In recent years, balcony power plants, also known as plug-in solar devices, have gained increasing popularity in Germany. These small but effective solar units offer an easy way for tenants and homeowners to generate their own electricity, contributing to the energy transition. With the introduction of Solar Package 1, a legislative package designed to clarify regulations around plug-in solar devices and reduce administrative barriers, the use of such systems is further facilitated. Although the legislation was delayed and is set to come into effect after 2023, there are already some important rules to consider.
Before Solar Package 1: Existing Rules
- Power Limit: Currently, plug-in solar devices can feed a maximum of 600W of power into the household grid via an inverter. This ensures that network stability is not compromised and household safety is guaranteed.
- Registration: Each balcony power plant must be registered in the Market Master Data Register. This process is straightforward and can easily be completed online. Registration is essential for proper recording and monitoring of decentralized energy production.
- Notifying the Electricity Supplier: After installing a balcony power plant, it is necessary to inform your electricity supplier in writing. This measure is particularly important to prevent old mechanical Ferraris meters, still found in some households, from running backwards when electricity is fed into the grid. This phenomenon is illegal in Germany, and informing the supplier allows them to replace the meter with a modern digital meter equipped with a reverse flow lock, if necessary.
- Landlord or Homeowners Association (WEG) Consent: Before installing a balcony power plant, the landlord or the homeowners association must also be informed. This ensures that all relevant parties are aware of the impending installation.
Changes Brought by Solar Package 1
Solar Package 1 introduces several significant changes that make the use of balcony power plants even more attractive and easier:
- Increased Feed-in Limit: The maximum feed-in power is raised from 600W to 800W. This increase allows owners to install more powerful systems and thus produce more of their own electricity.
- Simplified Registration Processes: In the future, only registration in the Market Master Data Register will be required. The automatic transmission of data to the electricity supplier eliminates the need for a separate notification of the supplier.
- Structural Changes: Balcony power plants are added to the list of privileged structural changes. This means that landlords or homeowners associations can only object to the installation of a balcony power plant in rare cases. This strengthens the legal position of those who want to contribute to the energy transition.