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    HomeGardenAre heat pumps and electric cars at risk?

    Are heat pumps and electric cars at risk?


    In order to avoid network overload, the electricity supply should also be reduced for private households. Is there a risk of damage to heat pumps and electric cars?

    The most important things at a glance

    From January 2024, the electricity supply to private households can be throttled under certain conditions. This is what Section 14a EnWG provides. What is the purpose of the measure? And which consumers exactly are affected by this?

    That’s why the electricity can be throttled

    Over the past few months, more and more heat pumps and charging devices for electric cars have been connected to the power grid. These consumers are among the so-called heavy consumers, which puts a correspondingly higher load on the network. “The low-voltage network is able to accommodate individual new applications. However, the majority of low-voltage networks are currently not yet designed for rapid ramp-up,” explains the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA).

    To ensure that this does not lead to supply bottlenecks, the BNetzA has determined in which cases the power supply of certain consumption devices such as heat pumps or charging stations in private households may be throttled.

    In the future, distribution network operators will be allowed to reduce electricity purchases to up to 4.2 kilowatt hours – but only as long as the electricity reduction is necessary.

    Power throttling: Heat pumps could switch off

    Since the power throttling primarily affects owners of heat pumps or electric cars or charging stations, they now fear that reducing electricity consumption could damage their devices. However, this is not the case. At least modern heat pumps also require a very low power supply – meaning homeowners don’t have to freeze in the winter.

    However, owners of older heat pumps who also operate a wallbox could have problems if their device is not supplied with enough power for several hours. Then your heat pump switches off. The result: the house stays cold. The best way to combat this is, for example, to modernize the heat pump or additionally install a photovoltaic system for charging the electric car.

    Damage to the electric car due to power throttling?

    According to the Federal Network Agency, throttling should not result in any restrictions for electric car owners. If the consumption is reduced to 4.2 kWh in the event of an overload, “… can […] “E-cars can usually be recharged for 50 kilometers in two hours,” it says.

    This is how long the throttling should last

    In addition, if throttling is necessary, it should only occur for a short time. For example, in the afternoon, when the electricity demand of private households is particularly high, for around two hours. However, the time period is based on “suspicion” because network operators are not yet able to reliably measure overload and unloading.

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