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MERC hearing on solar rooftop metering soon

MERC hearing on solar rooftop metering soon


Nagpur: With the election code of conduct coming to an end, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) is likely to hold a public hearing for gross metering of solar rooftop consumers soon, said a source in the state discom Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL). The commission, in its order issued in March, had rejected the discom’s request in this regard and stated that it would need public consultation.
At present, net metering is done for solar rooftop consumers. The net meter measures the quantum of solar energy generated by the consumer’s panels and the power consumed by him. MSEDCL bills the consumer for the difference between consumption and generation. If generation is more, then the consumer is paid the amount at the end of financial year.

Say your consumption for a month is 500 units and generation 450 units. MSEDCL will bill you for 50 units in this case. As its tariff is slab wise you will be billed at a very low rate. If your generation is 550 units, then you will be paid for 50 units at the average power purchase rate of MSEDCL for that year.

If gross metering method is adopted, your bill will be calculated for 500 units and you will be paid for 450 units at a rate decided by the MSEDCL. Your bill will go up substantially because the slab wise tariff means that you pay for 500 units at a very high average rate. Even if you generate more, you still would be required to pay MSEDCL because your bill will be very high.

MSEDCL had earlier tried to introduce gross metering through its tariff petition for 2018-19. The commission had then rejected the plea asking the discom to file a separate petition. Now, the regulator wants to hold a public hearing for the same. This is because most consumers are dead against gross metering.

Meanwhile, some solar rooftop consumers have received very high power bills. “In April and May, my bill was around Rs5,000. I have invested Rs3.5 lakh on solar rooftop system. What is the use of spending so much if I have to pay such high power bills. I suspect that MSEDCL has clandestinely switched over to gross metering. If this is so then this is cheating,” said a consumer, who did not wish to be named.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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