Since January 1, 2022, German owners of fully battery-powered cars (plug-in hybrids are not taken into account) have been able to earn money from saved CO2 emissions. This is done through a so-called greenhouse gas reduction quota (GHG quota), which you can credit to fuel producers and thus receive a subsidy of currently up to around 350 euros per year (as of January 2022).
GHG quota: If you own an electric car or charge your e-car home then this important innovation is for you. Since 2022, private consumers have also been able to participate. The charging current from non-public charging can now also be taken into account. And that means: You can sell the climate benefits of your e-car to fuel producers.
Understanding the new GHG quota
- Since January 1, 2022, owners of fully battery-powered cars have been able to receive money for the CO2 emissions saved through the greenhouse gas reduction quota (GHG quota).
- To do this, the e-car is registered with the electricity provider or a processing company. This works with the vehicle registration certificate.
- If you are interested, you should study the providers in peace, as there is a large selection. You also have until around the end of 2022 for the first report.
▶ The background: companies that produce fuels and are unable to meet the statutory CO2 reduction themselves can thus avoid fines. They buy the CO2 they have saved, thereby compensating for the greenhouse gases they emit.
For a long time now, the electricity supplied to public charging points has been made available to fuel producers as a creditable contribution to meeting the GHG quota. As a consumer: you just didn’t notice anything. The operators of the charging points receive the money here. At best, you benefit indirectly from a slightly lower electricity price if you buy electricity at such charging points.
What does GHG stand for?
GHG is an abbreviation for GreenHouse Gas
How are the GHG emissions from electricity calculated?
The calculation of the GHG emissions from electricity is regulated by Section 5 (2) of the 38th BImSchV. The respective energetic amount of electricity is multiplied by a factor of 3 and by the value of the average greenhouse gas emissions per energy unit of electricity in Germany and the adjustment factor for drive efficiency (0.4 for battery-assisted electric drives).
The value of the average greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy of electricity in Germany is determined by the Federal Environment Agency and is published every year at the end of October.
How does the sale of the quota work?
As the owner: in a fully battery-powered car, you register your vehicle with your electricity provider or a special company that handles the crediting of the GHG quota. There is no provision for direct contact between consumers and fuel producers.
You can claim the GHG quota by proving that a battery electric vehicle is registered for you. Evidence of actual use, such as how many kilometers are covered per year or the electricity mix with which the e-car is charged at home, is not necessary.
You can prove that you own the e-car with Part 1 of the registration certificate. This is to prevent double registration with different providers at the same time. You have to resubmit the vehicle registration document every year in order to receive the award.
The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) as the competent authority reviews the applications and certifies them. The providers then sell the UBA certificates collected to the fuel companies. The proceeds – usually minus a commission for the service provider – flow back to the consumers.
To calculate the GHG quota, an estimated value is used that is published by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). This is currently 1,943 kWh / year. It applies to all registered vehicles, regardless of size, vehicle age, energy consumption or annual mileage. The origin of the electricity used is also irrelevant. The Federal Environment Agency has created an FAQ and answers further questions in it.
What you should consider when looking for a service provider
The fact that private e-car owners can now also benefit from the GHG quota has, in a very short time, led to a market of service providers who offer consumers the processing.
The number of providers is increasing, the premiums can vary widely and there are also offers in which the proceeds are reinvested in environmental protection projects, for example.
It is important to know that there is no rush to choose one of the numerous processing companies . The deadline for submitting the GHG quota to the Federal Environment Agency is February 28 of the following year. The first report with a service provider can therefore easily be completed by the end of 2022.
Therefore, you can calmly consider which provider you would like to choose. Pay attention to their conditions. For example, it can be relevant that you are an electricity customer with the provider. You should also check the terms and conditions to see if a minimum income is guaranteed. E-car owners can also receive up to 50 euros in addition for soliciting friends.
The amount of revenue that can be claimed from the fuel producers is not the same over time, but is subject to market fluctuations. For this reason, many service providers indicate a revenue corridor.
Some providers also offer the option of choosing between fixed revenues and flex options:
- With fixed revenue , a fixed amount is guaranteed for a specific point in time.
- With the flex options , rising quota prices can lead to higher revenues. But there is also the risk that falling CO2 prices will result in lower revenues.
The GHG quota is granted once a year. If an e-car is sold, only one person can apply for the GHG quota for the current year – either the previous owner or the new owner. Only the buyer can do this again in the following year.
Where does the GHG quota come from?
With the EU Directive 2018/2001 (“RED II”), the European Union wants to promote the use of energy from renewable sources. Germany has implemented this in national law (38th Federal Immission Control Ordinance (BImSchV)). Those who place fuels on the market are obliged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the regulation, this greenhouse gas quota (GHG quota) will be increased from the current 6 to 25 percent in 2030. There are various options available to fuel producers to achieve this goal. One is the consideration of electrical power that is used when using e-cars.
Further information can also be found on the website of the German Federal Environment Agency.
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