13. December 2018

E-invoice ordinance in force from November 2018 - Labour savings in energy management

According to the e-invoicing regulation, special digital methods and formats have been in force since 27 November 2018 for invoicing in public procurement.

Since then, the highest federal authorities have had to be able to receive and process electronic invoices. All other federal contracting authorities will follow one year later on 27.11.2019.

From 27 November 2020, all suppliers serving public contracts (with a contract value of €1,000 or more) will be required to issue an electronic invoice.

This also affects energy suppliers to a large extent. As a result, all public bodies such as municipalities, authorities, etc. will have energy invoices in electronic form by 2021 at the latest.

More than a PDF of regular paper invoice

Electronic invoices within the meaning of the Ordinance are not simple PDF images of "classic" paper invoices, but must contain invoice information in a structured data format in accordance with EU standards. This enables software to understand the content of the invoice, making digital processes possible.

According to the regulation, billers and bill senders must always use the XInvoice data exchange standard. However, a different data exchange format may also be used if it meets the requirements of the European standard for electronic invoicing. The ZUGFeRD 2.0 format (profile EN 16931) also meets these requirements and can therefore be received and processed by all European administrations.

What it means for IngSoft InterWatt users

Many of the users of IngSoft InterWatt from the public sector have to check energy invoices for their correctness within the framework of energy management. In addition, in many cases energy bills are an important and often the only source of data on the energy consumption of certain buildings. To date, it has been difficult to agree an interface for this billing data with the energy supplier, so that in 2018 many paper invoices had to be simply typed in.

At least for the public sector, this manual recording should be history by 2021 at the latest.

IngSoft will offer the corresponding interfaces as soon as the first energy suppliers have issued invoices in the format ZUGFeRD 2.0 (profile EN 16931) or XInvoice.