The Council of State has no fundamental objection to the scheme devised by the Flemish government to compensate for the no longer running back electricity meter. This is reported by Energy Minister Zuhal Demir. The Council does have reservations on several points, the advice shows.
At the beginning of this year, the Constitutional Court overturned the regulation with the virtual reversing counter. This gave owners of solar panels, even with a digital meter, the right to the old system with a reverting counter and a prosumer rate.
After the destruction, the government decided to entitle the owners to a one-time compensation, which should guarantee a return of 5 percent over 15 years. The premium takes into account, among other things, the peak power of the installation, the average cost of the solar panels in the year of installation and the government support already received. The benefit already received from the reversing counter will also be deducted.
The Council of State is now formulating some comments on the new scheme. For example, the Council points out that, according to the European Union, all consumers should have a digital meter by 2029. The removal of the owners of solar panels as a priority group may jeopardize that objective. The Council has a reservation here. “It should already be noted that the decision to only use coercive means for the placement of digital meters at prosumers who qualify for the retroactive investment premium from 2025, will already be in order to achieve the interim target of 80 percent by 31 December 2024. could jeopardize the situation “, can be read in the opinion.
The Council also has a reservation on the provision that applicants for the premium may not go to court to seek compensation for the damage suffered as a result of the judgment of the Constitutional Court. The Council wonders whether that regulation does not disproportionately restrict the right of access to justice.
The advice does refer to a series of precedents containing similar provisions and does not call it disproportionate for a government to make the award of compensation conditional on the renunciation of a legal claim in order to have that disadvantage compensated. Consumers must then have a clear view of the loss they have suffered and the amount of compensation. Both conditions seem to be met, the Board is of the opinion.
On the advice of the Council of State and in order to make the file more legally robust, Demir requests an additional advice from the Data Protection Authority, in addition to a previous request for advice from the Flemish supervisory commission for the processing of personal data.
“During the approval in principle, we always said that we would await all advice before taking further steps,” said the minister. “We will analyze the advice of the Council of State in detail and will then take the necessary follow-up steps. In any case, we seem to be one step closer to a final settlement.”
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