Association of Gas- and District Heating Supply Companies (FGW)
The Association of Gas- and District Heating Supply Companies (FGW) is the independent, legally commissioned representative for Austria's natural gas and district heat industries. FGW works together with its members to ensure that natural gas and district heat are used in Austria in an economical, safe and environmentally friendly manner.
In Austria, all businesses and industries are represented in the Economic Chambers (Wirtschaftskammern) as stipulated by the Economic Chamber Act, which charters the chambers' constituent trade associations (Fachverbände) as statutory corporations with the responsibility of protecting and representing the interests of their members. Membership in a trade association is defined by a detailed index (Fachorganisationsordnung), according to which businesses in the natural gas and district heat industries are members of the FGW.
Membership in the Economic Chamber is required of Austrian businesses by law. Natural gas and district heat businesses are represented by the Natural Gas and District Heat Association.
FGW has approximately 400 businesses as members. Due to the liberalisation of the gas market, members from the natural gas industry are divided into gas trade and gas network members. District heat (and District cooling) members vary from large municipal suppliers to small, regionally active private firms.
FGW's guiding principles ensure that it acts to serve the common interests of all its members, regardless of their size or position. Where necessary, a balance of interests is found, openly and transparently.
A wide variety of services are offered by FGW to its members:
- Information and consulting services
- Effective representation in Austria and the EU
- Negotiation of collective labour agreements
- Development of strategies and practical solutions
- Development of guidelines for the member's work
- Commissioning of expert studies and advisory opinions
- Efficient presentation of market data
- Measures to realise rationalisation potentials
- Forum for exchange and discussion
- Public relations; industry representation in the media
- Co-publication of the industry journal "FORUM Gas Wasser Wärme"
- Presentation of current information
As the legally commissioned industry representative, the Natural Gas and District Heat Association works to ensure that the common interests of its member businesses - regardless of their size or position - are protected to the maximum possible extent. Additionally, FGW negotiates legally recognised collective labour agreements for the industry with labour representatives.
FGW sees its main function in developing, formulating and representing the Austrian natural gas and district heat industries' standpoints in interactions with the general public, government, Chambers of Labour and political groups. To this end FGW provides information to decisionmakers and engages in targeted public relations efforts. FGW collects data, informs its members about international developments and coordinates internal discussion processes. Objectivity, transparency, consistency and sustainability are FGW's guiding principles.
FGW's long-term goals:
- To improve the natural gas and district heat industries' levels of performance and competitiveness
- To ensure future natural gas and district heat supplies on the basis of sufficient capacity in the necessary infrastructures
- To promote the use of natural gas and district heat as environmentally friendly energy forms
- To create the context necessary for technical and economic development in the natural gas and district heat industries
- To create uniform technical regulations for the Austrian district heat industry.
FGW Executive Committee
FGW's goals and strategies are shaped in the central FGW Executive Committee, which is responsible for all top-level management and administrative decisions. As head of the committee, FGW's President represents the FGW in its external affairs.
FGW's integrative committees serve as discussion arenas for issues that are relevant to more than one of the industries represented in the Association. The committees develope and present position statements regarding legislation, EU and Austrian regulations to government, international organizations, the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce, and other relevant public and private bodies and corporations.
Integrative committees exist in the following areas:
- Legal and regulatory issues
- Economic and business issues
- Labor law issues
- Environmental and infrastructure issues
In the context of working groups, industry-specific issues are discussed and industry-specific position statements are developed.
Natural Gas Trade:
- Trade and Distribution Working Group ("Handel und Vertrieb")
Natural Gas Network:
- Network Management Working Group ("Netzmanagement")
- Tariff Working Group ("Netztarife")
District Heat Industry:
- District Heat Generation Working Group ("Erzeugung")
- Distribution and Customer Connection Working Group ("Verteilung und Anschluss")
- Sales Working Group ("Marketing")
The Austrian energy industry and the prevailing economic conditions in which it finds itself are increasingly determined at the international level. This is the case for structures of purchasing and delivery as well as for the interconnections among businesses that arise through joint ventures and partnerships. On the other hand, an increasing number of international regulations directly and indirectly influence costs, management and the legal nature of services provided. Important issues here are, above all, environmental protection, competition, taxation and regulation.
In recognition of these facts, the Association of Gas- and District Heating Supply Companies places an emphasis on participation in international organisations and on cooperations and synergies with similar trade associations in Europe.
FGW is a member of the following international organisations:
FGW - Association of Gas- and District Heating Supply Companies
A-1010 Vienna, Austria
Tel: (+43/1) 513 15 88-0
Fax: (+43/1) 513 15 88-25