Thanks to a recently adopted Decree on prosumers, the procedure for citizens and companies in Serbia to produce solar power will be much easier. The long-waited act will provide a simple framework for the installation of solar panels for households and companies thus providing them with a possibility to produce electricity for self-consumption.
The Government of Serbia has adopted a Decree on the criteria, conditions, and the method of billing between prosumers and suppliers, which refers to households, residential buildings, and companies. The conditions and procedures for a company to become a prosumer were complicated until the adoption of the decree and lasted for months, and it was an even tougher task for households.
The precondition for the adoption of the decree was the adoption of the Serbian Law on renewable energy sources in April this year and the amendments to the Law on energy.
The entire procedure can be finished without contact with the state administration – ministry
The Ministry of Mining and Energy, which drafted the decree, announced that now citizens and firms can obtain the status of prosumers in just one step even without contacting the state administration. The Ministry also said that building permits, installation approval, and trial work are not required anymore.
After the purchase and installation of the solar panels, the individuals should contact a power supplier, after which they will be connected to the grid, the Ministry said.
Prosumers need new smart meters, the ministry said and added that all the power they produce will be delivered to the grid. At the end of the month, the prosumers will pay only for the difference between the electricity consumed and produced.
Of note, the ministry has announced it would launch a public call for the allocation of subsidies for the installation of solar panels at the beginning of September.
One, two, or three steps
People familiar with the matter say that smart meters wouldn’t be free but that prosumer would need to buy them.
Elektrodistribucija Srbije has five days to connect the prosumer to the grid
There will be two steps for households to establish cooperation with state-owned companies which are in charge, and another one will be to hire a company to install solar panels.
The first step, the ministry notes, is sending a request to the supplier to change the supply contract. For households, it is the state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS). The second step is to submit the installer’s statement to distribution system operator Elektrodistribucija Srbije (EDS) that the installed system complies with the rules.
EPS will send the amended supply contracts for households to the EDS, which is seen as a very good solution, as it is obliged to connect the prosumer to the grid five days after receiving the document.
The procedure for multiapartment buildings is slightly more complicated
The process of connecting multiapartment buildings and companies to the distribution network is slightly different.
Solar panels pay off in 7-8 years – state secretary
Jovanka Atanacković, state secretary of the Ministry of Mining and Energy, said roofs in Serbia span over 600 square kilometers. Solar panels pay off in 7-8 years, and they can be used for 25 years, so the bills for consumed energy will be significantly lower, she added.
On the other hand, with their installation, citizens will finally start taking care of the environment and energy efficiency, according to Atanacković.
Billing models for households, firms
Structures with one household, multi-apartment buildings, individual apartments in apartment buildings, and companies are all eligible to become prosumers.
Under the decree, households and multi-apartment buildings have the right to net metering. They are billed in kWh by the supplier only for the difference between the amount of electricity consumed and the amount fed into the grid. On the other hand, firms will use a net billing model which envisages the calculation of the difference in money.
Prosumers will produce energy only for self-consumption, not for sale on the market
Of note, the prosumer status can be obtained only if the installed capacity of the solar power plant is the same or less as the approved capacity which was earlier contracted between supplier and consumer. The rule demonstrates the intention of the authorities to restrict prosumers to produce electricity only for self-consumption and not for sale. Other countries in the region, such as Slovenia and Croatia, have similar restrictions.
The calculation of the delivered electricity and taken electricity will be done every 12 months
The decree enacts another measure that implements the concept. Every year on April 1, the surplus of electricity that the prosumer fed into the grid against what it consumed will be annulled. But the prosumer must cover the balance if it consumed more than it delivered to the supplier.
This measure demotivates prosumers to produce more than they consume because they won’t get money for the surplus.
Technically speaking, all the energy produced by the prosumer is fed into the grid while the prosumer draws all the energy from the grid for its consumption.