The current distribution network tariffs are based on the assumption of a "traditional" use of the network, based on a centralized large-scale electricity production and a pure purchase of electricity. They currently do not take into account the recent evolutions in the energy system and in the energy markets. The combination of the increased integration of renewable energy generation and the principle of the back running meter for prosumers also led to distribution system operators having to deal with a decrease in the net purchase of electricity on the distribution network, the parameter which currently determines the invoice of the consumer.
In addition, the large-scale installation of local production, mainly PV installations, leads to less drawing of power or even power injections into the grid in periods of low energy consumption and high production. In addition to the increasing supply of renewable, decentralized power generation, there is also increasing electrification (for example due to the increase in electric vehicles and heat pumps). Considering all of this, it is expected that the local system peak will increase, for example because people charge their electric vehicles at the same time in the evening. This poses a challenge for the distribution system operators.
The Flemish Regulator of the Electricity and Gas Market (VREG) therefore commissioned EnergyVille / VITO to conduct an additional study with regard to future distribution grid tariffs for consumers and small commercial grid users. This study focuses on the design of future-proof, regular distribution grid structures and their impact on consumers and small commercial grid users and distribution system operators, so that the intended energy policy and challenges of the energy transition can be tackled, both in the short and long term.
In the study, a number of potential tariff schemes (both for customers with traditional and digital meters) were selected. Subsequently general basic principles were formulated and converted into measurable indicators (KPIs). All parameters were ultimately tested against the selected tariff models in order to clarify which tariff model is most suitable for the user.
The study concludes that for the classical meter customers the proposal from the consultation is the preferred choice. In this case the distribution network usage of the low-voltage grid user is measured mainly based on the technical connection capacity (kVA). The tariff analysis for digital meter customers leads to a shared preference. On the one hand for a tariff structure that mainly relies on the technical connection capacity and the monthly peak power and for a small part on the purchased energy, on the other hand for a tariff proposal based on consumption and on capacity, where higher rates apply to a higher peak demand.
With the data from this study and in collaboration with various stakeholders, the VREG can draw up a proposal for a new tariff structure.
The final presentation and the complete study can be found on the VREG website. (Dutch)