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ABC of Energy Bill

The incentive for the energy produced by photovoltaic systems is the Energy Bill (Dm 19/02/2007). Are not allowed for photovoltaics, however, the green certificates nor the deductions of 55% ( Finance Act 2007 and subsequent ), which are provided for solar thermal and other energy-saving measures.
At the incentive fee is added to the Energy Bill the mechanism of exchange on the spot or, alternatively, the sale of energy to the market.
However, there are other benefits to consider: the rate of the Energy Bill is increased up to a maximum of 30 percent if work is carried out on the buildings that allow the energy savings of at least 10%, or if the building is new and efficient from the energy point of view. You can also add other public funding, provided they do not exceed 20% of the investment value. This measure does not apply to schools and hospitals, which also have a 5% surcharge on the tariff, as it happens to buildings operated by municipalities, up to 5 thousand inhabitants and for medium and large installations in which the share of consumption is of at least 70 percent.

Connection to the mains
One of the bureaucracy for those who install a photovoltaic system is connecting to the mains. After completing the authorization process (see item permissions), you must submit a request to connect to the local network operator (Enel, A2A, Hera, etc..) And wait for the quote. Once you accept the quote, begin the work place and the connection to the network. The recent resolution ARG / elt 99/08 of the Authority has set times and maximum costs for budgets and work, in which network managers must adapt. There are also penalties in case of delays. For details, see the Guide to the Energy Bill .

Many insurance companies have designed products specifically for photovoltaics, which cover both the risks associated with natural events (eg hail) and the acts of third parties (vandalism and theft). The insurance premium for a domestic installation, is in the order of 10 euro per year per kW installed (on average € 30 a year for a domestic installation). Banks often require the signature of an insurance policy for grant financing of a photovoltaic system.

is expected shortly publication of the Guidelines for the applicability of the ‘”single authorization” provided since Decree No. 387 of 29/12/2003 . With this procedure, all over Italy, the authorization process should last a maximum of 180 days. Until now, however, who wants to build a photovoltaic system should inform themselves about common procedures and authorizations required, different from region to region. In general, for systems up to 20 kW of power is sufficient Dia (declaration of commencement of business). Through the process of Dia is presented to the municipality the project signed by a qualified technician and after 30 days, if there are no findings by the technical office, you can start the work. In protected areas – such as the historic centers – it is generally necessary authorization landscape.


There are many banks that offer ad hoc funding, some covering up to 100% of costs. This is possible because the ‘agreement between the GSE and 350 financial institutions allows the public to use the bonus to ensure repayment of the loan through the sale of credit that allows the financing of the system.

Until the recent changes on the exchange on the spot ( ARG / elt 74/08, Annex A ), users received the bill just relieved the operator of self-generated energy. From this year, however, pay the bills and have been given on their BankAccount contribution from GSE.

If you do not choose to entrust the bureaucracy to an installer or a bank, to deal with red tape to install solar panels and get the incentive Energy Bill are mainly three: the authorization request to the municipality; the request for connection to the electricity grid, the agreement with the manager of electrical services (GSE) to obtain the incentive Energy Bill. Other “cards” relate to the financing of the system and the purchase of insurance policies.


Energy certification
is understood all the transactions carried out by accredited agents for the release of energy performance certificates and recommendations for the improvement of the energy performance of the building. From July 1, 2009 who sells a property must have a document certifying the energy performance of the apartment or house, as required by Article 6, paragraph 1-bis, paragraph c) of Legislative Decree 192/2005 . This document, from July 25, following the entry into force of the guidelines of the Ministry of Economic Development, published in Official Gazette 158 of 10 July 2009) is the energy performance certificate throughout Italy. Until now it was sufficient with energy efficiency certification, issued by a qualified technician who could not be alien to the property.
A speech to be done for the regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna and the autonomous province of Bolzano. In these regions was provided for the energy certification and retain the previous procedures for energy certification, other than those of other regions.
Another exception should be made ​​for the obligation to attach the energy certification in the case of the deed. At national level, the requirement has been abolished (Law 133/2008), while it remains obligatory in Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Piedmont, Tuscany and Valle d’Aosta.
Certification schemes only marginally interested in the Energy Bill: it is necessary to certify the reduction of energy performance as a result of works by saving energy. If the reduction is at least 10%, you are entitled to an incentive fee (Conto Energia) increased up to 30 percent.

