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What you have to know to put solar panels in your community

Society is changing. Awareness about the environment is increasing, so the number of individuals and companies that are taking measures for the planet is increasing. Public administrations and governments are also working for the sake of a real ecological transition.

What you have to know to put solar panels in your community

In this sense, many of the neighboring communities are choosing to carry out the rooftop photovoltaic solar panel installationthus creating energy communities that, in addition to improving the environment, manage to considerably reduce the cost of their bills.

However, there is still a long way to go to achieve a normalization of the situation and greater support from local entities and governments. Next, we explain everything you need to know to install a solar energy system in neighborhood communities or, what is the same, an installation of solar panels in neighborhood communities. Continue reading for more information.

What is an energy community?

An energy community becomes, practically, the way in which it is called to the neighborhood communities that decide to carry out the installation of solar panels in their buildings. Due to the fact that the concept of energy community in Spain still has some deficiencies, we can refer to them as European organizations do. These communities have the goal of creating value in social and environmental terms, on the one hand, and on the other, seeking social benefit beyond financial profitability. This is a more focused approach to environmental awareness.

The energy communities can adapt a building so that it is capable of generating its own energy in order to supply it to all the houses in the community, as well as to the services of the community —such as the light in the stairs, the elevator …—.

Solar energy and community of neighbors Is it allowed?

Solar energy for communities is something that is still very green in the country, so not all roofs can install solar panels in communities. The main impediments have to do with problems of space, as well as with problems of location. Now, the law marks a total of 3 ways thanks to which it is possible to carry out solar energy installations in neighboring communities, depending on each case. These are:

  • Rooftops of residential buildings: These are the cases in which there are no space or location problems —when the sun’s rays fall perpendicularly on the solar panels most of the time—. On these rooftops it is possible to install solar panels in neighboring communities.
  • Roofs of adjoining buildings: In cases where it is not possible to carry out the photovoltaic solar installation in the building itself, the law allows the formation of an energy community with adjoining buildings as long as the radius is not greater than 500 m. Of course, with the mutual agreement of the neighbors.
  • Share cadastral reference: Another possibility to take advantage of solar energy in neighboring communities is when they share at least 14 digits of the cadastral reference.

It is also important to know that this type of facility is considered minor work, so it is not essential to have three-fifths of the owners for approval, as reflected in the Article 17 of the Horizontal Property Law.

Solar panels and community of neighbors How to carry out the installation?

In the event that your residential building meets the necessary conditions to carry out the installation of a solar energy system for communities, specific steps must be followed in order to avoid problems, misunderstandings and discussions with neighbors. These steps are as follows:

Carry out a feasibility study of the project

The study is used to determine the neighbor profiles who will participate in the installation of solar panels in communities, as well as their consumption and the power they have contracted with the current electricity company. Next, the amount of energy that the photovoltaic solar panels must produce will be calculated so that the investment is profitable for all those interested and, of course, the surface of the roof or terrace to check the number of solar panels that can be installed —and if cover the needs of the community according to the study—.

The conditions of solar energy consumption for communities

Once the feasibility study has been carried out and the number of solar panels in communities that are necessary has been verified, an agreement must be drawn up in which the owners of each property agree to make a responsible use of energy. This agreement must reflect how the energy will be used and how it will be distributed. The agreement must also contemplate the amount of energy destined for the use of community services, such as the elevator, as well as what will happen with the surplus energy and how it will be distributed. Another aspect to take into account, likewise, is the possibility of diverting energy in special situations. For example, if a house remains empty for a while and you want to transfer the corresponding energy from one property to another.

Monitoring of solar energy and neighborhood communities

Obviously, it is highly recommended to install meters parallel to those of the general electricity company to monitor energy efficiency in each home, but also to control the equitable distribution between each owner. It is recommended that they be carried out Periodic reports. Likewise, it will be essential to carry out periodic maintenance and supervision of the facilities.

It is important to bear in mind that the electricity bill will be reduced considerably, however, the expenses will not disappear completely since there are fixed expenses for each company that vary depending on the power contracted, the maintenance costs… It is recommended to reduce the power contracted at the minimum levels to take advantage of the solar energy generated in neighboring communities.