The two phases of the nEHS

First tax system - then trading system

The first trading period of the nEHS is divided into two phases:

In the first phase 2021-2025 - also referred to as the introductory phase - the nEHS is more or less like a tax. At successively increasing fixed prices of 25 euros per tonne in 2021 to 55 euros per tonne in 2025, the energy exchange in Leipzig, the European Energy Exchange (EEX), will sell as many certificates as are in demand.

If the demand for certificates in a year exceeds the emission allocations issued by the EU, Germany must either make compensatory emission reductions in other national sectors outside the nETS or purchase emission allocations from other EU Member States that have exceeded their emission targets.

The emission allowances (nEZ) to be managed in an nEHS registry account have two markings:

  • a marker that indicates the calendar year for which the allowance was issued
  • another mark indicating the trading period for which the allowance was issued

Certificates issued for year X cannot be used for the surrender obligation year X+1. The calendar year marking is the result of the strict price structure. Only with the help of this marking can the transferability of allowances to future years ("banking") be excluded in the fixed price years, thus preventing the expensive sale of allowances purchased cheaply in the previous year.

However, the fulfilment of the duty to surrender for a reporting year can always be done with certificates issued in years following the reporting year.


In the second phase 2026-2030, the nEHS corresponds almost exactly to the European emissions trading system EU-ETS.
After the introductory phase, distributors will have to buy emission certificates within a fixed price corridor of 55 euros to 65 euros per tonne at auctions for the first time from 2026 onwards.

In 2025, a decision will be made on whether the price should be formed freely on the market from 2027. In phase 2, allowances can in principle be transferred from one year to the next within the trading period.

Allowances 2021 to 2030 at a fixed price and in auctioning

  • 2021 - Fixed price 25 Euro/certificate
  • 2022 - fixed price 30 Euro/certificate
  • 2023 - Fixed price 30 Euro/certificate (As part of the third relief package, the Federal Government decided in 2022 to reduce the price for 2023 from the original 35 Euro to 30 Euro).
  • 2024 - fixed price 35 euros/certificate
  • 2025 - fixed price 45 euros/certificate
  • 2026 - Auction price 55-65 euros/certificate
  • 2027 - probably free price formation in the auction procedure
  • 2028 - probably free price formation in the auction procedure
  • 2029 - probably free price formation in the auction procedure
  • 2030 - probably free price formation in the auction procedure
  • from 2031 - probably free pricing in the auction procedure