Energy Bill (Fourth)
After months of controversy and heated debates, the long-awaited fourth Conto Energia is finally in black and white and contains a number of provisions which are intended to change the face of the Italian PV. The new text on incentives came after the third Conto Energia , just launched in August 2010, had caused a real boom of photovoltaics in our country (partly as a result of the decree “Save Alcoa” ) in May 2010, the Italian PV can count on 204,000 farms in operation for more than 5,230 MW of installed capacity.

These numbers, which are already of ‘ Italy the second power of the photovoltaic world , will soon be just another 2 MW due to the Salva Alcoa. The measure, which guaranteed the incentives provided by the second energy account for plants that had finished its work by December 31, 2010, sparked the Italian operators, which have flooded the GSE requests for connection to the network: “At times we arrived even a cd damaged by the post office or general photos without accurate directions “ , testifies to the general manager of manager of energy services, Gerardo Montanino. This race has caused the reaction of the government, worried about the weight on the bill assumed by generous rates without doubt: In Italy initially incentives worth more than double those in Germany , with the rates of the third energy account the ratio had risen about 3 to 1 “ showed Montanino.

The Executive has decided to run for cover, launching – after months of controversy with the trade associations- the new account energy, which will adjust the level of the incentive industry since June 1, 2011 December 31, 2016 . According to Victor Church, director Energy & Strategy Group of the Politecnico di Milano, the measure is positive undoubtedly the recognition of the potential of photovoltaics well over 8 GW originally envisaged by the National Energy Plan (Pan). The fourth objective of the Energy Account is in fact getting to as many as 23 GW of installed capacity by 2016. To achieve this target, however, the legislature is not willing to overload the electricity bills of the citizens (who fund incentives to solar) but, rather, set a spending cap acceptable between 6 and 7 billion euro. Overall, the rates remain the chassis of the previous account energy, with 6 different power category , but in 2011 provide important monthly decreases the incentive to which you are entitled and a half-year division for 2012. Starting from 2013 , the tariffs will be all-encompassing, while for self-consumption there will be a prize .
Fundamental in the text is the distinction between small and large systems: the first definition are included shore-based installations up to 200 kW and those up to 1 MW if carried out on buildings. The small plants have a clear benefit from the measure in comparison to large power to the ground , which instead have experienced a real boom in 2009-2010. Basically, the average size of the incentives in 2011 will be 25%, but the reduction will be 21% for small plants, while about 30% for those considered great. Similarly, in 2012 the reduction will be 30% for the installation of smaller size and 40% for larger ones. Also works on buildings over the megawatt and those on the ground with power ratings above 200 kW, from 1 September 2011 and for 2012 will have to sign a register prior to access to incentives. This, according to Church “may be a limit and make more difficult the bankability of projects. Before the publication of the list you will not know anything of the incentive which you are entitled. “

Given the setting of the decree, the expectation is therefore that of a very significant redistribution of the mix of Italian solar plants, a decrease in size of those high. All this will result in significant consequences for the Italian chain of photovoltaics: the large network of installers and maintainers have to get used to working even on small systems, where the margins are significantly smaller than the large projects. Indeed, the real challenge of the entire sector , with incentives however significantly reduced, will be to reduce costs , the drastic reduction of the yield penalty. Given that the price cuts in maintenance and installation will not be easy, hope implicit in the fourth energy account is that of a progressive decrease in the cost of solar cells and modules, so as to arrive as early as the end of 2016 to the much sought after grid parity, or cost competitiveness with electricity produced from fossil fuels. In the plans of the government, in fact, from 2017 incentive schemes for PV should have a definite end and, therefore, by that time the Italian sun will already be strong enough to stand on their own legs.

As the tariffs are reduced, the convenience of photovoltaics is still going strong. According to a study at the Polytechnic of Milan (to view you must register), the internal rate of return (Tir) average to 25 years in a domestic installation is 9 percent. For comparison, a BTP at 25 years is now 4.59% of the net (5.25% gross).


Deduction of 55%
The deduction of 55% for interventions for energy saving is not true for photovoltaic systems. However, it is valid for the solar panels (which allow you to heat the water and under certain conditions of heat homes), as well as the new generation boilers, the “thermal coats” and thermal insulation through appropriate windows. The tax refund is done in 5 years. This incentive is not managed by the GSE but Enea and Revenue Agency. All legislation can be found at .

Service life of
the duration of a photovoltaic system is typically 20-25 years. The incentive Energy Bill last 20 years.


CO2 emissions of a PV system are void. The contribution of photovoltaics for the abatement of emissions, however, is relatively limited, given the low power of the systems.


Thin Film

In addition to the classic modules monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are becoming more common type of “thin film”, which currently have a market share close to 10% of the global market. The thin film is a product of technology that uses the deposition of a thin layer of semiconductor materials for the construction of the photovoltaic cell. The families of thin-film modules are three: the modules in amorphous silicon (a-Si); those CdTe (cadmium telluride); and the CIS / CIGS, which base their operation on a variety of ternary compounds.
Generally, the disadvantage is the low efficiency, which forces you to install more panels amp, while the advantage is the lower cost.

Tax treatment of photovoltaic changes a lot depending on the power plant and to its destination. For all the incentive rate of the Energy Bill was never subject to VAT, even if the plant is made ​​in the exercise of business activities.
For small systems up to 20 kW subservient to a house, an input of energy in the network ( net metering) is not considered a commercial activity and therefore is not for tax purposes.
In the case of plants not subservient to a house (in the case of large plants but not limited to) an input of energy in the network for the purpose of sale or exchange is considered a business and therefore relevant for VAT and other taxes.
Details can be found in Circular 46 / E of 19 July 2007 of the Revenue on “Discipline tax incentives for solar power plants.”

A PV system allows you to directly convert solar energy into direct current electricity through the photovoltaic effect. This phenomenon manifests itself in the materials known as “semiconductor”, the best known of which is silicon. To make compatible the energy generated by the photovoltaic modules with equipment for domestic and industrial use must be transformed into alternating current from the frequency to the operating voltage of the power distribution grid. This is accomplished by interposing between the modules and the network an inverter.

Theft of solar panels are frequent, but to be affected are mostly large plants, especially during the construction phase, and forms of public buildings or found on the street (for example related to street lamps or traffic lights blinking). The phenomenon was recorded mainly in the South, particularly in Campania, Calabria and Puglia. The main destinations are North Africa, Far East, Greece, Spain and Romania. There are no official data on the value of the modules have been stolen, but the estimates of skilled operators is estimated at 100 million Euros in 2008. A single module costs € 3-400 and resold at about 100-150 €.


Manager of electrical services
GSE (formerly ISO Manager of the company National Grid Spa) is a public holding company that works for the promotion and sustainable development in Italy through the provision of economic incentives for the production of electricity from renewable sources The GSE information campaigns to promote the consumption of electricity responsible and compatible with sustainable development issues. It is the subject of reference for incentives related to solar photovoltaics. The company is wholly owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, while the strategic and operational guidelines are defined by the Ministry of Economic Development. The GSE is the parent company of the Single Buyer and the Market Operator.

Grid parity
The “grid parity” is the coincidence of the cost of energy produced by photovoltaic systems with the energy produced from conventional sources. In some limited parts of the world this condition has already been made. In Italy some estimates believe that equality will get around 2015 (2016 for domestic installations), due to lower production costs of photovoltaic systems.

Buying groups
on the basis of experiences related to agricultural products, including the installation of photovoltaic panels have been set up in solidarity purchasing groups. The best known is probably the group founded by Jacopo Fo (Sweet Goods linked to the project). There are various Gaf (groups of PV purchase) at the local level, as in Roncadelle (Bresci), in Pescara , in Pederobba (Treviso), with Castiglione delle Stiviere (Mantua), in several municipalities in the Park of the Apennines , in Padua and in many other places. Similar initiatives have been carried out by the Gas of the “Friends of Beppe Grillo”. The buying groups promise savings (about 10%) compared to the normal costs, thanks to agreements with installers and suppliers of modules and inverters.
Very popular are also the joint buying groups for solar thermal panels, which they also have the advantage of requiring a smaller initial investment. The ” Solar for the DIY Network “goes further: not only is it a gas to buy the materials for solar thermal energy, but also provides assistance to install” by itself “panels.

