Voluntary load reduction

To strengthen the resilience of the electricity supply, the TSOs, the BMWK and the Federal Network Agency have set up a process for voluntary load reduction.

In coordination with the distribution system operators, the transmission system operators, together with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), have set up the targeted reduction of electricity consumption by individual energy-intensive industrial companies in order to strengthen the resilience of the electricity supply.

This is done as a preliminary stage before short-term load reduction measures such as the application of the switch-off cascade in accordance with VDE-AR-N 4140.

VDE-AR-N 4140

In the event of a grid imbalance, grid operators can request support from downstream grid operators as part of a cascade in accordance with the German Energy Industry Act (EnWG). The application rule "Cascading of measures for the system security of electrical energy supply grids" (VDE-AR-N 4140) optimizes cooperation between grid operators in the event of a disruption and ensures that the cascade functions reliably.

This additional safety measure further reduces the likelihood of this shutdown cascade being used.

The main difference between the preliminary stage and short-term load reduction measures such as the shutdown cascade is the longer lead time of up to 72 hours. Necessary load reduction measures in accordance with VDE-AR-N 4140, on the other hand, are usually ordered at very short notice and with a lead time of at least 12 minutes. In this process, affected industrial companies would therefore only have a very short reaction time to adjust their production as planned if necessary. By contrast, the longer lead time envisaged in the preliminary stage for the prepared, targeted load reduction can minimize both technical and financial risks and enable better planning for energy-intensive industrial companies.

The aim is to achieve the most efficient and damage-limiting procedure possible, which can be realized in particular through early coordination of all parties involved. The instruction of the preliminary stage is carried out without a contract and without remuneration in accordance with Section 13 (2) EnWG.

This approach to the introduction of a preliminary stage for load reduction in energy-intensive industrial companies with voluntary participation has been agreed between the TSOs and the BMWK and the BNetzA.

In dialog with energy-intensive industrial companies, the TSOs have set up an exchange of key master data for the implementation of the preliminary stage and an indication of load reduction potential.

The lead time of up to 72 hours for the binding instruction of the respective load reduction potential to participating industrial companies in the form of movement data would ensure that, in the event of a possible application, implementation on the consumer side can take place in a way that minimizes damage (targeted rescheduling of production, orderly load reduction taking into account the systems and processes). The instruction by the TSO would be issued at least with the lead time specified in the data transmission and the bindingly reported load reduction potential and would be implemented independently by the industrial companies.

The transaction data is required in the form of time series with quarter-hourly values for an identified emergency time window in the future in order to obtain binding load reduction potentials for an instruction. Therefore, a message for the entire calendar day is required for each calendar day of the emergency time window - specifically the load reduction potential with lead time for the instruction and the planned load consumption.

Industrial companies are requested to use only the enclosed form to report planned load consumption and load reduction potential. A request for data reporting is not made on an ongoing basis, but only for previously identified emergency time windows in a hazardous situation. From the request for data reporting, the completed report should be sent to the responsible TSO within a maximum of six hours. Based on this movement data, the TSOs can identify specific load reductions in the emergency time window and request load reduction.

Further information and contact details for data transmission can be found in the data reporting template.

SVE movement data query (sample) (in German)

If you are interested in participating in the preliminary stage, please contact the responsible TSO. Implementation takes place in coordination with the distribution system operators concerned.

Please use the contact form for questions about the process.

The publication can also be found on the TSO websites:

Voluntary load reduction