Gross Metering Proposed for Residential Rooftop Solar Systems
The Ministry of Power (MoP) has come out with draft electricity rules 2020 aimed at streamlining the process of supply of electricity to consumers by distribution licensees (DISCOMs). The rules prescribe that DISCOMs supply power to consumers 24X7, although there could be lower hours of supply specified for agricultural consumers.
Per the new rules, consumers will have the right to set up renewable energy generating projects, including rooftop solar projects, either by themselves or through a service provider. Consumers can set up renewable energy generating projects in their premises, apart from rooftop projects, but the capacity should not exceed the limit prescribed by the Commission.
The Commission will lay down rules for the grid-connected rooftop solar systems within six months of the notification of these rules. Further, rooftop solar projects of capacity up to 5 kW will be applicable for net metering, and projects above 5 kW will be eligible for gross metering.
DISCOMs are instructed to take every step to streamline the process of setting up of renewable energy generating projects in the premises of consumers. This would include the creation of an online portal for receiving applications, installation, interconnection, and metering for the setting up of distributed renewable energy projects.
The technical feasibility study should be completed within 20 days, and the outcome of the study should be made available to the applicant. ISCOMs need to sign the connection agreement, install the meter, and commission the system within 30 days from the date of submission of the installation certificate by the consumer.
In case of a delay, the distribution licensee will be liable to pay compensation of ₹500 (~$6.8) per day for each day of the default to the consumer. The energy generated must be adjusted against the energy consumed or the bill amount, depending on whether it is a net metering or gross metering.
All new electricity connections must be accompanied by a smart prepayment meter or a prepayment meter. Any exception to this will have to be approved by the Commission.