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Wallonia’s prosumer grid fee comes into force

The tariff, imposed by the regional energy regulator for use of the distribution network, will be charged via bills issued by electricity suppliers.

Wallonian energy regulator the Commission wallonne pour l’Energie (CWaPE) has announced a long-trailed grid fee will be applied to energy ‘prosumers’ from Thursday, although the charge will be reimbursed by the government until 2022.

CWaPE said the tariff – which will be determined by electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) – will be applied to all prosumers, regardless of the energy production technology used. “The vast majority of these are photovoltaic panels but there are also small wind, hydraulic or co-generation installations,” said the regulator.

The charge, which CWaPE insisted is not a tax, will be levied on the owners of energy systems with a generation capacity of less than 10 kVA who, until now have not contributed to the cost of integrating small scale generation into the grid, said the regulator.

The commission pointed out a similar charge has been applied in the Flemish part of Belgium since July 2015, where it is linked to generation capacity.

How does it work?

Prosumers – households which both consume power from, and generate power for the grid – without smart meters will pay a fixed tariff related to the generation capacity of their household energy system.

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Customers with smart meters, which register how much grid electricity they consume and how much power they inject into the grid, will have the new fee levied on the net amount of grid power they consume but the figure cannot be higher than that which would be liable if fixed to household system generation capacity.

The fee will be reimbursed in full by the government until 2022, when only 54% will be given back. From 2024, generators will have to pay the fee in full.

The regulator has called on prosumers without smart meters to make the switch, and said devices will be installed for free by the DNOs on 80% of home energy systems with a generation capacity of at least 5 kW, after a decree to that effect in July 2018.

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Source: pv magazine