After Valencia, the NRG2Peers project that wants to make energy communities set-up possible for all travelled to Perugia in Italy.
Energy communities can sound quite abstract until you get closer to some and meet the people who are behind them. Housing Europe's Research Coordinator, Dara Turnbull, and Project Assistant, Margherita Marinelli visited the energy community of Marsciano, the first one in Umbria. The owner of the building is the prosumer while a cheese shop, a medical studio, and an engineering firm are on the demand side or the consumers. The project started as a suggestion of the engineering firm, and they convinced the owner of the building to make an initial investment of around EUR18,000 euro to spend on solar panels.
As a result, the building owner has a lower bill, while the merchants, who are connected not directly but through the grid, pay the same as before. Every year, an incentive is paid back to the four members of the energy community, and they divide it among themselves into shares that they previously agreed on (the prosumer gets a larger share to get back the investment). They still have to receive the first incentive, since one year still has to pass, but they foresee a benefit of EUR900. This amount is calculated through a complicated algorithm but considers the sharing rate.
The roadshow of the project continues in May and the next stop will be the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana.