The bidirectional meter which will calculate the final bill after the net metering must be a smart prepayment meter
The Union Department of Energy may allow net metering to the prosumer up to 500 kilowatts (kW) or up to the permitted load, in accordance with the amendments proposed to the electricity modification rules (consumer rights), 2021 last month. This is a significant increase from the December 2020 project which only allowed net metering up to 10 kW.
A prosumer is someone who produces solar energy and also consumes electricity generated by power companies through the grid.
The new project contains rules governing gross counting. This is a mechanism in which the total solar energy generated from a grid-interactive rooftop solar system and the energy consumed are accounted for separately.
The excess energy generated by solar panels on the roof is fed into the grid. The prosumer is compensated for this energy by a deduction of equivalent units from his electricity bill using a system called net metering.
Energy imported from the grid and energy exported to the grid are valued at two different rates
Changes compared to the last draft
The ministry defined the following in the last draft:
- Gross counting: The term refers to a mechanism by which the total solar energy generated from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on rooftops connected to a prosumer’s grid and the total energy consumed by the prosumer are accounted for separately through appropriate counting arrangements. For billing purposes, the total energy consumed by the prosumer is calculated at the applicable retail tariff and the total solar power produced is calculated at the feed-in tariff determined by the central regulatory commission.
- Net count refers to a mechanism by which solar energy exported to the grid from a rooftop photovoltaic solar system connected to a prosumer’s grid is subtracted from the energy imported from the grid in units (kilowatt-hours) to arrive at the net imported / exported energy. The net import (or export) of energy is invoiced (or credited / deferred) by the distribution concessionaire on the basis of the applicable retail tariff. A single bi-directional energy meter should be used for net metering at the point of supply.
- Net billing or net feed: Energy imported from the grid and energy exported from rooftop solar photovoltaic systems connected to a prosumer’s grid are valued at two different tariffs. The dollar value of imported energy is based on the applicable retail tariff. The monetary value of exported solar energy is based on the feed-in tariff determined by the central / state regulatory commission. The monetary value of the exported energy is deducted from the monetary value of the imported energy to arrive at the net amount to be invoiced (or credited / deferred).
Should we opt for net-metering or net-billing?
The two-way meter which will be billed “net” for the energy consumed after the net removal, may be an intelligent prepaid / prepaid meter. Thanks to this, the consumer will have the possibility of paying for electricity from the grid after the bill is generated, or in advance.
A prosumer should have the same rights as a consumer. The consumer grievance forum should include representations from prosumers and consumers.
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