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Paying less than the price of your electricity supplier is possible: “the potential of energy communities is enormous”

  • Post category:Economy News
  • Reading time:3 mins read

In the current context of high energy prices, the Morning Market focused on the energy community system.

First clarification, contrary to what one might think, this is not a form of group purchase. It should be remembered that the group purchase of energy allows several consumers to negotiate an advantageous rate with suppliers.

As for the energy community, it is about citizens who share a production of renewable energy.

How it works ?

Let’s take a concrete example: you live near a large building that has solar panels on its roof. Its owners do not use all the electricity produced and decide to resell it to you directly. You set a price together, often much better than the market price, and you will create what is called an energy community. This is what is done in particular in the municipality of Ganshoren, at the Nos Bambins school. The establishment resells its electricity produced on its roof at very low prices to its neighbours.

Pierre Andrianne is one of the neighbors of the school and he explains: “We established, at the last general assembly, the price of around 11 euro cents per kilowatt hour, whereas I think that a traditional supplier is at least at 50 or 60 cents now, because we really reached heights. So, initially, it was a saving of around 50 euros per year for an average consumer. Now, we can easily count on 200-250 euros.” 250 euros per year is therefore a great saving, with a price per kWh (kilowatt hour) which is, as Pierre Andrianne said, around 50 euro cents today.

Share your energy within a building

There are other types of energy sharing, for example within the same building. Here, the principle is that the energy is produced by the occupants of the building who share it. To better understand, let’s take the example of what is happening in the municipality of Saint-Gilles in Brussels. A hundred solar panels have been installed on the roof of social housing: the Foyer du Sud. The latter has made the investment and only bills the inhabitants for the costs of connection, distribution and taxes. In the end, 16 apartments use the solar energy produced within the building.

It is two and a half times cheaper than the current social tariff

Corentin Allain is the energy manager at the Foyer du Sud: “Today, electricity is first shared on the common areas of the building, therefore for the operation of the elevators, the lighting and the boiler room and the ventilation systems. Then, everything that is in addition to the production is redistributed with all the tenants. The kilowatt hour that we produce on the roof is billed at 10 cents per kilowatt hour, so it is already much lower compared to market electricity. It is two and a half times cheaper than the current social tariffSo the financial benefit is significant.

Current data does not yet allow for a decline over a full billed year. The project managers estimate, however, that the electricity produced by the solar panels will represent 25 to 30% of the electricity consumed per apartment.