• Definitions Matter

    As Europe is working on a new energy market design, REScoop.eu has developed a number of key points for how REScoops need to be acknowledged in any future legislative and regulatory frameworks.


    Active customers, referred to generically as ‘energy prosumers’, are individual citizens, households, non-commercial organisations, public entities and SME’s that not only consume energy, but also actively participate in the energy market, either individually or collectively, including through an ‘energy community’. Active participation in the market may consist in producing renewable energy, enhancing energy efficiency and/or energy system management and grid integration of fluctuating renewable energy sources through demand side response, aggregation, storage, etc. REScoop.eu believes that active customers should get easy access to the grid and to energy markets at fair conditions. In addition, we argue that EU Member States should endorse the participation of active customers in various markets (adapted grid tariffs, fiscal reduction, ...).


    Self-consumption is the act for prosumers to consume all or part of the energy produced by installation(s) they own individually or through an energy community. REScoop.eu argues that Europe should promote the right to self-consumption for both tenants and owners of private houses. We argue that Europe should allow citizens, including through an energy company, to establish closed distribution networks that are currently provided for under Article 28 of Directive 2009/72/EC. REScoop.eu believes that EU Member States should ensure fair valuation, as well as a fair price and market access for surplus of energy that is injected into the grid, and that energy prices should be directly linked to energy consumption consumed (variable cost), rather than to the capacity installed (fixed costs) because it encourages energy efficiency.


    An Energy Community is a legal entity where citizens, SMEs and local authorities come together, as final users of energy, to cooperate in the generation, consumption distribution, storage, supply, aggregation of energy from renewable sources, or offer energy efficiency/demand side management services. REScoop.eu argues that Europe should recognise that energy communities contribute to social innovation and regional development objectives, as defined by the Commission. The definition of an energy community should be framed concretely around governing statutes of entities that integrate the following operative principles that distinguish them from traditional commercial energy undertakings:


    1. Concern for community – the aim of the undertaking is to provide economic, social and environmental benefits for their members or the local area or areas where they are active, rather than being profit driven
    2. Provide for open, voluntary participation - Membership in a cooperative is open to all persons as final users of its services and that are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.
    3. Democratic governance of the undertaking – direct democratic governance based on equal decision making rights (i.e. one-person-one-vote)
    4. Autonomy and independence – the undertaking is controlled by the members or shareholders who are participating as final users; outside investors or undertakings participating in the community must not have a controlling position within the board
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