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Legal aspects Balcony power plant - This is what you need to take into account

Legal aspects Balcony power plant - This is what you need to take into account

A mini solar power plant on the balcony not only serves to meet the continuous energy needs of devices in standby mode, but can also contribute to the general energy supply. However, important aspects should be taken into account before purchasing such a system.

Tenants usually do not have an automatic right to have a mini solar power plant installed on their balcony, as this is often viewed as a structural change to the external appearance of the building. Therefore, the landlord's consent is required in advance. The landlord's decision depends on various factors. However, according to a ruling by the Stuttgart District Court, the landlord's freedom of choice is restricted by the political desire for an energy transition and the associated environmental protection: a rejection without a valid, objective reason is not permitted.

The mini solar power plant must be permitted by building regulations and not visually disturbing. It must be easily dismantled or professionally installed without affecting the rental property. In addition, the installation must not cause an increased risk of fire or other dangers.

In a homeowners' association (WEG), it is also necessary that the homeowner, even if he rents, obtains consent before installing a mini solar power plant. A mini solar power plant is often viewed as visually disadvantageous.

Written authorization is recommended in various situations:

  1. Landlord approval: Landlord approval is required. Whether this has to be in writing depends on the rental agreement. Written consent is recommended for evidentiary purposes in later disputes.
  2. Approval from the homeowners' association: The consent of the homeowners' association is also required and must be obtained in the planned decision-making process in accordance with Section 20 WEG.
  3. Building permit: In most federal states, no building permit is required to install a mini solar power plant on a balcony, as long as the system is installed on, in or on the outside surfaces of the building or, in the case of free-standing solar systems, does not exceed a certain size.
  4. Approval under monument protection law: For listed buildings, in most federal states an approval is required in accordance with the respective state monument protection law.
  5. Approval from the Federal Network Agency or the network operator: Due to the low output of the photovoltaic modules (up to approx. 600 watts per household), no approval from the Federal Network Agency or the network operator is required for a mini solar power plant. However, the mini solar power plant must be registered in the Federal Network Agency's market master data register. This is regulated by the Market Master Data Register Ordinance (MaStRV), the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) and the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) as well as technical regulations.
  6. Notification to the network operator: Approval from the network operator is generally not required for a mini solar power plant, but it must be reported to the network operator so that the network operator can decide whether a network connection is technically possible. The network operator then prepares a network technical statement. According to the Low Voltage Ordinance and the technical regulations, the network operator must put the mini solar power plant into operation, if necessary after the network operator has installed a suitable measuring device. As part of the notification process, the network operator usually also regulates that the excess electricity from small mini solar power plants is fed into the public grid without compensation. However, a different structure of the legal relationship with the network operator is possible.

The most important questions

Below we clarify the most important questions that our customers ask us. You can also find these in our FAQs .

Q1: Can problems arise with the property management or neighbors if a mini solar power plant is installed?

Yes. Neighbors could view a mini solar power plant as a visually detrimental change and therefore a disruption to their property. Even with proper installation, problems with neighbors or property management could arise. These could also result from shading on other balconies. In this case, a claim for removal could arise. Therefore, an amicable arrangement should be made in advance if disadvantages for third parties are to be expected.

Q2: Can mini solar power plants be set up outside the balcony?

Basically yes, if the technical requirements are met. In the garden, however, it should be noted that a solar system of a certain size (in Saxony, for example: height: 3 m; length: 9 m) requires a building permit, depending on state legislation.

Q3: Does the installation have to be carried out by a specialist company?

For safety reasons, it is recommended that the installation of the solar modules on the balcony be carried out by a qualified specialist. A socket in accordance with the DIN VDE V 0628-1 standard is required to feed surplus electricity that is not directly used into the public network. This should be set up by a certified electrical installer according to technical standards, a requirement that most electricity network operators insist on.

Q4: Do taxes or duties have to be paid when operating a balcony power plant?

The 2022 Annual Tax Act introduced changes that exempt smaller systems up to a capacity of 30 kWp on single-family homes from tax. This also applies if excess energy is fed into the public grid for a fee. Despite this regulation, expert advice from a tax advisor remains essential.

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