The benefits of Self-consumption in Neighborhood Communities


The benefits of Self-consumption in Neighborhood Communities

The benefits of Self-consumption in Neighborhood Communities

Self-consumption Saving 再生能源 4

We have addressed the issue of solar panels on many occasions, but always from the individual point of view; however there are other forms of self-consumption that are possible and that allow savings in community expenses.

In Spain it is possible to install solar panels in communities of neighbors thanks to a change in the regulations that began in 2018 and culminated the following year with the Real Decreto 244/2019 through which the possibility of self-consumption, the storage of the energy produced and the modalities of consumption were legislated.

These modalities can be differentiated between those that affect compensation for energy not consumed and those that do not, as well as the possibility of starting collective self-consumption.

What is collective self-consumption?

The Royal Decree indicates that it is a photovoltaic installation in which several associated consumers make use of it. The requirements are that they must all be under the same self-consumption modality and a document of agreement between the participants.

In short, it is a form of self-consumption in which different participants benefit from the energy produced by a single photovoltaic installation.

Steps to install solar panels: commissioning and installation and formalities


The agreement between the associated neighbors is included in the Ley de Propiedad Horizontal on solar panels, which was also reformulated to integrate the self-consumption modalities described above.

In Spain, 65% of the population lives in communities of neighbors.

The first thing to do is to ask the property manager or the president of the community to include the issue on the agenda of the neighborhood meeting.

Once at the meeting, the project goes ahead as long as certain approval percentages are met:

  • If you want to make a personal use of the energy produced in a communal way the vote must be approved by 1/3 of the total of the Board.
  • If you want to make a collective use of energy for lighting and supply in common areas of the building, the vote must be approved by 3/5 of the owners because it affects the common interests of the whole Community, although only those who have voted in favor would be responsible for it.

We recommend that if you want to have the support of the neighbors, you should work on your persuasion skills and spend time explaining the benefits of having a photovoltaic installation.

If a neighbour does not want to participate in the installation, he is not obliged to do so, but he will not be able to oppose the installation of the community solar panels. They will simply not participate in the initial investment, nor in the maintenance, but neither will they benefit from the energy obtained, nor from the compensation mechanisms.

Energy sharing

Thus, the energy produced will be distributed among the neighbours who have reached an agreement for the photovoltaic installation. There are different ways of distributing it: in equal parts, proportionally according to the percentage of investment with which they have participated, by contracted power, etc.

To start enjoying the energy, a community meter that registers the activity must be installed together with the panels. In addition, each neighbour must have his own meter and the expense will be calculated by resolving the difference between what the general meter and the private meter show.

Total consumption of the general meter - Total consumption of the private meter = individual consumption and expense.

In the case that the interested party is an individual, the processes for the installation of the solar panels and the whole kit must be managed by that person and will be for private use.

Installation and formalities

As for the tangible part of the project, it does not differ much from the process of installing solar panels for individual use. In Lumisa, in fact, we are experts in this part of the process and we are firmly committed to self-consumption and obtaining sustainable energy.

1. The first thing to do is to be clear about what type of self-consumption we will use, as we have said, with or without surpluses.

2. It is necessary to present an invoice to carry out the feasibility study to know if it would be possible to install the solar panels. This invoice will have to be sent by all the interested neighbours to the Administrator or president so that he takes charge of the beginning of the process.

3. Not all the rooftops are viable for the installation of the solar panels, that is why it is necessary to make the mentioned professional study to know if we can pass to produce our own energy or not.

4. If it is feasible, it is necessary to specify a budget and how much each neighbour will invest, in addition to record the power that each one involved will have.

5. Afterwards, the installation of the solar panels and the whole self-consumption kit, with the meter and the rest of the elements that are required, would be carried out. Learn how solar panels work in depth and see how their price has fallen in a few years.

6. Enjoy clean and renewable energy.


Return on investment

Spain has the luck and the honour of being one of the areas of Europe that has more hours of sunshine throughout the year, so the payback time of the initial investment is much earlier than in other areas.

It is estimated that the Community would take between 5 and 7 years to recover the investment, so although initially you have to disburse a larger amount (it is supplying several consumers), the time is much shorter in perspective with the years of enjoyment of the installation.

Eligibility for subsidies

This is one of the most important aspects for those interested in photovoltaic solar energy. There are different grants and subsidies offered by the government for the installation of solar panels and for related aspects, such as storage behind the meter, which help to reduce the initial investment.

See our article in which we talk about what subsidies exist in 2021 to keep up to date with the aid that already existed, such as the IRPF deduction or discounts on the IBI, which depend on each Autonomous Community and the new package approved this summer.


One of the main reasons for opting for self-consumption is the medium and long-term savings. In the case of individuals, the savings on the electricity bill can reach 50%, while in the case of Communities of Neighbours, it can reach 30% or 40% on the electricity bill.

Since the implementation of the new electricity tariffs, the price of electricity has only increased and self-consumption can be the solution to avoid so many headaches. The explanation is that the price per kWh depends exclusively on the productive capacity of the installation.

Compensation system

Another of the benefits in relation to economic savings is the possibility of using the self-consumption with surplus and compensation system, which will allow residents to recover part of the investment through the discharge of surplus energy from their production into the electricity grid.

These surpluses will be compensated in the electricity bill at the price agreed with the supplier, or according to the market price, as long as the consumer is in the free market.

Increases the value of the community

A community with solar panels installed increases its value thanks to the commitment to green energy and sustainability. The portal specializing in clean energy, Cambio Energético, mentions some studies that point in favor of this point.

First, the real estate company Zillow pointed out that in 2018, in the United States, homes with solar panels were sold, on average, 4% more expensive. In addition, Appraisal Institute, a globally influential association of real estate appraisal professionals, points to this increase with figures, since for each watt of solar energy, the property increases its value by 17.5 euros and its sale can be 20% faster.

This is explained by a long-term view of the matter. The initial investment when buying a home that incorporates solar energy will be higher because it is expected that over time this investment will be amortized and the savings will be greater.

Energy independence

When a consumer, either individual or collective, begins to use solar energy, he has two options.

  • Remain connected to the electricity grid for the sale of surplus electricity that is not used, which will receive financial compensation as stipulated by current legislation.
  • Disconnecting from the grid, through which you will not be able to enjoy this advantage, but you will have energy independence, so you will not have power cuts.

Respect for the environment and sustainable consumption

Although it sounds cliché, the reality is that this is the benefit that affects us all, since opting for the consumption of energy produced thanks to sunlight contributes to the conservation of the environment.

We encourage everyone to try our simulator to know the approximate investment of putting solar panels on your roof, with the desire to grow the family Lumisa ecologically responsible and put a grain of sand in building a more sustainable future and respectful of life on our planet.


  • Endef
  • El Economista
  • Social Energy
  • Novelec
  • Mutua de Propietarios
  • SolarMente
  • Hogarsolar
  • E4e
  • Smart Spain
  • Ekilor
  • Cambio Energético
  • Zillow
  • Moove Magazine

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