Tenant electricity

The term tenant electricity describes electrical energy that is generated in decentralized power generation systems and delivered directly to tenants in apartment buildings or commercial buildings. The energy on the way between the producer and the consumer does not pass through the public power grid.

The tenant electricity model is usually a combination of locally generated electricity and electricity supplied from the grid. The electricity generated and marketed locally is referred to as direct electricity. The tenant electricity user is additionally supplied with electricity from the grid, the so-called grid current, by his supplier. From the customer’s perspective, the electricity from the grid required in addition to full supply is so-called residual electricity. The supplier of the residual electricity can either be the provider of the tenant’s electricity or another external supplier.

Economic potential

In the tenant electricity model, system operators and the tenant do not pay for locally generated electricity:

In addition, according to Section 61 EEG 2017, the system operator’s own consumption may be exempt from the EEG levy or reduced to 40 percent. The system operator also usually benefits from the electricity tax exemption in accordance with Section 9 StromStG. If tenants use the property directly, the full EEG surcharge must be paid. However, the tenant can also benefit from an electricity tax exemption. The cost advantages of the tenant electricity model are summarized in the following figure.


The economic potential of tenant electricity models with PV systems can also be increased through funding for tenant electricity in accordance with Section 21 EEG 2017. This new subsidy, also known as the tenant electricity surcharge, is intended to compensate for the EEG surcharge for direct delivery to tenants. The amount of the tenant electricity surcharge is calculated in accordance with Section 23b EEG 2017 from the value to be applied to the PV system minus 8.5 ct/kWh.

What we do

acteno energy supports you in implementing your private or commercial tenant electricity model. As an independent metering point operator, we can offer the following services for your tenant electricity concept:

  1. Development of an individual measurement concept
  2. Consideration of the site-specific system constellation and individual wishes
  3. Inclusion of legal advice and auditing as required
  4. Coordination with network operators, external suppliers and auditors
  5. Installation of measuring systems and, if necessary, integration of the measuring systems into the local control technology
  6. Implementation of the developed measurement concept including market communication as part of the measurement point operation
  7. Visualization of the collected measurement data in our customer portal
  8. Fulfillment of notification obligations within the context of electricity delivery
  9. Support with invoicing

Legal framework

For tenant electricity models, regulations from various laws and regulations must be observed. Below you will find the most important regulations (not exhaustive).

EnWG and general framework conditions
EnWG and general framework conditions

Tenant electricity providers are energy supply companies according to EnWG. They are therefore subject to the EnWG regulations defined for energy supply companies.

As part of tenant electricity models, supply usually only takes place within a so-called customer system in accordance with Section 3 No. 24a EnWG. This is an advantage because as long as a supplier only supplies final consumers within a customer facility, various simplifications apply.

The legal requirements for the contractual structure of electricity delivery to household customers – for example with regard to liability, termination or price adjustments as well as invoicing – can be found in Sections 40 to 42 EnWG. In addition, when drafting electricity supply contracts, the requirements of general civil law and in particular the requirements for general terms and conditions (GTC) must be observed.


In tenant electricity models – with the exception of certain old systems – subsidies under the EEG are only eligible for the share of electricity that is not consumed on site but is fed into the general supply network (so-called surplus feed-in).

According to the EEG, system operators must observe the following regulations in connection with EEG funding:

  • Duty of notification to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) as part of the installation register (§ 6 EEG 2017)
  • Maintaining the technical facilities (Section 9 EEG 2017)
  • Notification obligations towards the network operator (§§ 70, 71 EEG 2017)

In addition, by supplying electricity to final consumers, the provider of tenant electricity becomes an electricity supply company within the meaning of Section 3 No. 20 EEG 2017. With regard to the delivery of electricity within the framework of tenant electricity models, the following requirements arise:

  • Notification and publication obligations towards the transmission system operator (Section 74 EEG 2017) and the Federal Network Agency (Section 76 EEG 2017)
  • Regulations on electricity labeling (Section 78 EEG 2017)
  • Obligation to pay the full EEG surcharge (§ 60 EEG 2017)

Tenders:Since the EEG 2017, all PV systems with an installed output of over 750 kW are required to participate in tenders. Funding for excess electricity can only be considered if a so-called funding entitlement has been “auctioned” for the respective system in a tender. Smaller systems that remain below 750 kW installed capacity are not affected by the obligation to participate in tenders.

Electricity Tax Act
Electricity Tax Act

Electricity tax law also contains various requirements for tenant electricity projects. The provider of tenant electricity will be classified as a supplier within the meaning of Section 2 No. 1 StromStG.

Pursuant to Section 4 Paragraph 1 of the Electricity Tax Act, suppliers generally require an electricity tax permit, which must be applied for in writing at the locally responsible main customs office.

Furthermore, there are various documentation and notification obligations for suppliers according to the Electricity Tax Implementation Ordinance.


From 2017, the MsbG provides for a gradual installation requirement for intelligent metering systems “as far as technically possible and economically justifiable”, which will have a significant impact on tenant electricity models. The installation obligation initially affects end consumers with an annual consumption of over 10,000 kWh (from 2017) or 6,000 kWh (from 2020) and, from 2017, operators of renewable energy systems with a size of over 7 kW (including existing systems). Statutory staggered upper price limits apply.

Consumers with lower annual consumption and smaller renewable energy systems (1 to 7 kW installed capacity) can also be optionally equipped with smart meters by the responsible metering point operator from 2020 (consumers) or 2018 (renewable energy systems) for a fee. From January 1, 2021, the connection recipient can also decide to equip all connection users with intelligent measuring systems.

REMIT regulation
REMIT regulation

Furthermore, tenant electricity projects may be subject to obligations from Regulation (EU) number 1227/2011 on the integrity and transparency of the wholesale energy market (REMIT). In particular, the REMIT Regulation provides for extensive publication, registration and reporting obligations for various market players.

This can affect the provider of the tenant’s electricity if he acts as an energy trader within the meaning of the regulation – for example if, in addition to his own electricity generation, residual electricity is also purchased from the general supply network and passed on to the tenant.

Source: BSW (2016), Business models with PV tenant electricity