The Közösségi Energia Szolgáltató (Community Energy Service Provider) - KESZ is looking for project sites in Hungary!
The aim is to ensure that the domestic planning, regulation, and support system properly supports the creation of more energy community initiatives in Hungary: where (local) communities or municipalities jointly invest in solar and/or other renewable energy to meet their energy needs, and even sell or store the excess and use the benefits for the benefit of their community.
The Community Energy Service was created because KESZ believes that the transition to renewable energy production is a common cause that we can all do something about.
And they also believe that it shouldn’t be left to big companies or the state: energy production should be democratic, decentralized, and community-based, and everyone should be able to participate in the energy transition.
This is why they have set the objective of making the KESZ a key instrument for energy communities in Hungary. In the next two years, they will invest in 210 kW of solar power plants across the country to achieve our goals - and they’re now looking for partners.
Renewable energy targets:
- Local economic development with multiplier effects.
- Savings in energy costs for participants.
- Social benefits of renewable energy investments
- Increase social support for renewable energy investments, prevent local conflicts.
- Strengthening social self-organization and integration, especially for people living in energy poverty.
- Contributing to the decentralization and democratisation of the energy system
What cooperation do they offer?
Their aim is to help create small-scale solar energy communities in as many locations as possible. To facilitate this, KESZ offers a customizable, discounted solar installation scheme to cover its own consumption, complemented by legal, financial, and technical advice on the implementation and operation of the energy community. The project involves the installation of solar panels at a below-market rate thanks to the public subsidy granted to the KESZ. Significant savings can be made from the production of solar panels.
However, they are not simply offering financial savings, but non-profit professional support to use the savings to ensure long-term energy-efficient operation. Organizations interested in this opportunity will first undergo a free eligibility assessment, which will help to define the framework for further cooperation. If the basic energy and technical conditions are met, they will examine the return on investment and financing options.
On the basis of this, they can then make an individual project development proposal, which includes details of the financial structure, the organizational and legal framework, and the technical implementation. If necessary, they can also provide financing.
With the energy communities that will emerge from the development, they plan to work with them on a long-term basis: as part of this, the KESZ will provide energy advice, identify further development opportunities, identify sources of funding and even facilitate further energy efficiency investments. In addition, KESZ also aims to connect energy communities in Hungary in an umbrella organization, helping to pool knowledge and resources and to make the energy community movement a real force for shaping society.
Their pilot project: the Energy Community of the „Kazán” Community House
The „Kazán” Community House is a civic center in Budapest, home to several organizations. The house is home to a press room and a ceramics workshop, among other things, and therefore consumes a significant amount of electricity (~40 megawatt-hours per year).
The property housing the community is an old factory building with high sunshine hours and a large flat roof. However, the windows are outdated and in need of replacement, and the walls are uninsulated, which, in addition to the high electricity costs, results in high gas bills.
However, from March 2022, a 36 kW solar PV system will be installed, which will cover the entire annual electricity consumption of the House. Although this alone will only replace the electricity bill, the community has decided not to spend the savings but to set them aside in a common energy efficiency fund. They expect that in just a few years, enough funds will be available to make major energy efficiency investments, such as replacing windows and doors or insulating the building
Energy costs of the „Kazán” Community House could be significantly reduced in a few years.
Who are they looking for?
They’re looking for organizations to partner with to create energy communities that are community-led, working towards community goals, and ready to help fight climate change by participating in long-term development.
Their partners can be housing associations, condominiums, NGOs, community spaces, cooperatives, social cooperatives, possibly community centers bringing together several such initiatives, but also schools, community centers, even those run by municipalities (the list is not exhaustive).
Potential energy community project sites must meet the following criteria:
- Owner-occupied or long-term (~10 years), stable rental property;
- a roof surface suitable for the installation of solar panels on the property: this requires a large, continuous, non-slate roof in good technical and structural condition, not shaded by trees or other buildings;
- and it is also important to be able to replace a sufficient amount of electricity consumption with renewable energy: we are looking for sites with a total annual consumption of 10 megawatt-hours (typically over 500,000 HUF per year). We are looking in particular for organisations and sites that pay a universal service for electricity!
How do get more information?
If you’re interested, please contact email@example.com or contact Benjamin Márkus on +36 20 258 2961.
About the project leaders:
In KESZ, two organizations, the National Society of Conservationists (FoE Hungary) and the SZGK (Solidarity Economy Centre), join forces, using their experience in different fields. Their activities will support the creation of energy communities by providing a wide range of advice (legal, technical, financial, energy) and by implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency investments.
In 2021, the ITM (Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology) awarded a grant for the establishment of the KESZ under the call for proposals "Implementation of a pilot project to support the establishment and operation of energy communities". This will enable them to offer the preferential solar panel installation scheme.