Even though over 200 consumers in the district have opted for state government’s solar roof top policy, discom MSEDCL is yet to make net meters available to them. Consequently, consumers are buying these meters from open market that cost anything between Rs 12,000 and Rs 20,000. For small consumers, buying the net meter increases the project cost by almost 10%.The solar roof top policy was declared in December last year. As per the policy, MSEDCL was to provide the net meter to consumers. In spite of passage of over eight months, MSEDCL is asking consumers to buy their own meters. It will eventually adjust the meter cost but at a far lower rate than what consumers will be paying.
The net meter measures the exchange of power between the solar generation system of the consumer and MSEDCL’s grid. This enables the discom to bill the consumer. According to MSEDCL officials, it would take another four to six weeks before the meter becomes available with them. “Tender for procurement of meter has been finalized. Now the actual procurement remains,” chief engineer Prasad Reshme told TOI.The woes of consumers do not end here. MSEDCL officials are taking their own time checking the meter and giving final sanction. A consumer whose application is pending since weeks told TOI, “It seems MSEDCL do not understand much solar generation and net metering. The government should have trained them before announcing the policy,” he said. Sources in industry said even meter readers are not trained and most consumers receive faulty first bills and have to go in for corrections.
So far, 204 consumers in the district have applied for solar rooftop connections. Forty-one have got the system running of whom only one is from rural areas. Most are from the city. Of those in waiting list, 147 cosumers are from the city while only 16 are for rural areas. The records also show that more low tension (LT) consumers are opting for solar roof top systems. Of the 203 consumers, only 18 are high tension (HT) ones.