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What means "autoconsumo"?

Actualizado: 17 may 2023

For some months now, the Spanish public administration has introduced laws and regulations that allow people to install solar panels on their roofs without special taxes, heavy administrative processes or problems. And to make growth faster, they have defined certain bonuses and subsidies in some Comunidades Autónomas.

In summary, solar energy is a technology that has reached our homes so that we can generate our own energy. In other words, self-consumption.

What is self-consumption?

All of us enjoy a connection to the electricity grid, which provides us with energy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This energy is being generated through the different generation plants distributed throughout the territory (hydraulic, thermal, nuclear, wind, solar plants, among others) and is transported to our home through the electrical lines of the national transmission system.

The price we pay for this energy corresponds to generation at that time of day and to the cost associated with transportation. These costs depend on the electricity rate that we have contracted in our home. But thanks to solar energy it allows us to generate energy on our roof and consume it directly in our electrical installation.

Photovoltaic panels generate electrical energy throughout a sunny day and that energy is injected into our home electrical system, where we have our electrical devices and elements connected. When we use them in the hours when solar radiation is present, we will be making the most of our solar panels.

If the generated energy exceeds our consumption, this energy will be injected into the utility and the electric meter will measure the amount of energy that we are pouring into the grid. This energy is called “Excedentes”.

If, on the other hand, it is getting dark and our devices are consuming more energy than the panels deliver, the necessary energy will come from the utility, and the meter will measure our consumption.

This circulation of electrical energy occurs automatically, without the need to install additional electronic elements in the meter and without us noticing any physical change in the operation of the appliances in our home. The electrical energy of the panels is exactly the same as that of the electrical network!

Therefore, self-consumption is the installation of solar panels to generate our own energy without the need to buy as much energy from the electricity grid, thus reducing our bill.

Sounds good, isn’t it?

How does the self-consumption law work in Spain? 

A methodology has been defined that economically compensates our “excedentes” or surplus, that is, each time we inject energy into the electricity grid, we generate a credit in our favor, since the government establishes the price of the energy injected by the solar panels on a daily basis.

This credit is increasing day by day during the billing month and at the end of the month, that credit is subtracted from the energy that we have had to consume from the grid when our panels are not generating (at night and in low-light hours).

Therefore, if you have injected € 25 of energy from the panels this month and have consumed equivalent energy to € 30, you will only have to pay € 5 of energy this month, which is the variable term of the invoice.

But there is a small peculiarity: if a month where the solar radiation has been excellent and your consumption has been low, you have sold more energy to the grid than you have consumed, the credit cannot be maintained from one month to the next, and it will be energy that you will have given to the network (that is why it is so important to make a good design of the installation).

But the most important thing is that all this energy calculation is done automatically by the electricity companies, without the need to send papers and documents every month. Once you are connected to the network, you will be able to enjoy this surplus compensation forever.

If you are interested in installing solar panels in your home or business, contact us or request quotes completely free out of charge.

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