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Electricity consumers rights rules: Govt proposes allowing net metering for rooftop solar upto 500 kW

In a second amendment to the draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, the govt has proposed allowing net metering for rooftop solar systems of up to 500 kW

Electricity consumers rights rules: Govt proposes allowing net metering for rooftop solar upto 500 kW
Electricity consumers rights rules: Govt proposes allowing net metering for rooftop solar upto 500 kW
  • The amendment to the draft rules comes in the backdrop of representations made by various stakeholders to the Ministry of Power

  • The draft amendment also proposes allowing Commissions to introduce time-of-the-day (ToD) tariffs for prosumers availing net-billing or net feed-in

New Delhi: In a second amendment to the draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, the government has heeded to the demand made by the rooftop solar industry and has proposed allowing net metering for rooftop solar systems of up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower and net billing or gross metering for above 500 kW. The amendment to the draft rules comes in the backdrop of representations made by various stakeholders to the Ministry of Power, in which they had contended that the rooftop solar market would collapse if the net metering was capped at 10 kW.

The Ministry of Power has invited comments from stakeholders on the second draft by April 30.

What else does the second draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules propose?

The draft amendment also proposes allowing Commissions to introduce time-of-the-day (ToD) tariffs for prosumers availing net-billing or net feed-in so as to incentivise prosumers to install energy storage for later use which can then be fed into the grid during peak demand. 

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In case of net metering/net-billing or net feed-in, the distribution licensee may install a solar energy meter to measure the gross solar energy generated from the grid-interactive rooftop photovoltaic system for the purpose of renewable energy purchase obligation (RPO) credit, if any, said the Ministry of Power. Commissions may permit gross metering for Prosumers who would like to sell all the generated solar energy to DISCOMs instead of availing the net-metering/net-billing or net feed-in facility. The feed-in tariff for gross metering shall be decided by the Commission as per tariff regulations notified for this purpose, said the draft.

The backdrop

The government had released the first draft Electricity (Rights of Consumer) Rules, 2020, in December 2020. In the draft, it had mandated net metering for loads up to 10 kW and gross metering for loads greater than 10 kW. However, this provision was not welcomed by stakeholders in the rooftop solar segment, who urged the government to review its stance. Minister for MSMEs Nitin Gadkari also discussed with Power Minister RK Singh a representation made to him by solar developers in Maharashtra against enforcing gross metering for rooftop solar systems over 10 kW. MSMEs had contended that gross metering would crush the segment and make renewable energy generation unviable for them.

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