The gas conversion in Braunschweig
In Braunschweig – as in many gas supply areas in Germany – a seminal project is about to launch: the gas conversion.
There are two different qualities of natural gas: L-gas (low-caloric gas) and H-gas (high-caloric gas). Untilnow, we have supplied you with L-gas. As this will no longer be available in unlimited quantities in the future in Germany,we will henceforth be providing you with H-gas.
Braunschweiger Netz GmbH (BS|NETZ), a network operator in Braunschweig, has been commissioned by law to implement the gas conversion and carry out the adaptations to your gas fittings that this will involve.
Find out about the gas conversion process in Braunschweig in our information brochure
Why is the gas conversion required?
What will happen in my area?
BS|NETZ stands for Braunschweiger Netz GmbH. BS|NETZ is the successor company to Braunschweiger Stadtwerke, and the network operator for the entire gas network in Braunschweig.
In Germany, the natural gas provided is generally either L-gas or H-gas. These differ in terms of their chemical composition and thus their energy content. Their energy content is generally indicated as their calorific value, measured in kilowatt hours per cubic metre. In these designations, “L” thus stands for “low” and “H” for “high”, meaning that the calorific value of H-gas is higher than that of L-gas. The calorific value may differ further depending on the source of the gas and its chemical composition.
L-gas is extracted in the Netherlands and Germany, while H-gas is used all over the world. Germany currently gets most of its H-gas supplies from Norway and Russia. The different composition of the two gases means they have different requirements in terms of technical equipment. This must be adjusted depending on the quality of the natural gas. As the amount of energy consumed is measured in kWh, the same pricing basis can be used whatever the quality of the natural gas.
Until now, supplies of L-gas came from our own production sites in Germany and imports from the Netherlands. As the Dutch gas fields are soon expected to be depleted, the Dutch providers have now started to no longer renew agreements on the provision of L-gas. Thus, the quantities supplied are gradually being reduced until 2030. This reduction cannot be compensated for by Germany’s domestic L-gas extraction plants. For this reason, a conversion to H-gas is required. This will continue to be available in sufficient quantity in the long term, and makes up a substantial proportion of the world’s natural gas reserves.
The change from L natural gas to H natural gas will not change your usual reliable supply of natural gas. However, because the gases have different burning characteristics, all gas appliances must be adapted – from the heating system to the gas stove.
Initially, BS|NETZ must record all gas appliances, without any exceptions. This is the only way for BS|NETZ to ensure that no appliance is forgotten. Basically, every appliance must be adapted. However, there are a few exceptions, which will be determined during the survey.
In most cases, a nozzle in the device is replaced, then the burner is readjusted. Basically, the following steps are taken:
First, the engineer checks whether the device is in full working order. He then shuts it down and closes off the gas supply. The gas nozzles in question are replaced to adapt the gas supply to the higher calorific value of the new gas. Some devices need additional adjustments to their control system, and other devices need adjustments to their gas supply regulators. The device is then sealed in accordance with regulations, and all gas-carrying parts which have been opened are checked for leaks. Finally, the device is labelled “adapted”.
If the device can be adapted, individual customers do not have to pay any direct costs. The network operators bear the cost of carrying out surveys, adapting the devices and all other steps. As laid down in Section 19a of the German Energy Economy Law (EnWG), the cost of changing from L-gas to H-gas is spread among all the networks within Germany. The allocated fee already included in the network charges for 2016 is 0.0865 €/kWh/h/a. – by comparison, the cost allocated for biogas in Germany is 0.59458 €/kWh/h/a.
The market price for H-gas is higher than for L-gas, but less H-gas is required for the same heating effect, as H-gas has a higher energy content than L-gas. Customers are billed for the kilowatt-hours they use, not for the amount of gas they use. The number of kilowatt-hours, and the resulting cost, is thus the same whether they use H-gas or L-gas. Though they are using fewer cubic metres of natural gas, they have the same number of kilowatt-hours.