Is also very innovative approach of “electric cooperative of producers and users” Retenergie, Fossano, near Cuneo. Behind the project is the idea of producing renewable energy from plants with low environmental impact through the form of the shareholder popular. Basically you buy the “actions” of at least 500 euro to finance renewable energy plants (solar, mini-wind and mini-hydro), participating in the following years the revenues derived from plants.

Guide to the Energy Bill
is a publication prepared by the ESO in collaboration with the Electricity and Gas Authority (Authority for Electricity and Gas), which provides useful information (mechanism of incentives and bureaucracy) for those who wish to build a photovoltaic system and apply for incentives.


Photovoltaic system
A photovoltaic system consists of photovoltaic modules or panels (monocrystalline or polycrystalline or technology type “thin film”), which account for about 55% of total investment. Other components are the support structure to install the modules on the ground, a building or any building structure, an inverter and electrical panels, cables and equipment rooms to house the equipment.

Contact an installer is the first step to be taken by those who want to put a PV system on your home or business. The designer or installer specializing prepare the project and the budget. It is essential to the inspection, because the production of energy depends on the correct installation of the system and exposure to solar radiation. The installers increasingly take charge also of the paperwork required (licensing, connections, agreement with the GSE.)
If you want to get the energy performance certificate (as a result of energy saving measures that increase the incentive rate up to 30%), one must turn to accredited agents. In Lombardy, Liguria, Emilia Romagna and the autonomous province of Bolzano these subjects are present in specific lists. In other regions, simplifying, the same subjects to whom it is addressed to the deductions of 55% for energy saving measures (solar panels, thermal insulation, fixtures, condensing boilers).

The cost of a solar PV system is between 2,500 and 3,500 Euros per kW of installed capacity. A domestic installation from 3 kW to 7.5-coast and then around 10 thousand euro. According to a calculation of Legambiente , the total cost of the module accounts for 56%, but you get to 69% by including other materials. The component weighs instead work for 14%, half of which is for the installation.

Solar radiation
is measured in kW/m2 and corresponds to the instantaneous solar radiation incident upon the surface. Naturally varies depending on the latitude and affects the profitability of a solar photovoltaic or thermal. In Italy, the region with higher radiation efficiency and is Sicily. A measurement of radiation in their town can be obtained by consulting the ‘ Italian atlas of solar radiation Enea (but you have to know the exact coordinates) or simulators such as those of the site or .


costs of maintenance and operation of a photovoltaic system are usually estimated at about 1-1, 5% of the value of the plant. After ten years is appropriate to provide the extraordinary maintenance for the replacement of certain electrical components, in particular the inverter.

The photovoltaic module is a set of photovoltaic cells connected together in series or in parallel, so as to obtain the values ​​of voltage and current suitable for common uses. The polycrystalline silicon modules cost slightly less than those in monocrystalline, but also have a lower yield. The production of cells and modules is especially true in Asia or Germany.


The U.S. president has promised a strong boost to renewable energy. Recently, Obama has supported the ‘ American Clean Energy and Security Act , a law passed by the House (not yet by the Senate), which provides a 17% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020, with the basic values ​​of 2005. disincentive for emissions not however, will be applicable to the coal industry for several years. The U.S. is one of the countries with the largest installed photovoltaic systems, but remain far from Italy and Germany.


House plan
Regional laws on the plane home, as a result of the cartel State-Regions of 31 March 2009 , generally bind the possibility of expanding the housing, or to demolish and rebuild, to energy saving. The installation of solar panels or photovoltaic is often mentioned as a condition for obtaining extensions or increases airspace greater than those normally expected.


Return on Investment
The return on investment in terms of years (payback period) it has a different extent in different regions. To the south the return on invested capital, according to the estimates of the GSE, it has in years 7-9; at the center in 9-11 years; and the North in 11-13 years.


