A petition for the simplification of conditions for balcony power plants has been submitted to the German Bundestag. The petition was written by the Balkon.Solar eV association, in collaboration with YouTuber Andreas Schmitz, and has garnered support from other renewable energy associations. Within a week of its release in March, the petition had already gathered 25,000 signatures and reached 42,000 co-signers within 14 days. An official Bundestag petition has more impact on politics than non-binding demands or open letters on other platforms, and once the quorum of 50,000 co-signers has been reached, the topic is put on the agenda of the German Bundestag’s petition committee and the petitioner is heard.
The demands of the petition coincide with those of other actors who have spoken out in recent months. The industry association VDE published a position paper advocating for a power limit of 800 watts, simplified registration, and the toleration of reverse meters as long as the network operators have not yet replaced them with reverse-blocking digital meters. The petition calls for specific changes to the National Ordinance on the Verification of Electrotechnical Properties of Energy Systems (NELEV) to increase the limit from 600 to 800 watts, and for changes to the Market Master Data Register Ordinance to create a simplified registration procedure for balcony power plants. Changes to the Electricity Grid Access Ordinance, the Metering Point Operation Act, and the Electricity Grid Fees Ordinance are also required so that backward running electricity meters are permitted.
The second focus of the petition is on obstacles that tenants are currently struggling with. So far, the apartment owners’ consent has been required to install a balcony power plant on the balcony of a rented apartment because it is a structural change. The petition calls for balcony power plants to be included as a privileged measure in the WEG (Flat Ownership Act) and BGB (German Civil Code). This would mean that blockades by landlords and owners’ meetings would no longer be possible.
The authors of the petition faced some obstacles in its submission. Initially, the Bundestag administration had informed the petitioner that a petition could only be formulated for one law at a time. However, after a member of the Bundestag intervened, this representation was corrected, and the petition was able to appear as planned.