Article 7 of the Federal Energy Act obliges energy supply companies to purchase electricity from independent producers. This means that supply companies have to bear additional costs arising from the difference between the guaranteed price of around 15 cents on average and the market-based purchase price.
With the revision of the Energy Ordinance a new mechanism was created for the financing of these additional costs. The aim here is to distribute the additional costs evenly among all end consumers and thus relieve energy supply companies and end consumers in regions with a high level of electricity feeds from independent producers (mostly from small-scale hydropower plants).
The new model entered into effect on 1 January 2005 and replaced the originally planned cantonal "offset fund".