Increased Prosumers Thanks to Last Year’s Regulatory Changes: Over 3,400 Contracts Signed So Far

STATT Mina Radojevic Vlacic Dejana Kostic Beograd Advokati

The recent surge in the number of prosumers in Serbia is a testament to the successful implementation of last year’s regulatory changes, which have significantly impacted the energy sector. With over 3,400 contracts signed and ongoing improvements to the legal framework, prosumers are now better positioned to benefit from the production and consumption of green energy. This article delves into the specifics of these regulatory updates, the benefits for prosumers, and the future plans for active energy consumers in Serbia. Insights from the 3rd International Expert Conference, featuring contributions from Stojković Attorneys’ Ms. Dejana Kostić and Mrs. Mina Radojević Vlačić, provide a comprehensive overview of this dynamic and evolving landscape.

International Expert Conference “Prosumers Two Years Later.

The number of prosumers, or customers who both produce and consume electricity, has significantly increased due to last year’s regulatory changes that addressed the taxes and fees prosumers must pay. These changes have enabled tax and fee calculations to be based not on the electricity taken from the grid, but on the difference between the delivered and taken electricity. This was discussed at the 3rd International Expert Conference “Prosumers Two Years Later.”

It was explained that planned amendments to the Energy Law this year will establish a legal framework for active consumers, who will use the green energy they produce for their own needs and be able to sell the surplus on the market. Connection procedures will also be improved.

Interest in obtaining the status of a customer-producer of electricity is rapidly growing in Serbia. So far, around 3,400 contracts have been signed with citizens, companies, and institutions, and approximately 2,000 potential prosumers are in the process of connecting their photovoltaic systems.

The new concept has taken root, and there are plans to introduce a new category of active consumers who will be able to sell excess energy on the market. This was mentioned at the 3rd International Expert Conference “Prosumers Two Years Later,” organized by Energy of the Balkans with institutional sponsorship from the Ministry of Mining and Energy, in collaboration with Elektroprivreda Srbije AD and the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia – Chamber of Commerce of Belgrade.

Benefits of Solar Energy for All

Maja Vukadinović, Assistant Minister for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change at the Ministry of Mining and Energy, highlighted that energy independence through solar energy is beneficial for everyone – households, businesses, and the state.

“This is precisely one of the tools we can use to involve a large number of citizens in the energy transition. Among prosumers, we have monasteries, such as the renowned Žiča Monastery, primary and secondary schools, businesses, industrial and public buildings, and plans to install 100-kilowatt panels on the Government of Serbia building. In the last year and a half, the number of customer-producers has been steadily increasing – now there are around 3,400, with an installed capacity of 52 megawatts. Just a year and a half ago, there were seven times fewer, and the installed capacity has increased by 8.5 times since then,” said Vukadinović.

She emphasized that the increase in the number of customer-producers was driven by last year’s regulatory changes regarding the taxes and fees they pay. These changes allowed the calculation of taxes and fees to be based on the difference between delivered and taken electricity, significantly reducing the tax and fee base, positively affecting the quick return on investment, and further encouraging citizens to install panels.

In addition to regulatory changes, the state is also providing grants through the Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Program for Serbian citizens.

“So far, about 500 households have received subsidies for building solar power plants, or about 22% of the total number of prosumer households,” noted the Assistant Minister.

Vukadinović announced that the planned amendments to the Energy Law this year would establish a legal framework for active consumers who will use the green energy they produce for their own needs and be able to sell the surplus on the market.

She added that measures would be implemented to improve connection procedures, especially at the distribution level, with the goal of a digitalized and transparent process for connecting power plants and prosumers.

Increasing Interest Among Businesses

Vidosava Džagić, Assistant Director of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, emphasized that the topic of prosumers attracts the attention of the entire Serbian economy, especially the industry, due to the challenges of reducing energy costs, energy stability, and energy efficiency, not only at the company level but also at the community and state level.

She added that it is crucial for the economy to further improve these energy capacities to maintain competitiveness and achieve decarbonization goals.

Milan Radunović, Advisor to the General Director of Elektroprivreda Srbije, said that interest and the number of customer-producers from renewable energy sources are increasing.

“In the past two years, Elektroprivreda Srbije has signed more than 3,400 contracts for about 53 megawatts of power. So far, an impressive 20 million kilowatt-hours of green energy have been delivered,” he said.

Highlighting that, according to the latest data, 2,400 households have installed solar panels on their roofs, Radunović noted that over 930 production facilities in the business sector have installed solar systems for their needs.

Many institutions, schools, kindergartens, student centers, monasteries, and institutes have installed solar panels with local government subsidies. Recently, the first residential community in Niš was connected.

“EPS will always support citizens and customer-producers. By planning and developing new projects, EPS is dedicated to developing renewable energy sources and creating conditions for increasing their share in electricity production. Renewable energy sources have a future in Serbia, not only through large wind farm and solar power plant projects and balancing their production capacity, such as the Reversible Hydropower Plant Bistrica but also through numerous small prosumer projects that can be found all around us,” he said.

Ivana Đorđević, Director of the Customer-Producer Management Sector at EPS, said that the institution has made significant efforts to motivate customers.

She explained that those who opt for electronic invoice delivery receive a monthly discount of 50 dinars, used by more than 700 prosumer households.

“We have also enabled household prosumers to receive a 5% discount on consumed electricity for timely bill payments,” she said.

STATT Mina Radojevic Vlacic Dejana Kostic Beograd Advokati 1

Expert Participation

The conference highlighted the active participation of various experts, including Ms. Dejana Kostić, attorney at law, and Mrs. Mina Radojević Vlačić, attorney at law, from Stojković Attorneys (AK STATT), who contributed to the discussions with their expertise in energy law and regulatory frameworks. Their insights and professional involvement were invaluable to the success of the conference, providing clarity and guidance on the evolving legal landscape for prosumers in Serbia.

#Serbia, Chamber of Commerce Serbia, customer-producer, Dejana Kostić, Elektroprivreda Srbije, energy efficiency, energy independence, energy law, green energy, international conference, Mina Radojević Vlačić, Ministry of Mining and Energy, photovoltaic systems, prosumers, regulatory changes, renewable energy, solar energy, Stojković Attorneys

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