Net metering
mechanism of the on-site exchange ( Del. Aeeg n. 74/08 ) is in addition to the incentive of the Energy Bill. With net metering, simplifying, you do not pay the electricity bill. More precisely, the electricity produced by a plant and not consumed in the same time may be marketed by the consumer-producer. The exchange on the spot can be chosen as an alternative to the sale of energy to the market, only the systems up to 200 kW of power (whether entered into operation after 31 December 2007, while for others the limit is 20 kW). Should prefer the on-site exchange with the sale if you produce as much energy as it consumes.
since 1 January 2009 have changed some rules. The plant owners who have chosen the on-site exchange (96% of those activated by the New Energy Bill) by September 30, 2009 will have to enter into an agreement with the manager of electrical services. The GSE now becomes the sole responsibility of the service, taking over the market participants as the reference entity.
An example helps to clarify the difference between net metering and the Energy Bill. Schematically, it is assumed that a plant produces 1,000 kWh per year, it immediately autoconsuma 200 and consumes lazily (ie at night) another 700. At the remuneration of the Energy Bill on all 1,000 kWh produced is added to the on-site exchange: 200 kWh autoconsumati are not paid in the bill; the remaining 800 kWh are placed on the network and are valued by the GSE in accordance with the zonal price schedule (time and geographic area in which the plant produces). The subsidy exchange reimburses 700 kWh paid by the family in the electricity bill. The equivalent in Euros of electricity used is not reported to credit for years.

Solar thermal
solar thermal panels should not be confused with those of PV. If the latter allow the production of electricity, the purpose of the first is the production of hot water. The solar panels can, in the presence of under-floor heating systems, including heat homes. The economic incentive is used is not the Energy Bill but the deduction over five years of 55% of the costs incurred. For solar thermal panels is scheduled for a simplified procedure for obtaining the tax credit. The cost of a solar heating system for a home is about 3-4 thousand euro.


Prices all-encompassing
system of ” all inclusive rate “, similar in setting to the Energy Bill, may be required by the manufacturer of energy as an alternative to” green certificates “. This incentive does not, however, photovoltaics.
encompassing remuneration rate for 15 years, the energy produced by renewable energy installations that have a maximum power of 1 MW (0.2 MW for the mini-wind). The rates for each kWh produced are different for the different renewable sources (from 18 cents to 34 landfill gas wave).


European Union
The 20-20-20 climate and energy package is the European program, which was approved in late 2008, it plans to achieve by 2020, three objectives: reduce by 20% the emissions of greenhouse gases, increase to 20 % energy savings and 20% increase in the consumption of renewable energy sources ( full text here ). Italy has achieved his goal of producing energy from renewable sources by 2020 would fall by 17%, but the effort is still high: they must be derived from renewable sources to 28 million TOE, tons of oil equivalent, most of the potential Italian renewable energy, estimated at 24 million TOE. In this challenge photovoltaics will play a marginal role: according to an estimate of the Authority , although in 2020 the photovoltaic absorb 3.5 billion Euros of incentives on the 7 billion total, its contribution will be “only” 10 TWh: one-tenth of ‘electricity from renewable sources expected (104 TWh, equivalent to 9 million TOE), which in turn is little more than a third of all renewable energy expected (in fact, the predominant share of thermal energy from biofuels, biomass, geothermal and solar thermal).


Direct or indirect sales
If a plant produces a lot more electricity than non-consumption, should, instead of metering, opt for the sale of electricity on the market. The premise is that the energy we consume is more expensive, about double of what we sell. Summing up and simplifying: when we produce and consume 100 100, the on-site exchange the sum is zero. With the sale to the market, however, would pay 100 and 50 would receive. If we produce and consume 1,000 100, 100 pay and receive 500. With net metering, the difference between what we produce and what we consume is not remunerated but instead put only a credit for the following years.
sale can be “indirectly”, ie the energy can be sold to the GSE ( dedicated withdrawal ) at the market price refers to the area where the plant is located (and this is the mode most followed , with the exclusion of larger systems). Or you can choose to sell power directly into the bag, after enrollment in the electricity market, operated by the Electricity Market Operator.


Watt, Watt peak (Wp) and watt hours
Watt is the unit of measurement of electrical power. The Watt peak (Wp) is the unit of measure used to indicate the power that a photovoltaic device can be produced in standard operating conditions. A domestic plant typically has 2-3 kWp. The watt-hour is a unit of measurement instead of the energy that is equivalent to one watt per hour.