Govt notifies new rules, allows net metering for rooftop solar systems up to 500 kW

  • The Ministry of Power has permitted net metering for rooftop solar systems with loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower
  • Gross metering for loads over 500 kW allowed

New Delhi: The Centre has notified a much-awaited amendment to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) 2020 Rules pertaining to net metering for rooftop solar installations. With a view to address the concerns raised by the industry, the Ministry of Power has permitted net metering for rooftop solar systems with loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower, a recent gazette notification showed. The notification also said that the arrangements for net-metering, gross-metering, net-billing, or net feed-in would follow the regulations made by the State Commission from time to time.

Gross metering for rooftop solar loads systems over 500 kW

Through the amendments, the government has now allowed net metering for loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower, and gross metering for loads over 500 kW. For the net metering facility, a single bidirectional energy meter will be used at the point of supply where the energy imported from the grid and the energy exported from the grid-interactive rooftop solar system of a prosumer is computed at two different tariffs.

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The amended rules also allow DISCOMs to install a solar energy meter to measure the gross solar energy generated from the grid-interactive rooftop solar system for renewable energy purchase obligation (RPO) credit, if any, for both net metering and gross metering. The government has also allowed gross metering for prosumers who would like to sell all the solar energy generated to DISCOMs instead of using net metering. The generic tariff for gross metering will be decided by the Commission in this case.

Time-of-the-day tariffs for rooftop solar systems

Another important change brought into effect by these amendments pertains to the time-of-the-day tariffs. According to the notification, “in the case of Prosumers availing net-billing or net feed-in, the Commissions may introduce time-of-the-day tariffs whereby Prosumers are incentivised to install energy storage for utilisation of stored solar energy by them or feeding into the grid during peak hours thus helping the grid by participating in demand response of the Discoms.”

Background

Net metering has been a vital policy driver for the adoption of rooftop solar systems. Net metering was earlier allowed for solar rooftop systems up to 1 MW. However, the government amended the provision in December 2020 and placed the cap at 10 kW. The decision was met with opposition from industry stakeholders, who claimed that it will cripple the rooftop solar industry.

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