The domestic solar power producers of Kerala have taken strong exception to the state government’s move to raise the charges with the power consumption hitting a peak in the unprecedented hot summer.

Despite the Power ministry’s directive prohibiting taxation on renewable energy, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has increased the duty substantially, causing financial disincentives for solar adoption.

The solar power prosumers feel such steps could run counter to the efforts of the central and the state government to encourage adoption of renewable energy by providing subsidies and incentives.

Solar Prosumers-Domestic Only, a community dedicated to the interests of solar power prosumers and promotion of renewable energy adoption in the state has conducted an analysis of the challenges faced by the domestic solar prosumers and has proposed some solutions to address the issues.

The community founder Jameskutty Thomas said the recent changes made in the fixed charge system in Kerala have hit the consumers adversely. He called for reframing the fixed charge system with a separate calculation method for domestic prosumers excluding directly used solar energy. The inclusion of directly used solar energy in fixed charge assessments penalises homeowners for reducing their reliance on KSEB’s infrastructure.

He suggested that the annual settlement month for solar energy prosumers should be brought back to October from April as decided recently as it has resulted in high energy bills during peak consumption months.

With the number of solar power prosumers in Kerala exceeded 1.20 lakh, the community recommended a multi-pronged approach including proportionate average power purchase cost (APPC) rate adjustments, transparency and communication initiatives, and incentive programs to encourage continued participation in the solar energy programme.

According to Jameskutty Thomas, by addressing the challenges faced by domestic solar prosumers and implementing policies that incentivize renewable energy adoption, Kerala can reduce grid load, lower operational costs, and contribute to environmental sustainability.