Refund of Energy and Electricity Tax
Tax Cap and Efficiency System Ordinance (SpaEfV) of 31. July 2013
As from 2015, companies who apply for a refund as a result of the tax cap legislation (§ 10 StromStG (German Electricity Tax Act) or § 55 EnergieStG (German Energy Tax Act)) have to provide evidence of a certified EnMS according to DIN EN ISO 50001 or validation according to EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme). As an alternative, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sense of Recommendation 2003/361/EC can also make use of Energy Audits to DIN EN 16247-1 or another alternative system as evidence. The law provides some reliefs for the introductory phase from 2013-2014.
Form 1449 for Verification According to SpaEfV
In addition to certificates in accordance with DIN EN ISO 50001, EMAS-registrations or confirmations that alternative systems are in use, within the framework of tax refunds based on the tax cap, the law requires that Form 1449 is issued each year by an accredited certification body such as TÜV NORD or by an environmental assessment organisation.
Annual assessment of fulfilment of the requirements for tax refunds in accordance with SpaEfV, including attestation by a certification body or an environmental assessment organisation, is required both from certified companies and from companies who are in the introduction phase. A separate Form 1449 has to be submitted to the Central Customs Office (Hauptzollamt) for each applicant (legal person or legal entity). The legal person or entity can comprise either one company location or factory or several locations or factories.
According to the German Energy-Saving Efficiency System Ordinance ( SpaEfV), producing companies have to provide evidence that they have introduced a system for improving energy efficiency if they want to take advantage of the tax cap according to § 10 StromStG (German Electricity Tax Act) or § 55 EnergieStG (German Energy Tax Act) in the 2014 year of application. (The “year of application” is the year for which the tax refund is requested).
Conformity Assessment Bodies according SpaEfV
The Tax Cap and Energy-Saving Efficiency System Ordinance (SpaEfV) specifies that the conformity assessment needed for issue of the required Verification Form 1449 can only be performed by an accredited certification body or by an environmental assessment organisation.
Relevant Deadlines for Issue of Verification Form 1449
All the necessary conditions for issue of Verification Form 1449 must have been fulfilled by affected companies by 31 December of the respective application year at the latest.
In the introductory phase, these conditions can consist, for example. of declarations on the part of Top Management, appointment of an Energy Officer and determination and analysis of energy sources as well as of the energy-consuming plant and equipment. To these are added mandatory on-site inspection by a conformity assessment body such as TÜV NORD.
Annual inspection and provision of evidence in accordance with SpaEfV is also necessary even if a company is already certified or validated according to DIN EN ISO 50001 or EMAS. In so far as the prerequisites are fulfilled, the conformity assessment body can also perform a further inspection in the form of a pure document review after expiry of the year of application, and can issue an Application Form 1449.
Provisional Calculation Period
Companies who submit an application for a tax rebate during the current application year must already submit evidence of operation of an energy management, environmental management or alternative system for improvement of energy efficiency (Verification Form 1449 or 1449A) with their first application, if they wish to receive the tax rebate in this fiscal year . In the following year, a summary application for the calender year must be submitted to the German revenue and customs authority by 31 July.
As from 2014, an on-site assessment is required as part of the evidence to be provided to the authorities. In the case of companies where the “regular procedure” is already in use (i.e. companies who already have a fully-installed system for improvement of energy efficiency), the on-site assessments take place within the normal surveillance cycle.
However, if the company is still in the process of installing the system, the annual on-site assessment must be carried out without fail by 31 December of the relevant application year at the latest, and before issue of Verification Form 1449.
BAFA grants for measures for establishing energy management systems
The Federal Office for Economics and Export Control (BAFA), acting on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology (BMWi), will in future provide grants for first certification of an energy management system in accordance with DIN EN ISO 50001 along with energy controlling, and also for the purchase of measuring equipment and energy management software.
These grants are based on the published Guideline of the BMWi concerning promotion of energy management systems. Companies who are entitled to apply can make their grant applications as from 15 August 2013 using the electronic application form on the BAFA website.
The maximum grant available for first certification of an energy management system amounts to 80 % of the qualifying expenses up to € 8,000, for first certification of an energy controlling system there is a maximum of 80% of the qualifying expenses up to € 1,500, for purchase of measuring equipment 20 % of the qualifying expenses up to € 8,000 and for purchase of software a maximum of 20 % of the qualifying expenses up to € 4,000.
The total sum that can be granted to any one company is limited to 20,000 Euro within a period of 36 months. Financial incentives for the establishment of energy management systems are intended to contribute to achievement of the energy efficiency targets of the German Government as described in the federal “Energy Concept”.
Further details on funding and the application procedure and also the online application form can be found on the BAFA Website (German language).