Last update : 10.05.2022


Self-consumption offers consumers the possibility to produce all, or part of, the electricity they use themselves.

Two cases makes out:

  • individual self-consumption, where the consumers themselves produce the electricity that they use;
  • collective self-consumption, where several consumers group together with one or more providers to trade electricity.


Self-consumption growth

Current technical, economic and regulatory changes are driving the growth of new local models at individual or community levels. Self-consumption growth is therefore driven by:

  • technological advances that make self-consumption more cost-effective (lower costs to buy and install photovoltaic panels, better performance, lower storage costs and energy consumption control systems, etc.);
  • the growing desire of users to determine their energy consumption, especially by favouring local production and short supply chains and, ultimately, by trying to manage and reduce their consumption;
  • by high retail charges. In countries like France, where retail charges are low, self-consumption can also be perceived as a way of protecting against the risk of future electricity price rises;
  • by public authorities that support the growth of this method: the law dated 24 February 2017 ratifying the ruling of 27 July 2016, acknowledges and governs self-consumption. Furthermore, 'self-consumers' can access renewable energy support programmes (especially feed-in tariffs and calls for tenders).

All these conditions have contributed to the growth of a self-consumption sector in France that, while still modest, is growing strongly.


CRE and self-consumption

Due recognition for self-consumption in CRE grid tariffs

The effect of self-consumption on the grid differs according to whether it is individual or collective. Conversely to collective self-consumption, individual self-consumed energy does not transit by the public grid.

For individual self-consumers, nothing currently economically justifies a specific withdrawal component compared to that used for other consumers.

TURPE tariffs nevertheless cater for the growth of self-consumption, as with any new use of the public grid. The CRE checks that tariffs are effective and robust enough to change behaviour and subsequently, adjust the grid costs generated, leading to progress in consistent invoicing, regardless of electricity use.

In terms of collective self-consumption, the main challenge is making certain low-voltage transit flows financially worthwhile. Collective self-consumption can, if correctly proportioned and managed, be of value to the electricity system.

The CRE has therefore introduced a new tariff, matching the effects consumers are having on the grid. It does this by applying different rates to low-voltage and high-voltage transit flows (conventional consumers pay for costs generated by average flows)

A specific management component is applied to individual and collective 'self-consumers’ that reflects their more complex management costs.

CRE's recommendations on self-consumption

The CRE presented its recommendations and guidelines on self-consumption-related subjects in its deliberation of 15 February 2018.

Its recommendations and guidelines for support mechanisms and a contractual framework respectively seek to:

  • enable the optimal, simplified and controlled growth of renewable energy self-consumption to meet energy transition goals at the best price for the community,
  • ensure compliance with necessary rules so that the electricity system functions properly and safely.