Find the answer to all your questions

There are 3 possibilities:

Renewable Energy Communities
Citizen Energy Communities
Collective self-consumption within the same building

At WeSmart, we identify 5 steps to building an energy community.

Step 1 - Identify the participants of the community: Identification of the actors, the participants in a certain area and first contact.

Step 2 - Analysis of the feasibility of the community: This translates into feasibility and sizing. The economic model of the community is created in order to start the discussion. With the agreement of the participant, access to the data is allowed and it is then possible to establish a profile of energy production and consumption. The complementarity of the profiles is then identified in the perimeter, using historical data and the pre-sizing tool.

Step 3 - Discussion between community members: Complementary profiles are associated with each other to maximize energy production and use. According to the current regulations, all the participants of the energy community must be downstream of the same HV/MV transformer station. In order to verify this aspect, a consultation with the DSO is organized to jointly determine the electrical and therefore geographical perimeter of the community. Next, an awareness-raising campaign must be carried out for the members of the community, in order to explain the concept and the way in which the community will be managed, but also to make them meet each other.

Step 4 - Creation of the community: Contractual, administrative aspect. The community can be created, the contracts are made in collaboration with the DSO and the file is made for the regulator.

Step 5 - Securely manage the REC: Configure the tool so that the community can operate easily and autonomously.

If you are part of the community, you will be able to get advice, recommendations on how to consume.

Today, there is a lot of green energy that is produced but not consumed, solar panels are installed but the energy is not fully consumed, we want to remedy that!

Our goal is to change the consumption habits and that energy is consumed locally and at lower cost. We want to educate the citizens, to make them aware of their electricity consumption. To do this, we want to shift behaviors and consumption habits to solar hours, to reduce the energy bill.

Europe aims to accelerate the energy transition and wants to place the consumer and the decentralization of electricity production at the heart of the European strategy. In this context, two directives are being transposed, they introduce new concepts such as participating in a community of citizen energy (CEC) or renewable energy (CER), or the self-consumption of renewable energy produced collectively within a single building.

Consumers must legally maintain a supply contract with their energy supplier for the additional energy consumed that is not covered by the sharing of surplus renewable energy.

Each consumer receives two bills: one from the supplier and another from the local producer. The reconciliation of the two bills is done by the DSO. But the consumer will consume less electricity with his supplier.

In the case of an Energy Community, the communicating meter is essential because it is able to read the consumption and production of energy quarter by quarter. A classic electromechanical meter does not allow the sharing in real time (every ¼ of an hour) of the surplus production.

A smart meter is needed to measure energy flows more accurately.

For the producer: 

  • Total production of the facility that produces the shared electricity (for the producer)
  • The surplus production injected into the network (for the producer)

For the consumer: 

  • The amount of electricity shared by all consumers (for the consumer)
  • The amount of energy consumed from his supplier (for the consumer)
  • The amount of electricity shared by each consumer
  • The electricity consumption, at regular intervals, of each consumer (consumption profile).
  • Economic benefit: The impact is favorable, both on the bill of the consumer participants and for the producer.
  • Environmental benefit: Contribute to the energy transition. The increase in self-consumption via energy sharing limits the mobilization of the distribution network and allows a greater penetration of decentralized production means.
  • Social benefit: The citizen is put at the center of a new eco-system that allows him to become an actor in solidarity with his neighbors. Social inclusion should therefore be reinforced thanks to a new collective and local dynamic based on solidarity.

Self-consumption means consuming electricity at the time it is produced.

  • Individual self-consumption: Today, there is legally, the individual self-consumption, which means that the electricity produced is self-consumed by the producer. The metering is done via the meter connected to the power plant. What is not self-consumed is reinjected into the network.
  • Collective self-consumption: The Energy Community allows several consumers to consume the surplus energy produced by a producer. This is called collective self-consumption. In this case, the sharing of energy is done virtually. There is therefore no electrical connection to provide between the participants in the sharing. The network costs remain to be paid on the locally shared electricity. In some cases (e.g. Sibelga network), they can be reduced.
  • Producer: the person whose surplus production is shared with consumers in the community.

Must have a smart meter

Must provide consent to the DSO to activate the "smart" functionality of the meter

Must make production data available with the intention of encouraging consumers to better synchronize their consumption with that production.

  • Consumer: the person who consumes the surplus production

Must have a smart meter

Must provide consent to the DSO to activate the "smart" functionality of the meter

Must pay a second electricity bill, independent of the supplier.

Must sign a contract with the producer or energy community of which the consumer is a member.

  • Organizing Legal Person (OTP ): The EC is a legal entity with a legal personality distinct from that of its members and must own the production and storage units used for sharing .

The PMO can delegate its management to a third party. The European directives do not foresee any restrictions as to the legal form of the PMO. A priori, it can be in the form of: simple company, SNC, SComm, cooperative with limited and unlimited liability, SRL, ASBL, SA, ... each form has its advantages and disadvantages.

  • The Distribution System Operator (DSO ): the entity that manages the distribution network infrastructure and the metering of consumption and production data .