taken into account for the application to limit the EEG surcharge in 2022.
The capping effect for electricity consumption volumes above the 1 GWh deductible is set at 15% of the EEG levy for all successful applicants, regardless of list membership. Regulations for cap and super-cap remain in place.


The amendment to the EEG 2021 holds a number of changes in store that will continue to pose major challenges for the companies affected in 2021, but also hold some opportunities in store.

15.02.2021 – Stefan Ulrich –


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