How to set up an energy community?
We would like to share the renewable energy produced by one or more of our photovoltaic installations with our neighbours, family or friends. The following informations apply whether the installation is owned by a single owner, several owners or a cooperative.
There are two types of energy communities:
- the local energy community (sharing renewable energy among grid users separated no more than 300-metres)
- the national energy community (without geographical restrictions, but without exemption from the grid fees).
The steps for the creation of the energy community are identical in both cases.
A local energy community is only feasible on the low-voltage network belonging to a single grid operator.
A local renewable energy community is feasible between users of the electric grid whose supply points (PODs) are separated not more than 300 metres. The participation by the grid users of within this is voluntary. We therefore take the initiative of bringing together those interested in participating, including at least one owner of an installed photovoltaic system, located within the same 300 meters perimeter. Alternatively, the energy community itself can be or become the owner of the solar installation(s).
The electricity is shared between the members of the collective self-consumption group at the different supply points of the members. We can choose between two electricity allocation models:
- the simple and static allocation model (default and recommended model by Klima-Agence) where electricity is shared proportionally to the consumption at the various supply points, or alternatively it is allocated on a priority or percentage basis to the members. In this case, the energy balance is prepared by the grid operator;
- a complex allocation model to be defined by the renewable energy community (in this case, the group must draw up the energy balance itself).
As an energy community can only be a legal entity by law, it is necessary to create an organisation. In principle, all types of institutions are possible, but associations and cooperatives are best suited to this type of activity (they are also easy to set up).
If all the production (or storage) units belong to members of our community, we can set up a non-profit association (a.s.b.l.).
In this case, our association can be created without the involvement of a notary.
If the energy community itself were to become the owner of at least one production or storage unit, this would result in transits of financial flows that could not be handled within an association. In this case, as in the case of larger communities, we recommend setting up a cooperative society.
In both cases, two parties (physical or legal) are sufficient for the setup of the company.
We contact our electricity grid operator and take the necessary steps with them.
Complete list of electricity grid operators in Luxembourg:
- Creos Luxembourg S.A.
- Ville de Diekirch
- Electris (Hoffmann Frères Energie et Bois s.à r.l.)
- Ville d’Ettelbruck
- Sudstroum S.àr.l & Co S.e.c.s.
A detailed form (available on the grid operator's website) must be used to provide the following information:
- the representative of the energy community
- the members/partners of the energy community
- the electricity production and/or storage units
- the chosen model for allocating the electricity produced.
The steps taken with the grid operator culminate in the signing of a collective self-consumption agreement. The model can be consulted on the ILR website.
In the case of a new installation for which we have opted for the 50% Klimabonus investment subsidy (for which we waive the feed-in tariff), we sign a purchase agreement for the surplus electricity (which we didn’t consume ourselves) with an electricity supplier of our choice.
If it's a new installation for which we have opted for a 20% Klimabonus investment subsidy (so we benefit from the guaranteed feed-in tariff), or if it's an existing installation for which we still receive the guaranteed feed-in tariff (or the environmental incentive for installations dating from before the end of 2004), the conditions do not change, and we still receive the guaranteed tariff for every kWh we feed into the grid.
In the case of an existing installation for which we no longer benefit from the guaranteed feed-in tariff or the environmental incentive, we must enter into a purchase agreement for the surplus electricity (which we didn’t consume ourselves) with an electricity supplier of our choice.
To determine the terms and conditions of the allocation arrangements, the financial compensation for the electricity distributed as well as the payment procedures, we sign a dedicated electricity allocation agreement between the members of our energy community.
Once the grid operator has approved our self-consumption and electricity sharing, our company is created, the feed-in contract and our electricity allocation agreement have been signed, we can start consuming our own electricity and sharing it among ourselves!
Generally, there is no need for a professional installer.
To facilitate the creation of an energy community, Klima-Agence provides a number of templates.