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Extra bill for solar panel owners

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

The net-metering scheme will remain in place for now and will not (yet) be phased out as the bill made it seem. This is because the proposal will 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 as much. This scheme was created when solar panels were much more expensive than now. It helps households reduce the payback period of solar panels. But solar panels have now fallen in price so much that the net-metering scheme has become redundant, according to the caretaker government.

‘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, will now do so. Eneco reports that the political decision leaves it “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 this. “At the moment, we incorporate the costs into our tariffs, and those without solar panels in particular bear these costs”. That is not fair, reports Hidde Kuik of Vattenval.

Energy suppliers incur costs for the net-metering scheme. This arises as follows: the energy they receive from customers in the summer period is worth practically nothing, while the energy they have to supply “for free” in winter is relatively much more expensive. These costs are currently spread across all customers.

Source: De Gelderlander

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