Ministry of Power issues draft amendment suggesting net metering for up to 500 kW of rooftop solar

The Ministry of Power (MoP) has notified an amendment to the draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020. The draft rules were originally released on December 31, 2020, under section 176 of the Electricity Act, 2003. As per the amendment, wherever the regulations do not provide for net metering, gross metering, net billing or net feed-in, the commission may allow net metering to the prosumer for loads up to 500 kW or up to the sanctioned load, whichever is lower and net-billing or net feed-in for other loads. MoP has invited comments and suggestions from stakeholders on the new draft amendment which can be sent in by April 30, 2021.

According to the MoP, for the prosumers availing net-billing or net feed-in, the commissions may introduce time-of-the-day (ToD) tariffs whereby prosumers are incentivised to install energy storage so that stored solar energy can be utilised by them or fed into the grid during peak hours thus helping the grid by participating in demand response of the discoms. Further, in case of net-metering, net-billing or net feed-in, the discom may install a solar energy meter to measure the gross solar energy generated from the rooftop system to avail renewable energy purchase obligation credit, if any. Gross metering will also be permitted for the prosumers who would like to sell all the generated solar power to the discom at a feed-in tariff decided by the commission based on tariff regulations.

As per the draft released in December, net metering would have been applicable for loads up to 10 kW and gross metering will be applicable for loads above 10 kW for potential or existing prosumers with solar power generating systems. This was met with considerable backlash from the industry. Thus, after consideration the MoP has released an amendment to the draft. The final rules will come into force after consulting the industry and incorporating the amendments.

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