Now that the reverse counter for solar panel users has been scrapped by a decision of the Constitutional Court, some half a million Flemish families are left out in the cold – almost literally. In order to compensate for the loss of this favourable construction, GPC Europe presents interesting solutions that boost consumers’ own consumption. Yves Struyve of GPC Europe explains, “Thanks to our smart controls and batteries, excess solar energy can still be stored, resulting in lower energy bills.”
Anyone who had solar panels installed between the beginning of 2006 and the end of 2020 was entitled to the principle of the reverse counter for 15 years. The counter increases when you consume more energy than you produce, and decreases when you produce more energy than you consume. Recently, however, the Constitutional Court overturned this construction, which means that consumers’ surplus generated energy now disappears into the energy network. It’s a major disappointment for those who have just invested in solar panels to benefit from this favourable construction.
But there are other possibilities. GPC Europe, a wholesaler of solar photovoltaic products and batteries, has the technology ready to boost consumers’ own consumption to keep energy bills low. Yves Struyve of GPC Europe continues, “Smart battery solutions, with support from the government, can compensate for the loss of the reverse counter. This lost energy can be stored for later use by installing an electric battery, for example. Even a relatively small battery can double a consumer’s own consumption. Excess solar energy can also be stored in heat. This is a lot cheaper and very efficient. Unused energy is then diverted to a boiler, heat pump, or accumulators, for instance.”
Looking for the hidden free battery in the house
With GPC’s smart controls, you don’t send the unused energy you’ve generated to the grid; instead, you keep it in the form of domestic hot water, for example. Once the solar energy generated is higher than the consumption in the house, the boiler is fired up, using exactly the same amount of energy that you would have otherwise put into the electricity grid. Tijs Neutjens installed this smart control, “I installed a thermal storage unit in September. I was surprised by how quick and easy it was to install. But I was even more surprised by the result. I estimate that 1,000 kWh per year of energy can be stored, and that all the energy for the hot water in the summer and in the off-season can be generated in this way.”
Energetic call to action: support sustainable investments
“We don’t expect the government to come up with outdated green certificates and other complicatedly constructed tariffs that create even more legal uncertainty,” says Yves Struyve of GPC Europe. Instead, we’re sending out an energetic call to action to the government to support sustainable investments. This fits perfectly within the framework of the Covid-19 investment strategy to support sustainability and efficiency. It’s a great opportunity to build a balanced power grid that will benefit us all for decades to come.”