In Braunschweig, the conversion will take place in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The gas fitting survey will therefore probably take place in mid-2017 at the earliest. The city districts affected have been divided into conversion districts.
In Braunschweig, roughly 53,000 customers with an estimated 70,000 to 80,000 devices (heating systems, water heaters, etc.) will be affected by the conversion. Across Germany, there are an estimated 4.5 to 5 million customers (households, industrial companies, etc.) with 6 million devices in all.
The central conversion process will consist of:
- the survey stage, starting in August 2017, during which every gas fitting will be registered.
- the conversion stage in 2019, 2020 and 2021, during which all the gas fittings will be adapted according to need. The year when you will be converted can be found on our home page under Schedule for
- the quality assurance stage, during which roughly 10 percent of the survey work and roughly 10 percent of the conversion work will be inspected.
You will be notified in writing of when we are sending an engineer to you. You will also have the opportunity of changing this suggested date. To do this, simply call our hotline on 0800-383 4000. In isolated cases it may be that a letter does not reach you directly but is sent to your landlord, your property management, your tenant or another person. For this reason we would like your details so that we can use you as the contact for the device in future.
The engineers can legitimise themselves with photo ID’s, which are recognisable from the logo. All engineers will be wearing BS|NETZ work clothing. In the case of doubt, you can call our free hotline 0800-383 4000 and check that the engineer actually has been sent by the company carrying out the conversion. The conversion engineer can also quote an individual access number, which you will find on the notification letter.
Yes, according to Section 19 a paragraph 3 of the German Energy Economy Law (EnWG), it is possible to make a cost reimbursement claim.
You have the right to cost reimbursement when you have had your old gas device replaced with a new device, in accordance with Section 19 a paragraph 3 of the German Energy Economy Law (EnWG). In order to do this, the following conditions must be met:
- Correct use of the old device.
- Installation of the new device by a registered specialist company
- The new device does not require adjustment within the scope of the gas conversion.
- The device was replaced before the old device was converted.
The exchange of any device for which proof of correct use is available is entitled to reimbursement. Possible proof is:
- Written confirmation by an authorised installer from a registered specialist company in Braunschweig
- Or the document from the last emission protection measurement by the chimney sweep.
Reimbursement is only possible for devices that no longer require conversion. For example, these are modern condensing boilers which are marked with category I2N according to DIN EN 437. The category includes self-adapting devices with CE and DE marking which can be used in the overall area of natural gas groups H, L and LL in accordance with G 260 without adjustment or conversion. And also devices which use other primary energy carriers.
The claim for cost reimbursement is a one-off payment of 100 euros for each new device.
As a gas customer in Braunschweig, you can apply to us for the cost reimbursement using the reimbursement application. Complete the application with your customer details and associated information about the mains connection point (location of device and meter number).
Please enclose the following proof with your reimbursement application:
- Proof of correct installation and use of the old device and the installation of the new device. The proof must be entered into the application and signed by your installer.
- A copy of the completion notification.
- A copy of the invoice for the new device.
The documents must be handed in to the following address fully completed and signed, or they can be sent in by post:
Braunschweiger Netz GmbH
The reimbursement claim arises exclusively when an exchange takes place before the conversion date for the old device. Reimbursement is therefore not possible for gas devices which have already been converted.
The incentive of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and all other energy efficiency incentives can be applied for independently of this cost reimbursement claim.
If you have any other questions concerning the subject of 'Gas conversion' you are welcome to visit us in the gas office which has been set up or call our free customer hotline.
The hotline is available from Monday to Sunday from 7 am to 8 pm
Customer telephone hotline: 0800-383 4000
E-mail: gasbuero( at )bs-netz.de
BS|NETZ has got together with other network operators involved to create an extensive online information portal. Go to www.erdgas-umstellung.de for detailed information on the gas conversion throughout Germany.