How to become a prosumer

How to become a prosumer

"People who want to install photovoltaic panel systems on the roof or on the ground, in order to ensure the production of electricity for their own consumption, assume the capacity of prosumer provided they opt for an on-grid system. Before deciding to take this step, prospective prosumers are required to assess a number of aspects to help them estimate the type of system that is most suitable for their needs, as well as the costs and return on investment thereof to the best extent possible."


Anamaria Marin, Head of Marketing B2C, Enel X Romania

Planning depending on monthly consumption

In order to prepare an energy-efficient plan, the first step would be for the beneficiary to assess his average monthly consumption and the time of the day when the greatest consumption occurs. Then, the prospective prosumer may contact an authorized installer, such as Enel, in order to be provided with a simulation and a potential recommendation for a photovoltaic panel system. 
One of the first elements that the beneficiary and the installer must take into account is the orientation of the future photovoltaic system. South or East-West are deemed to be adequate orientations, while the optimal angle is deemed to be a latitude of minus 10⁰ (34⁰-35⁰ for Romania). If the above two conditions are met, we can estimate that each kW of the panel system may generate a potential output of 1,000-1,100 kWh, provided that the system is not shaded and that weather conditions are favorable (sunny for most of the day). 
Planificare in functie de consumul lunar de energie
A photovoltaic system with a capacity of 3kW is able to generate an output of 3.300 kwh/year and has a cost between 23,000 lei - 25,000 lei, while a 10kW one can incur a cost in excess of 65,000 lei. These costs are estimated and include equipment, installation, delivery, commissioning documents and the acquisition of the prosumer certificate.

Steps to follow in order to become a prosumer

1. Electricity generation source

Prosumers are not just consumers of energy from the electrical grid, but they are also generators of energy from their own renewable sources. They generate energy for their own consumption and inject the surplus into the national distribution network for a fee based on a sale and purchase agreement concluded with their electricity supplier. Therefore, prosumers must own an energy-generating source, such as photovoltaic panels, and this source must be connected to the electricity distributor's network (on grid), and conclude a sale and purchase agreement with their supplier for electricity generated and delivered to the network.

2. Obtaining the connection certificate

The connection to the electricity grids of public interest for the consumption and generation places belonging to the prosumers is done based on NAER Order no. 19/2022. This order provides the stages that a customer must go through in order to obtain the Connection Certificate attesting their capacity as prosumer. These stages depend on the situation of the consumption place in question (new consumption and generation place, or the connection electricity generation facilities to an existing consumption place is requested, whether or not there is a need to increase the energy compared to the approved energy amount for the respective consumption place). Thus, the average deadline for the approval of files, completion of works and issuance of Connection Certificates may vary depending on the various stages completed and on any additional documents that may be requested by third parties. 

3. The sale and purchase agreement

According to Order 15/2022, electricity suppliers must conclude the sale and purchase agreements for the electricity generated and injected into the grid and submit them with the prosumers, within 10 business days from the request date. The request can only be issued after the customer has obtained the Connection Certificate from the electricity distributor in the area where the facility is located, certifying their capacity as prosumer.

4. The power supplementation request

It is also worth noting that only on-grid photovoltaic panels whose power cannot exceed the power specified in the technical connection approval can be installed at the consumption place. For example, if a customer has a rated power of 5kW and wants to install an 8kW system, the first step is to ask the distribution operator for a power increase, followed by the system installation. The costs related to obtaining the power increase will be borne by the consumer. Without a power increase, the consumer can only install a system with a max. rated power of 5kW.

5. Inverter certification for photovoltaic systems

Another useful piece of information is that photovoltaic system inverters need to be certified by distribution operators. Each operator’s website provides a list of inverters that are already certified, therefore, we recommend that prospective prosumers review these lists before purchasing the photovoltaic system. If the consumer's inverter does not feature on the respective lists, the prospective prosumer must undertake the certification steps, and only afterwards may the distribution operator approve the commissioning of the systems.

How fast is the Return-on-Investment

In order to provide an accurate calculation of the return-on-investment, prospective prosumers must know that the ratio for the energy used for their own consumption (from the total energy generated by their own facility) versus the energy injected into the grid (the excess amount of generated electricity that the prosumer does not use and decides to inject it into the national distribution network) amounts to an average of 60%-40%. 

According to the methodology approved at the beginning of this year by NAER Order no. 15/2022, prosumers with an installed capacity below 200 kW can take advantage of the quantitative compensation mechanism until December 31, 2030. The methodology only applies to the energy component, the rest of the regulated tariffs (transport, distribution, system, cogeneration contribution, excise, green certificates, etc.) will not be compensated. 


More precisely, for the prosumers in question, the electricity suppliers with whom they have concluded electricity supply agreements must provide a quantitative compensation in the bills for the electricity generated and delivered to the grid compared to the electricity consumed. Suppliers must report the difference between the amount of energy delivered and the amount consumed on the following bills, provided the former is greater than the amount consumed. Prosumers can use the amount of electricity carried forward for a period not exceeding 24 months from the billing date.
In the case of prosumers who generate electricity using their own system with an installed capacity between 200 kW and 400 kW per consumption place, who have concluded electricity supply agreements, the electricity suppliers must purchase the electricity generated and delivered based a price equal to the weighted average price recorded on the Market in the Following Day for the month when such energy was generated and must perform the financial adjustment by compensating the bill issued by the prosumer for the energy generated and delivered to the power grid and the bill issued by the supplier for the energy consumed by the network prosumer, related to the same contracted month.