Distributors receive first applications for electricity sharing in residential buildings
Energy distributors are receiving the first applications for electricity sharing in apartment buildings. So far, they say, these are only a handful of cases across the country. From this year onwards, the electricity produced by a photovoltaic power plant, for example, can be distributed among individual households. The Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) authorised the sharing of electricity between individual households in residential buildings at the end of last year.
Since the beginning of this year, CEZ has received eight applications for electricity sharing in apartment buildings across the country - from smaller municipalities and larger cities. "We received the very first application on 1 January 2023," said spokeswoman Soňa Holingerová. According to her, the majority of the projects so far are small apartment buildings with two to six flats owned by one owner. Requests are also coming from owners of two-family houses with two or three electricity meters. In all cases, Holinger said, the photovoltaic power plants had been commissioned earlier at one of the customer sites.
According to the spokeswoman, CEZ had to adjust its internal processes to handle the applications, both in terms of receiving, registering and processing the applications, as well as in billing or installing and replacing the meters. This is due to the fact that all consumption points that are part of the sharing have to be equipped with continuous metering. According to Holinger, the launch of electricity sharing also required adjustments to IT systems and websites.
The distribution company EG.D, which belongs to the E.ON group, also received the first request for sharing in a residential building. Another large company, Pražská energetika, has not yet registered any requests, but has already tested some of the systems for their operation and connection to the grid and is investigating others. "If any requests do appear, we are ready to accept and approve them almost immediately," said spokesman Karel Hanzelka.
Since this year, the ERO has allowed the sharing of electricity in apartment buildings between individual households. The authority has specifically allowed the sharing of electricity through the introduction of a leading point of consumption, which will be the only one in the apartment building and will be connected to a common source. Excess electricity not consumed in the house will also be sold from the house to the grid through this point of consumption. However, in addition to the lead point, there will still be associated points of consumption which will remain with the individual flats. They will therefore continue to be able to choose their own supplier. The authority says this will only allow access for those households that have expressed an interest. Other residents in the building will not be affected by the change.
"In practice, this means that the residents of a block of flats can save on electricity costs by sharing the energy from a source installed in (or on) the house where they live. However, the basic condition is that the installation of such a community source must be approved by the owners of the flats. Most often this will be a condominium, municipality or cooperative. It is then necessary to obtain approval for the connection of such a source from the distribution company," describe the procedure Marc Müller and Michal Fógel from bpv Braun Partners. They pointed out the necessity to agree on the so-called allocation key, which is the percentage ratio in which the electricity generated from the community source will be distributed to the members of the community.