First the photovoltaic system has to go up.

On the roof, it is supposed to catch the sun's rays, produce “green” electricity and thus protect the climate.

But assembly is often by no means the real challenge for the energy transition.

Because the ecological operation on the roof brings with it great difficulties when a tenant lives in the house.

As a landlord, selling the electricity from the system on the roof of the apartment building and other energy to the tenant is very complicated in Germany.

Jan Hauser

Editor in business.

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It is easier for the property owner who also lives in their own four walls. The owner mounts the solar system on the roof, consumes his own electricity and does not have to pay any taxes on it up to a certain level, such as the green electricity levy according to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). For the energy supply to the tenant, however, this includes the EEG surcharge, and it is not otherwise easy. This is reported by a landlord in the Black Forest who lives in his own house, but also wanted to connect his new solar system on the roof to the rented apartment there. "The process of registering this is so complicated and bureaucratic," he concluded.

Small and large landlords who have ever wanted to tweak the ecological balance of their property know the difficulties.

Kai Warnecke, President of Haus & Grund and thus representative of private property owners across the country, is also aware of this.

“In many buildings, the use of photovoltaics or solar thermal energy is a sensible solution, in others, combined heat and power systems or heat pumps operated with biogas or hydrogen may be better,” he says.

Warnecke considers blanket solutions that specify a technology to be wrong.

But in order to accelerate the expansion of photovoltaic systems (PA), politicians must finally regulate how the electricity from the roof can easily get to the tenants in the house: "The municipal electricity suppliers are blocking this because they fear for their market."

Politics is not reacting enough yet

Politicians have certainly noticed how little progress is being made in the flow of tenants. With the EEG amendment of 2017, the legislature introduced a tenant electricity surcharge in order to promote every kilowatt hour of tenant electricity. The surcharge should eliminate billing, distribution, and measurement costs. But that was obviously not enough. Germany is still a long way from the planned expansion of 500 megawatts of tenant electricity systems per year. Last year, with more than 16 megawatts of installed capacity, it was around 3 percent of the planned volume, albeit a high since the tenant electricity regulation four years ago. In the first half of 2021 it was 14 megawatts. For comparison: That is around 0.5 percent of all newly registered photovoltaic systems with the Federal Network Agency in the period. This is how the Federal Association of the Solar Industry speaks ofthat the tenant electricity market is still a niche market, which is due to numerous legal hurdles and barriers.

With the EEG amendment of 2021, the tenant electricity surcharge, which was sometimes very low, was increased and other rules relaxed so that medium-sized tenant electricity systems in particular are more profitable. All of this is not enough for the industry. The solar industry association sees only part of the brakes released. Above all, it is due to costs such as the EEG surcharge, which continue to be incurred for tenant electricity. A dozen associations such as that of the solar industry, Haus & Grund, Bauernverband and the Central Real Estate Committee (ZIA) had previously demanded that tenant electricity be treated as self-consumption. "Significant market impulses for solar tenant electricity projects are only to be expected in the future if the EEG surcharge on tenant electricity is finally abolished," is the verdict of the Solar Industry Association.Medium-sized tenant electricity projects are currently emerging because with only a few participating tenants, the costs of the obstacles are often out of proportion to the revenues.