‘Net metering may take time to become popular’

| | Updated on: Nov 12, 2014

Tata Power expects it to gain traction in six-eight months

Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) expects the net metering programme, which allows consumers to generate solar power and feed their surplus into the grid, to gain traction from commercial and industrial users in the next six-eight months.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission on September 2 issued the guidelines for net metering. Under the guidelines, users can install solar panels on rooftops to generate electricity and sell the surplus back to the grid and earn credits to reduce their power bills.

“Net metering is a forward-looking policy. People are still trying to understand the tariff structure and how it will work. We have begun engaging with commercial and industrial users and resident welfare associations, but it will take another six-eight months to gain traction,” Praveer Sinha, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of TPDDL, told Business Line .

Implementation would require technology upgrade from the distributor end to ensure regulated flow of electricity in the grid. While not giving specifics of investment required for net metering, Sinha said TPDDL typically spends ₹300-350 crore a year on infrastructure upgrades.

“The whole process of testing various equipment and drawing up a list of suppliers is on. It will take some time. Initially, we will provide two meters – one for inflow and other for outflow – as net meters are not yet tested and approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards,” he added.

As part of the whole process, TPDDL will also supervise the setting up of the solar panels. “We have to ensure that people who get the panels get it from an approved list of vendors and have a proper warranty. This is because we will be expecting a certain inflow and if that gets disrupted, then there is a demand-supply mismatch,” said Sinha.

The distribution company expects initial traction from commercial and industrial users as their tariff is higher and net metering will provide a good incentive.

However, for residential users, too, TPDDL is planning to offer financing solutions.

Published on November 12, 2014

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