Self-consumption of electricity is getting closer. The houses will be able to generate their own electric energy with solar panels and the surplus that they dump into the grid will be deducted from the electricity bill.

In the same Royal Decree that dictates a moratorium on renewable energy premiums, there is the legal possibility in the making that homes generate their own electricity from a small photovoltaic or small wind power installation and are discounted from the electricity bill. The one that they do not consume and that they pour into the network. It is what in the jargon of the energy industry is called net balance, a revolution in the way of generating and consuming electricity in Spainbecause it will match the point of generation to the point of consumption (households), without electricity having to travel from a nuclear power plant to the home, and will allow users who opt for this self-consumption to gain independence with respect to electricity companies.

For the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (Unef), which represents the four employers in the photovoltaic sector, it is an “unstoppable movement”, which will democratize the electricity market, as explained this week during the presentation of its proposals to the new Government on how refine self-consumption so that it represents real consumer savings.

The standard, the draft of which has been sleeping since November in the For its analysis, the National EnergyCommission allows a home to generate up to 60% of the electricity it consumes from an investment of 3,500 euros in a small photovoltaic solar installation. During the first year, a family could save 3% on their receipt, a discount that would increase annually. The preparation of the rule is from the previous Government, but it is expected that in the coming weeks it will see the light.

The way this new scheme will work is simple. A house will produce certain kilowatts of electricity from photovoltaic solar panels and will consume part of them, almost always during daylight hours. The portion of electricity that it will have to buy from the electric company to satisfy all its demand will be paid through access tolls, the details of which have yet to be determined. The reasonable thing, according to Unef, is that the electricity that is imported is given the same value as that which is injected into the network. Because, as the standard is now drafted, a nuclear power plant and a three-kilowatt solar photovoltaic installation compete on equal terms.

For the time being, the rule only provides that private customers may opt for the self-consumption model, but Unef has proposed to the Government to extend the measure so that an industrial estate or a community of neighbors can access and share a single solar photovoltaic installation. The measure will not only help users to save on electricity bills, but above all, they explain from Unef, “it will make consumers more aware of what it costs to generate electricity”, urging them to become involved in consumption, beyond to see the light when they flip the switch.