FREE SOLAR΄s kick off project in Thessaly is looking for 20 households that wish to become owners of rooftop solar panels with zero capital cost.
As millions of households and small enterprises are facing unbearable energy bills, the use of solar panels on rooftops for energy self-consumption remains a huge untapped opportunity for Greek people. Greenpeace Greece and Genervest intend to make solar energy accessible to all with FREE SOLAR, a program which enables households and small businesses to get their own residential photovoltaic system without a down payment and with favorable financing terms.
With free electricity from the solar panels, users are able to save up to 100% of the energy supply cost and achieve significant savings from their electricity bills over the next 25 years. FREE SOLAR starts with the first 20 households from the Region Of Thessaly. Greenpeace and Genervest have partnered with Karditsa Energy Community (ESEK) and invite those wishing to join the FREE SOLAR pilot program in Thessaly to register at genervest.org.
FREE SOLAR aim to accelerate the uptake of solar energy self-consumption (net-metering) by households and small enterprises throughout Greece, by creating a friendly framework for investments in small self-generating solar energy systems, which will be carried out with zero initial capital and a competitive interest rate. Through partnerships with local institutions and professionals, such as energy communities, cooperatives, photovoltaic installers, financial institutions, FREE SOLAR will make it easier for households and small businesses to own a photovoltaic system.
For its kick-off pilot project, the 20 beneficiaries will be hosted to the Genervest SCE’s platform as a single ESEK project and will seek funding from small and large investors. ESEK and Genervest, in collaboration with local partners and photovoltaic installers, will then help the households with the application and installation procedures. Households that do not have a suitable roof are also welcomed to apply. Genervest and ESEK will organise an Energy Community and initiate the necessary procedures for the creation of a photovoltaic park for collective self-consumption of energy (virtual net-metering) with similar benefits for the participants who wish to become members of the community.
“There is no better way to eliminate the high cost of electricity bills than to produce your own solar energy for self consumption,” said Takis Grigoriou, energy consultant at Genervest.
The legal framework for net-metering in Greece was first established in 2015. However, up until now the potential for solar self consumption has remained largely unexploited, with only around 50.000 systems connected to the grid so far. As a result, millions of potential photovoltaic owners remain unprotected against rising energy costs. This is particularly true for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable households.
“A number of barriers, most notably access to cheap finance and a lack of sound government policies against energy poverty, have prevented hundreds of thousands of households from acquiring a photovoltaic system. At Genervest we want to change this”, said Takis Grigoriou.
“For a fair and democratized energy system that will be based on citizens, the Energy Community of Karditsa will contribute to the reduction of energy poverty at the local level and will help them take energy into their own hands,” said Apostolos Kandilas, President of the Energy Community of Karditsa.
Any households interested in participating can apply by filling out the form here.
For more information
Takis Grigoriou, energy consultant at Genervest
Vassilis Filippou, Communication Manager of the Energy Community of Karditsa
Notes for authors
 Read more in the newsletter newsletter here.
 For more information about the Energy Community of Karditsa click here