In the period 2001–2010, around 220,000 electricity customers accepted an offer to transfer ownership of their service lines on the initiative of the then electricity company NESA. Since 2006, DONG Energy Eldistribution has held responsibility for these service lines, whose function is to carry current from the grid lines in the road into the home.
This week and next week, the electricity customers in question will be receiving a complete package containing the new terms and conditions for operation and maintenance. At the same time, DONG Energy Eldistribution will be providing notice of an increase in the subscription fee to allow the price to cover the ongoing costs. The price will subsequently be overseen by the Danish Energy Regulatory Authority as a result of decisions taken in 2015.
In 2015, the Danish Energy Regulatory Authority approved new terms and conditions for service lines, as well as the method DONG Energy Eldistribution has chosen for pricing the scheme. In future, the service lines will be operated as part of the public power grid, and the Danish Energy Regulatory Authority will check that the price is in line with the company's service line costs. The approvals are one of the reasons why the company is now in a position to issue a complete set of terms and conditions that are to come into effect as from the turn of the year.
Christian Parbøl from DONG Energy Eldistribution explained: "We want to provide absolute clarity for electricity customers who've transferred responsibility for their service lines to us, and, of course, we must ensure compliance with the applicable legislation. Because customers must have no doubts about what they can expect from us when work has to be done on the service lines. The ongoing maintenance is our responsibility; we confirm the location of the line through excavation work, and replace it at the end of its service life."
From the start of next year, the price of the annual subscription will be set on the basis of the total costs for the operation, maintenance and replacement of service lines. These costs correspond to a price of DKK 55 per year. The current price is DKK 25 per year, and the increase will be phased in over the next two years. The price from the start of 2016 will be DKK 40, and will rise to DKK 55 in 2017.
Only some of DONG Energy Eldistribution's customers are covered by the new scheme, and it is not possible to transfer ownership of the service line if you have not already done so:
"Those of our customers who haven't registered for the service line scheme aren't affected by the new terms and conditions. We're committed to standing by our responsibility to the group of customers who signed up for the scheme between 2001 and 2010. If we're suddenly given responsibility for a large number of service lines that need replacing, the price will rise sharply for everyone," added Parbøl.
With the new terms and conditions it also made clear that electricity customers have the opportunity to withdraw from the scheme and take over ownership and responsibility for their service lines themselves. There will be no charge for withdrawing from the scheme unless the service line has been replaced. In this case, the customer will be obliged to pay a fee corresponding to the current value of the service line at the time of withdrawal.