‘Net metering’ is a common term for solar system. But many consumers are not aware about how it is working. When generated energy is more than the consumed energy then this net metering will be applicable. This is a mechanism offering a credit to the commercial and residential consumers by sending back the excess electricity to the grid. Solar panels usually produce more electricity than you need. This extra electricity will send back to grid and they will pay energy credit on bill so that you can equalize your energy use in winter when solar panels are producing less electricity. Additional equipment called Bi-directional meter, has to be added in the solar system to avail the net metering facility. This meter can measure the electricity that flows in the grid so that your utility can track how much energy is produced by the solar system and how much the consumer used.
Advantages of net metering
- In net metering system, the extra power generated is stored by the grid so there is no need of battery storage system like off-grid PV system. No generator is required as grid itself is a backup generator here.
- Normally solar panels need little maintenance. In PV system, generator and battery mainly requires maintenance. But in net metering system battery and generator are eliminated so maintenance cost also decreased.
How to apply for Net-Metering?
- The consumer who is willing to install rooftop solar PV system has to submit an application to the DISCOM with fees.
- DISCOM will analyze the application within 30 days and inform the consumer about deficiencies, if any.
- After all the deficiencies will be cleared, DISCOM will approve the application and ask the consumer for registration process.
- Within 15 days of submission of registration form, DISCOM shall register the proposal and provide a registration number to the consumer.
- After having the registration number, consumer must do the inter-connection agreement within one month.
The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has issued new regulations for net metering system for rooftop solar projects that is named as RSPV Regulations, 2019.
RSVP Regulations 2019 highlights
- According to the new regulation the capacity range of rooftop solar project will be from 1KWp to 2000 KWp.
- The rooftop solar projects those are above 2 MW can be undertaken by state authorities.
- The maximum peak capacity of the solar system should not be more than 100% of connected load.
- The capacity of the solar panel must not exceed more than 75% of the distribution transformer from which power is fed to the consumer.
- As the augmentation cost of transformer the consumer has to pay one time charge of Rs. 1,000/- per KWp up to 10 KWp solar rooftop panel.
- The cost of interconnection between distribution system and solar rooftop system has to be borne by the consumer or the third party owner.
- If any damage or threat will be happen in the distribution system due to the solar rooftop system, then the distribution licensee can disconnect the solar PV system from the distribution system to prevent any harm.
- Net-metering of the electricity generation by a consumer will qualify towards compliance of RPO for the DISCOM.
- All meters should be as per the standards mentioned in CEA Regulations, 2006.
- Consumer who claims for accelerated depreciation benefits are only eligible for net metering system.
- If a third-party owner makes an agreement with a consumer to install a rooftop solar panel in his or her premises then this project will be under gross metering system. There are number of companies in Uttar Pradesh like solar companies in Allahabad, who take lease of premises from consumers and install solar panels. These companies also come under this regulation.
- The consumers or third party owners who are under gross metering system cannot avail net metering arrangement in the same place. The same regulation will also apply for consumers under net metering system.
- U.P. is the first state to introduce Blockchain Technology that is a mutual purchase and sale process of electricity via peer to peer transaction.
The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) noticed that sudden announcement of this regulation creates problem for some consumers as well as the companies who produce renewable energy in Uttar Pradesh. Those who have already submitted application to electricity department for net metering or gross metering system will have to submit application and fees again. So, UPERC grants one time relaxation on the regulation and postpone it by 180 days.