The Energy Community can, in some situations, assume the role of an Energy Retailer.
Usually, the Community that owns generation facilities provides renewable electricity to its members by replacing the third-party Retailer. Beyond the intra-community energy/ flexibility exchange, the
aggregated expected surplus or deficit of energy can be managed centrally and valorized through bilateral contracts with third-party Retailers or through direct participation in the wholesale market. The energy produced within the Community by the renewable generation plants is sold at certain conditions (economic and priority) defined in contractual agreements with end-users (Community members or external users).
As a retailer, the Energy community can carry out the following activities:
Energy Community supplies self-produced renewable energy: Retail of self-produced electricity can be implemented if the Community owns renewable generation plants. In this case the Community can replace the third-party Retailer and supply energy to its members. End-users’ benefits consist in the knowledge of the sustainable source of the energy that they use and in the achievement of cost savings in their energy bills.
Energy Community participates in the wholesale energy market: As a result of self-generation, consumption and exchanges within the Community, energy surpluses/deficits may be generated since energy self-production usually does not match the consumption pattern. This surplus/deficit can be managed as an aggregate amount of energy by the Energy Community in the role of a Retailer by participating in the wholesale energy market.
Energy Community negotiates energy deficit/surplus with third parties: In the case that Energy Community has a surplus/deficit of energy and cannot or does not want to participate in the wholesale energy market, the solution is to make an agreement with a third party, such as an external Retailer, in order to sell the surplus energy or buy the energy it .
Energy Community offers Implicit Demand Response services to stimulate consumer flexibility: Consumer’s holders of energy supply contracts in which the price of the electricity purchased depends on the pattern of consumption (e.g., Time of Use), can modify their consumption habits by concentrating consumptions in periods with a favorable energy or grid tariffs in order to achieve savings on their bills. This process is called Implicit Demand Response.
The Community is usually not for profit, so the revenues obtained in the role of the Retailer will be probably reinvested in Community improvements (e.g., infrastructure improvements).