Extra bill for solar panel owners

Despite the fact that the Senate will keep the net-metering scheme in place for now, solar panel owners will have to pay hundreds of euros more per year for their panels.

The balancing scheme will remain in place for the time being and will not be phased out (yet) as the bill made it seem. The proposal did not get a majority in the Senate. People who generate their own electricity using solar panels can offset the surplus they generate against their consumption on days when the sun is not shining. This scheme was created when solar panels were much more expensive than they are now. It helps households reduce the payback period for solar panels. But solar panels have now fallen in price so much that the net-metering scheme has become superfluous, according to the outgoing cabinet.

'No other choice'

Energy companies like Eneco (more than 2 million Dutch customers) are not happy with the Senate's decision. The companies, which were not yet charging panel owners for costs, will now do so. Eneco reports that because of the political decision it has "no choice" but to recover the costs from those who cause them. Energy giant Vattenval also says it is working on a scheme whereby customers who balance will have to pay for it. "At the moment we incorporate the costs into our tariffs, and those without solar panels in particular are paying for them." That's not fair, reports Hidde Kuik of Vattenval.

Energy suppliers incur costs for the balancing scheme. This arises as follows: the energy they receive from customers in the summer period is worth virtually nothing, while the energy they have to supply "for free" in the winter is relatively much more expensive. These costs are currently spread over all customers.

Source: The Gelderlander