India’s Step Towards Virtual Net Metering Policy
Recently, The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) introduced new additions to the Solar Policy 2016. These additions included- Group net-metering & Virtual net-metering framework.
This policy comes as a boon for residential, commercial and industrial consumers who can now take the advantage of a solar solution without having the required roof space for a suitable solar energy installation.
What is Net Metering?
Net metering, as per the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), is essentially a billing mechanism that allows consumers to receive credit when the electricity generated from their solar energy systems is added to the grid.
For example, if a residential consumer living in India owns a solar rooftop system, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. This excess electricity will be pushed to the main grid.
How Can Virtual Net Metering Make A Difference?
Virtual net-metering, also known as collectively owned net metering, is an arrangement where consumers can get access to solar energy and can enjoy solar net-metering facility without access to a suitable roof.
The net meter attached to this connection will record the consumed and exported energy levels from and to the grid, thus satisfying demand for all connected to the system while offering credits to the electricity bill as well.
As of today, the introduced net metering policy would be available for the government bodies exclusively.
Later in the near future consumers will be able to apply to DISCOM (the distribution company) with a minimal fee of INR1,000 for a virtual net metering connection.
To raise awareness and build trust between DISCOM and solar consumers, the updated policy has informed that the DISCOMs will be paying for initial installations of virtual net meters and corresponding electricity bills will clearly list the imported, exported and carried forward energy units.
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