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2018-01-17

Press statement: EU Parliament champions consumers on renewables

17/01/2018 | BEUC |
In its plenary session today, the European Parliament voted in favour of proposals to make it easier for consumers to produce renewable energy. This has set it on course for a showdown with Member States later this year, who have been reluctant to create an electricity market where consumers feed energy they produce into the grid.
Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) said:
“If more consumers produce energy through solar panels, it is a win-win situation. Consumers win by paying lower energy bills, and the energy system becomes cleaner and less reliant on foreign fossil fuels.”
“The Parliament now heads for tricky negotiations with Member States, but with a strong mandate on consumers helping to power the energy transition. The future looks cleaner, greener and cheaper if the Parliament sticks to its guns.”
Proposals which received support from the Parliament include giving consumers the right to produce and consume their own energy, to be remunerated at least at market price when they feed their electricity into the grid, and to remove the requirement for small solar energy installations to get a permit if they want to connect to the grid. The Parliament plenary also voted to allow third parties to own solar power installations on the roofs of multi-storey buildings, which would allow tenants to benefit from them [1].
The Parliament also agreed to push for a 35% target in energy savings by 2030 compared to 2007. This is good news for consumers, including those in energy poverty, a phenomenon which plagues almost one in ten Europeans today, as it would lead to lower energy bills in the long term [2].

Notes:
[1] As many as around 150 million Europeans, 30% of the population of the EU population in 2014, are tenants. Because blocks of flats usually have many owners, it becomes very complicated for tenants to make use of energy generated using solar panels on the roof. Third party ownership can make this much easier. More here.
[2] See European Commission, 'Energy poverty may affect nearly 11% of the EU population' (2015)



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