Those who install solar panels provide to some extent their own energy. This energy autonomy is strongly promoted by our government. In that case, it is logical that you will receive a big discount on your energy bill. Because all self-generated energy is deducted from it. Until the end of 2020, this was mostly done using the system of the reversing electricity meter. The self-generated energy was deducted from your electricity meter. Starting from 2021, this will be made somewhat simpler with the introduction of the digital meter in all homes with solar panels and payment of a one-off subsidy. But is this still advantageous overall?
If you have solar panels installed and approved by a recognised body before the end of 2020, you can still enjoy the benefits of the reversing meter scheme for a maximum of 15 years. If you then (at certain times) generate more energy than you consume, you can still rely on the prosumer rate. You will pay your energy bills at a more favourable rate depending on your grid operator (and, therefore, your region) and the capacity of your inverter. Because then you are a ‘prosumer’ instead of a ‘consumer’. A recognised installer such as Van Havere Projects will always recommend the most suitable inverter for your particular solar panels, so that this rate will be the most favourable for your family.
Over the next 15 years, all analogue electricity meters will be systematically replaced by the new ones. As the owner of solar panels, you will be given priority if you want to have your old meters replaced.
Are you installing solar panels after 1 January 2021? Then an intelligent digital meter will be installed to replace the old registration method. And, therefore, a reversing electricity meter or the prosumer rate will no longer be used. Instead, the Flemish Government will grant a one-off subsidy for the installation of new solar installations in existing homes with a digital meter. That subsidy will be a maximum of € 1,500 and will be calculated on your investment.
Many people who planned to invest in solar panels are worried about this change. They want to know whether the installation of solar panels will still be cost-effective starting from 2021. Strangely enough, the coronavirus crisis now ensures that this new formula will still absolutely be cost-effective. During this crisis, we stay and work at home often and longer. Now that many companies have made this investment, this pattern will also continue in many places after the crisis. Indeed, it is also a good move to reduce traffic congestion and a favourable development for our environment. And it now allows this digital meter scheme to become just a bit more advantageous for people who spend a lot of time at home during the day and thus directly consume their self-generated energy!
Moreover, this system was already in force in new-built houses and this new calculation principle remains broadly in line with the previous one. You just will not see your meter actually run backwards. Your new digital meter will have two separate displays: a consumption and an injection display. This will still allow you to see how much energy you are consuming and generating. This difference will then be settled by your energy supplier at the end of the year. Actually, the new system provides a clearer overview to both private individuals who invest in energy autonomy and suppliers!
Do you have further questions about this change for your particular situation? Would you like to have your old meter replaced in 2021? Or would you like to get a quotation for the most cost-effective installation for your household situation? Then do not hesitate to contact us!