On-Site Exchange: what it is, how it works and what’s new for 2024


Emma Potter

With the expression Exchange on the spot we indicate that mechanism which came into force in 2005 whose active parties are the taxpayers (both private citizens and businesses) on the one hand and the GSE (Energy Services Manager) on the other.

Through this system taxpayers can compensate for the electricity produced and fed into the grid at a given moment with the energy consumed at that moment X.

Undoubtedly, it represents the best type of incentive currently made available to all those who have installed a system in their home (or business). photovoltaic and they are work-in-progress in the amortization phase of the expense incurred for the installation of this system.

This is a real exchange contract in all respects which can be accessed by citizens who have installed a system for their family and/or business energy needs. photovoltaic or wind power or a system solar thermal.

The logic behind the operation of the underlying mechanism is very simple: it is input, we could say it is returnedin the electricity grid the energy produced by our system but which we have not used to withdraw it at another time based on our needs.

In this way, two fundamental objectives are achieved to support and promote the green:

  • a decided one NO to waste of energy;
  • economic benefit tangible on the invoice.

On-Site Exchange until 12/31/2024

Currently, Net Metering is still in force and usable throughout the year 2024 and is also applicable to new photovoltaic systems (of course, as long as they have all the required characteristics).

The must-have requirement that our system must possess concerns its power. In fact, it has been established that systems powered by renewable sources must not have a power exceeding 500 kW.

Article 9 paragraph 2 of Legislative Decree n. 199 of 8 November 2021 (find the complete text published in the Official Journal here) establishes that it will no longer be possible to access Net Metering contracts starting from the ninety-first day after the entry into force of the implementing decrees.

Since to date the aforementioned decrees have not been publishedcurrently there is no expiration date to participate in the On-Site Exchange scheme.

How will compensation through Net Metering work in 2024?

To date and at least until 31 December 2024, the energy injected into the grid by the individual taxpayer’s photovoltaic system is collected and then paid by the GSE.
The valuation takes place on the basis of an average tariff equal to approximately 0.16 euros for each kWh (which corresponds to half the average price to buy energy from the grid).

Let’s see in detail how On-Site Exchange works.

During the daytime while the photovoltaic system is active, clean energy is produced thanks to the sun’s rays. The part of this energy exceeding family/business needs is fed into the public electricity grid, but not before passing through a specific countercalled precisely of exchange which has the task of recording the quantity of kWh transferred to the grid.

The downside is the night hours and in general the periods (think of the winter months) in which the system is not able to produce energy in sufficient quantities to satisfy the needs of the family or company.

Here the exchange mechanism essentially comes into play.

In fact, the energy necessary for the operation of this property is taken from the public electricity grid, therefore, in these moments traditional energy takes over to fill the gap, guaranteeing the user the satisfaction of their needs.

This consumption of energy drawn from the network is recorded by the appropriate meter which is bidirectional as it is tracks both the energy input and the energy withdrawn.

Once the billing period has reached the end, the taxpayer receives the tax document which is issued on the basis of the energy withdrawn from the network but, at the same time, he also receives the reimbursement equivalent to the amount of energy injected into the public network by his system. In conclusion, the two positions compensate each other and the taxpayer (both private citizen and company) just pay the difference between the two values.

For example, in the case of a credit situation in favor of the citizen/business due to the greater energy input compared to that consumed, the credit on the bill (with consequent carrying over of the latter into the next one) or directly the cash refund.

The formula adopted between the two depends on local regulations and also on the contract stipulated with the energy manager.

Who can access On-Site Exchange

We can divide beneficiary users into two groups:

  • end customer within an ASSPCi.e. Other Simple Production and Consumption System;
  • end customer owning a set of withdrawal and injection points.

The first is a final consumer of energy and this type of user is part of a system in which it is possible to produce and consume energy within the same context, taking advantage of the facilities and advantages offered by Net Metering.

In the second case, however, the customer has several withdrawal and injection points and is also a producer of electricity through production plants directly connected to these distribution points.

Also in this case, the customer can benefit from the Net Metering service to optimize self-consumption of the energy produced and reduce overall energy costs.

The process to join the On-Site Exchange

Let’s examine the case of a private citizen who has installed a photovoltaic system in his home that can produce maximum 20 kWh.

This taxpayer has two options to take advantage of the On-Site Exchange relief:

  • present the appropriate one Unique model to the supplier, i.e. the company that manages and is responsible for the electricity network.
    The latter, once received the Single Model, transmits it for information to the GSE (Energy Services Manager) who will take care of activating the agreement and will send the user who requested it a link.
    By accessing this web address, it will be possible to view the status of the agreement on SSP portal (On-Site Exchange System).
    This step is mandatory and essential to be able to take advantage of the On-Site Exchange service, as it represents the process that allows you to guarantee the correct registration of the system and implement the necessary checks.
  • Submit the request to join the service online that is, via the GSE portal within 60 days of connecting the system. This second option is convenient and streamlines the procedure compared to the first.

The advantages of on-site exchange

Here are all the reasons to choose to join the Net Metering also in 2024.
The advantages are countless:

  • reduction in the amount to be paid on the bill: On-Site Metering, as illustrated in the previous paragraphs, allows you to offset the energy consumed with that produced;
  • increase and optimization of self-consumption: on-site metering provides citizens (or businesses) with the possibility of using the excess energy set aside and fed into the public grid to use as needed at other times. This is the fundamental factor that materializes the optimization of the clean solar energy produced;
  • economic return: this benefit offers economic compensation for the energy fed into the grid, helping to improve the plan cost amortization incurred during the construction and installation of the photovoltaic system;
  • reduction of environmental impact: this mechanism has always given, and continues to give, a notable boost to the renewable energy sector. It represents a valid and concrete tool reduction of CO2 emissions and this translates into a significant reduction in the impact on the environment;
  • stability of the electricity grid: On-Site Exchange helps significantly regularize the level of consumption of electricity, helping to promote a situation of balance between energy supply and demand;
  • flexibility: the functioning of the On-Site Metering mechanism implies better management of variations in terms of energy needs depending on the season in which one finds oneself or the time slot of the day and, consequently, based on the lesser or greater availability of energy solar which manages to replace the traditional one;
  • support for the energy transition: the On-Site Exchange service represents an important push towards the process of energy transition that we must necessarily do in the direction of more sustainable energy with less impact on the environment;
  • valorisation of the energy produced: this mechanism also implements the valorisation of the energy produced, both for immediate self-consumption and for its re-injection into the public network;
  • safety energy: Net Metering significantly reduces the level of dependence on traditional energy sources and therefore also on the continuous (sometimes even significant) fluctuations in energy prices;
  • long-term economic benefits: the functioning of Net Metering promotes the financial stability of the energy system for both families and businesses. The savings achieved are notable both in terms of the wallet and the quantity of energy produced/consumed;
  • stop wasting energy: the functioning of the On-Site Metering is such as to prevent the waste of energy produced and unused by the citizen or company. And, at the same time, it always guarantees both the availability of sufficient energy to cover their family/business needs.