Installation of solar panels in neighbourhood communities and housing estates

Neighbourhood communities

What is collective self-consumption?

Collective self-consumption is an electricity self-consumption model that allows the energy generated by a photovoltaic installation to be shared among several consumers in the same building or nearby buildings.

This self-consumption option offers various benefits to consumers. These are some of them.

– Economic savings: It allows owners to share the associated costs of the photovoltaic installation and maintenance, making it much more affordable.

– Sustainability: It allows the direct use of renewable energy and reduces dependence on fossil fuels, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

– Energy independence: Shared self-consumption reduces dependence on large electricity companies and thus avoids fluctuations in electricity tariff prices.

Can solar panels be installed in all communities?

The reality in Spain is that more than 70% of the population lives in buildings regulated by the Horizontal Property Law (LPH), which makes these structures a favourable scenario for implementing energy self-consumption systems.

Owners’ associations, like any other energy user, can benefit from various forms of self-consumption. This approach allows the community to generate and use its own electrical energy, promoting both sustainability and energy efficiency at the collective level. Self-consumption options available to homeowners’ communities include:

Individual self-consumption: Each unit within the community can install its own solar panels or renewable energy generation systems in the space available in the building, allowing each owner to benefit from the electricity generated.

Collective self-consumption: We refer to collective self-consumption when there are several associated consumers who share the energy generated by the shared photovoltaic installation. If there are several associated consumers who share the energy generated by the installation as agreed between them.

On the other hand, one of the characteristics of collective self-consumption is that the energy generated in a single building or in other nearby buildings (less than 2,000 metres away) can be shared, which would be collective self-consumption through the electricity grid.

In the case of not having enough space on our roof, it is possible to divide the panels on different roofs, as long as they are at a maximum distance of 2,000 metres from each other.

Depending on the characteristics and needs of our community of owners, we will choose the configuration that best suits them:

1. Individual of common use: This is an installation that is located in common spaces (for example on the roof) and the energy generated is used for the consumption of common elements of the building (lift, lighting, etc.) but has a single contract (CUPS) associated with the community of owners.

2. Collective of common use: This option is very similar to the previous one, the only difference is that in this case there are different meters (CUPS), all associated to the community of owners.

3. Individual for private use: This is an installation that is located in the common areas of the building, but the energy produced by the system is only used for the private consumption of a single owner. In other words, there is only one associated CUPS, whose holder is the owner.

4. Collective of common and private use: This option refers to an installation carried out in the common areas of the building, whose energy is destined to the collective consumption but also to the private consumption of the neighbours (there are several CUPS, some of the community of owners and others of private owners).

5. Collective for private use: This is an installation that is located in common spaces and whose energy is used for the private consumption of the neighbours (several associated CUPS, all of them belonging to private owners).

Solar panels in residential communities

What are the requirements for installing solar panels in communities?

The requirements to be able to enjoy a shared photovoltaic self-consumption installation are as follows:

– The maximum distance between the photovoltaic installation and the participants must be a maximum of 2 kilometres.

– All users must be connected to the same transformer station and the energy distribution must be carried out at low voltage.

– The generation system and the members of the collective self-consumption system must be registered under the same cadastral reference.

PV system for communities

Steps to install solar panels in a community of neighbours or housing estate

If you have the idea of installing photovoltaic panels in your community, there are a series of steps that must be taken, and the best way to simplify this process is to contract an installation company such as Sunhero, which will take care of all the paperwork and documentation.

Here are the steps to follow to enjoy collective self-consumption in your community:

1. Decision making:
To install self-consumption in a community of owners it must first be approved by the Board of owners as regulated in the Horizontal Property Law (LPH), in its article 17.

The installation of self-consumption photovoltaic systems for common use, as well as the application for available aid or any financing plan, will require the approval of the simple majority of owners who, at the same time, represent the simple majority of the participation quotas, when it does not exceed the amount of twelve ordinary monthly payments of common expenses (art. 17.2).

The installation of common or private self-consumption systems may be agreed by one third of the members of the community, representing, in turn, one third of the participation quotas, when the amount of twelve ordinary monthly payments of common expenses is exceeded (art. 17.1).

2. Design and budget
Once the General Assembly has approved and decided on the type and configuration according to the common or private uses, it is necessary to find an installation company to design and propose the installation according to the consumption and location.

One of the best options is to contract a turnkey service, which will take care of all the documentation and all the necessary procedures, including the management of subsidies.

3. Project / Report of the installation
For installations with a capacity of less than 10 kW, it is not necessary to present a complete project, but simply a technical report is required. In addition, the allocation of space, the planning of the wiring and the location of the equipment must be coordinated with the participants.

The building permit must be obtained by completing the corresponding formalities with the local council, which include the payment of the ICIO and associated taxes. Likewise, the application for the Self-consumption Code (CAU) must be managed, a task that can be carried out by the installer by requesting it from the distribution company.

Finally, once the necessary permits have been obtained, work on the self-consumption installation can begin.

4. Legalisation
Once the installation has been carried out, the Electrical Installation Certificate (CIE) must be processed before the autonomous community in order to legalise the whole system and make use of the energy generated by the photovoltaic system.

5. Collective
During this stage, the distribution agreement is formalised between all the participants. This document is sent to each one of the distributors involved, and they have the option of designating a representative, who will assume the role of self-consumption manager.

6. Self-consumption registration
After obtaining the CIE (Electrical Installation Certificate), the corresponding documentation is sent by the autonomous community to the electricity distributor. Subsequently, the distributor notifies the distributor, carrying out the modification of the consumer’s ATR contract. This process concludes with the distributor contacting the consumer directly to adjust and update his supply contract.

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Save up to 70%

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Take care of the Planet

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