Grid access charge for domestic solar energy producers

The federal energy watchdog CREG has decided that from 1 January 2013, domestic solar energy producers will have to pay a grid access charge of 53 euro per kilowatt that is uploaded onto the electricity grid. The new measures will cost the average household with solar panels between 200 and 250 euro per annum. Nevertheless, the Flemish Energy Minister Freya Van den Bossche (socialist) insists that solar panels can still save you money.

The sum of 53 euro per kilowatt will apply for the next two years. From 2015, it will be the regional regulator such as VREG in Flanders that will set the level of the grid access charge.

Not only those with solar panels will be hit by the new levy, as it will also apply to other forms of energy production such as wind turbines, where the total amount of energy uploaded annually does not exceed 10 kilowatts.

The levy has come about at the behest of the companies that manage the electricity distribution network. They said that the current situation (with no levy) discriminated against electricity consumers without solar panels.

The Flemish Energy Minister Freya Van de Bossche backs the new levy. Ms. Van den Bossche adds that it’s only normal that those that use the grid as suppliers should pay.

"People with solar panels use the grid the same as anyone else. Twice in fact as they both take electricity from and add electricity to the grid.”