EU eases consumer access to solar power

PRESS STATEMENT - 13.11.2018

The Members of the European Parliament have approved new EU laws on renewable energy and energy efficiency which will help consumers to benefit from the energy transition.


On renewable energy, households now have a right enshrined in EU law to produce electricity using solar panels, sell any excess production to the grid and get a market price for it.

The law also creates contact points to advise and support people interested in installing solar panels on administrative and permitting procedures, a major barrier until now because of the sometimes-complicated procedures in place. Another important measure is that the law prevents Member States from applying charges, such as the Spanish ‘tax on the sun’, on electricity produced by households [1].

Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) said: “Solar energy should be within everybody’s reach. Without doubt this law will boost renewable energy and help people save on their energy bills in the long run. It provides more certainty for people who have been on the fence and who previously hesitated about investing in solar panels.”

The Parliament has also confirmed a law on energy efficiency. The directive on energy efficiency means EU Member States will have to reach an energy savings target of 32.5% by 2030 compared to the 2005 level of energy use. Member States can decide how they will reach their targets but must provide the Commission with their plans.

Monique Goyens added: “Cutting down on energy consumption is one of the best and simplest ways to save on energy bills. EU countries are going to have to offer a myriad of measures to help consumers insulate their households and cut down on unnecessary energy use. That is good news for all of us, and particularly those who struggle to heat their homes adequately every winter.”

The Energy Efficiency Directive should be transposed into national law by summer 2020, while the Renewable Energy Directive should apply by the end of June 2021.


[1] Spain has recently removed its infamous ‘tax on the sun’ which Spanish consumer group OCU says will and boost renewable energy production by consumers.