ISLAMABAD: A proposal to lower the power tariff for the extra units generated by rooftop solar power producers was rejected by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).
It was considered lowering the net metering consumers’ rate from Rs. 19.32 per unit to Rs9 per unit. But it is rejected yesterday.
Now at a price of Rs. 19.32 per unit, all DISCOs would have to purchase excess electricity produced by Rooftop Solar Panels.
At a cost of Rs. 19.32 per unit, all power distribution companies (DISCOs) including LESCO will purchase excess electricity from solar energy producers. However, DISCOs demanded a price cut to Rs 9 per unit.
Ironically, DISCOs themselves have been selling electricity to customers for about Rs. 30 per unit.
They seek to purchase extra electricity from household customers who have solar panels put on their roofs under the net metering system at lower prices.
The power sector regulator decided on Monday that net metering users would keep selling extra electricity to DISCOs for Rs19.32 per unit.
The 2015 NEPRA (Alternative and Renewable Energy) Distributed Generation and Net Metering Regulations were subject to a proposed change. NEPRA has decided against it.
To change the regulations, it has requested input from stakeholders and the general public.
In addition, the regulator organized a public hearing to solicit feedback on the change in light of media reporting and responses from various stakeholders.
According to the statement, the authority carefully studied the government’s strategy for the system’s integration of reasonably priced and clean renewable energy sources as well as the stakeholder inputs submitted orally and in writing.
NEPRA emphasized that throughout the session, the stakeholders also highlighted the financial advantages of net metering.
The authority has decided not to amend the current NEPRA (Alternative and Renewable Energy) Distributed Generation and Net Metering Regulations 2015, according to a statement from the regulator. It also stated that net metering users would continue to sell extra electricity to DISCOs at a rate of Rs19.32 per unit.
Net metering would be further encouraged across the nation, it was emphasized.
The coalition administration had intended to add 10,000 megawatts of solar power to the national grid until the desire to lower power rates for net metering users who wished to export excess electricity to DISCOs surfaced.
Due to the country’s rising electricity prices, the government has planned to introduce cheaper electricity into the system. It has given the go-ahead for a plan to raise electricity prices even further in the coming days.
When multiple solar rooftop projects were in the works, the solar sector vehemently criticized the decision.
The solar power industry stated during an earlier public hearing held by the regulator that it would impede the installation of rooftop solar panels. In Pakistan, there are a total of 20,700 rooftop solar power generators.
NEPRA stressed that they would not aim to turn it into a profitable endeavor.
During a public hearing on the 2015 NEPRA (Alternative and Renewable Energy) Distributed Generation and Net Metering Regulations revision, NEPRA Chairman Tauseef H. Farooqi made the comments.
The regulator added that they did not want to discourage the use of solar energy to produce electricity.