When it reaches maturity, solar energy technology can supply, at least in part, a house or a condominium with electricity. But it can also generate income: it is indeed possible to resell the surplus electricity produced, via a purchase obligation contract with an energy supplier. How should we proceed? Who to contact? How much can you earn by selling renewable electricity?
FOCUS ON ELECTRICITY PURCHASE OBLIGATIONS
The resale of solar electricity is governed by a legal mechanism, provided for by the State, promulgated in 2011 and incorporated into the Energy Code: the obligations to purchase electricity. As its name suggests, it creates a “constraint”, which concerns energy suppliers. Electricity purchase obligations indeed impose on the latter (EDF in the first place, but also all alternative suppliers) to buy the surplus or all of the electricity production, mainly coming from renewable installations. Article L314-1 thus specifies the energy sources concerned by this “contract” between the producer and the supplier: solar obviously, but also wind power, geothermal energy, biomass, incineration, cogeneration, etc.
RESELLING SOLAR ELECTRICITY: AT WHAT PRICE?
Regardless of your persuasive force and your negotiating skills, the price of the purchase of solar electricity in France is generally set each year by the State, after consulting the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE). . Consequence: regardless of the supplier with which you sign your contract, the price will be the same.
For the supplier, this renewable electricity turns out to be more expensive than “conventional” electricity. Nevertheless, the State will compensate for the price difference with an exceptional contribution, which is financed by all consumers, via part of the CSPE (Contribution to the public service of electricity).
HOW TO SIGN A CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OF ELECTRICITY?
The signing of a purchase obligation contract is quite simple: all you have to do is contact the supplier of your choice and submit a request. The proposed contract will depend on the nature of the installation and the energy used. This is a long-term commitment, since a contract for the purchase of solar electricity is generally signed for 15 or 20 years.
Read also: What are the differences between aerovoltaics and photovoltaics?
To bill your solar electricity to the chosen supplier, you have to carry out a few steps and procedures. The main step is to register on a web platform, operated by the energy supplier you have selected. In addition to your purchase obligation contract number, your name, your e-mail address and your postal code, you will then have to give a CRAE number (Access and Operation Connection Contract), provided by your supplier. The CRAE acts as a kind of link between your supplier and your renewable energy source.
Once this registration has been completed, all you have to do is invoice. This happens in a few clicks, once or twice a year depending on the signed contract:
enter online your production index and your non-consumption index, as recorded by your supplier;
check that the system has not detected any inconsistency between the indexes entered and those read;
generate a summary of the invoice, and validate it;
accept the proposed amount and click to send the invoice to the supplier, who will proceed with the payment (by transfer or check) within the deadlines indicated in the contract.
CAN WE TERMINATE A PURCHASE OBLIGATION CONTRACT?
Yes and no. For equivalent installations, it is not possible to terminate a purchase obligation contract before its expiry date. However, nothing prevents signing a new one with another supplier if a new energy production device is installed. The sale of the property is the only “legitimate” reason for terminating the contract. The latter can however be passed on to the new owners. But they can completely go to another supplier: the contract is then considered null.