What is the reverse counter?
The traditional, analog meter in Flanders cannot separately register the electricity you purchase from the grid and the electricity you place on the grid. When you inject a kWh of electricity, the meter reverses and a kWh of electricity you take off the grid at another time is compensated. We call this the "reverse counter". The meter reading that is read annually, therefore, corresponds to your actual electricity purchased in the past period, minus the electricity injected into the grid. If the meter reading shows that you have injected more electricity than consumed in the past year, your compensated consumption will be rounded off to 0 kWh.
This has an impact on your electricity bill. The various invoice components (energy costs, grid rates, kWh-based levies, and VAT) are charged on the basis of this more limited, compensated offtake. In addition, you also pay the prosumer rate, as part of the distribution network rates component.
The digital meter does register the electricity you purchase from the grid and the electricity you place on the grid separately. The various components of your electricity bill can therefore be charged on the basis of your actual purchase. By subtracting the annually selected electricity actually purchased and injected into its underlying systems, your grid operator can calculate the compensated offtake. We call this the 'virtual rollback counter'.
The principle of the reverse counter is only applied to households and small companies with a production installation (usually solar panels) with a maximum capacity of 10
kVA. We refer to this group of grid users as 'prosumers'.