Mini solar systems for balconies are trendy. However, a new law is intended to make it even easier for tenants to purchase one and guarantee them the right to a balcony power plant. In future, landlords will no longer be allowed to ban the devices without good reason.

Balcony power plants are becoming increasingly popular in Germany. According to the Federal Network Agency's market data register, more than 152,000 new devices went online in the second quarter of 2024. This corresponds to an increase of 52 percent compared to the second quarter of 2023, when a record was already set.

Right to a balcony power plant: Landlords may not refuse operation without reason

According to the German Solar Industry Association, a total of over 550,000 balcony power plants have been registered with the Federal Network Agency in Germany. However, the actual number is likely to be higher, as there is a late registration period of several weeks and some systems are not registered.

In order to make it even easier for tenants to purchase a so-called plug-in solar device, the Bundestag passed a draft law on Thursday, July 4, 2024, that provides for changes to tenancy law and home ownership law.

In order to operate a balcony power plant, tenants previously had to obtain explicit consent from their landlord. Apartment owners, in turn, required approval from the homeowners' association. Until now, landlords and homeowners' associations could refuse to operate a balcony power plant without giving any reason.

Privileging plug-in solar devices

The generation of electricity through balcony power plants is to be included in the catalogue of so-called privileged measures. These are structural changes that landlords and homeowners' associations (WEG) may not block without reason.

They should still have a say and be able to decide, for example, how a balcony power station is attached to the house. However, they should not be allowed to prohibit the installation of plug-in solar devices in principle.

Carsten Körnig, CEO of the German Solar Industry Association, welcomes the changes to the law as “a welcome boost for solarization of balconies.” The “right to harvest solar power” would ensure increasing demand. The Federal Council still has to approve the law, but this seems to be a mere formality.

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