Public opinion is south on the proposal, NEPRA putting hurdle..
A proposed plan to reduce the rate of excess electricity sold to the government by net metering by Rs 10.32 per unit has been prepared, public opinions have also been sought in this regard.
Electricity generation from furnace oil and LNG has become very expensive, the government is trying to promote solar energy and domestic consumers are also being encouraged to install solar systems, but reports said NEPRA is going to be a big hurdle. Because through net metering, the government is planning to reduce the rate of additional electricity by Rs 10.32 per unit.
Net metering is a billing mechanism whereby the consumers are given credit for the electricity they add to the grid generated through Solar or Wind Power.
Currently DISCOs are buying electricity thru net metering at the rate of Rs 19.32 per unit and according to sources, NEPRA wants to fix this rate only at Rs 9 per unit i.e. a reduction of more than 53%.
Net metering customers do not get cash for selling excess electricity to the government, but it is adjusted in their electricity bills.
Sources say that NEPRA ‘s proposed plan will discourage solar system installers.
According to NEPRA sources, the new tariff for solar power generation for IPPs has come to three and a half to four cents, so the tariff of Rs19.32 per unit is too high for DISCOs who are buying electricity through net metering.
Apart from this, net metering customers do not have any tariff protection in the license.
According to sources, whatever decision NEPRA takes in this regard will be applicable to all new and old net metering users.
NEPRA has also called for public opinions in this regard, and accordingly a decision will be taken, however.
On the other hand the spokesperson of Ministry of Energy has said that net metering electricity is not for commercial sale, buying net metering electricity at Rs 19.32 per unit is an additional burden on poor consumers.
The spokesperson said the cost of production for net metering customers is around Rs 3 to 5 per unit.
The purchase price of net metering electricity was Rs 9.95 per unit from 2018 to 2021 and the price per unit of net metering electricity was Rs 12.95 from February 2021 to July 2022. Due to increase in tariff, net metering electricity price per unit is Rs.19.32.
The spokesman added that no fixed charges are levied on domestic net metering customers, hence the tariff revision is a valid move.
The spokesperson claimed that the revision of net metering tariff will bring down the price of electricity for poor consumers.