Kolkata: In order to promote solar energy in the state, the West Bengal government has allowed net metering for individual solar panels on the roof of a household from 1 KW, an official said.
Former institutional, commercial, industrial and cooperative apartments were only allowed to use the net metering, even from a capacity of 5 kW.
The electricity regulation commission of West Bengal had in its most recent amendments to the ordinance on combined heat and power and electricity generation from renewable sources of 2013 approved the net metering for individual households from 1 kW, but limited this to 5 kW, a top official told PTI.
“In order to promote the use of renewable energies, we have approved the grid measurement of solar power systems from 1 KW to 5 KW. Now there are no more restrictions and everyone can install solar modules on the roof. Previous regulations did not allow grid measurement for normal households”, a WBERC – official said.
However, a consumer cannot install more solar panels than his own load. That said, if a household has an existing power load of 2 KW, its installation can't be higher than 2 KW even if it has space and interest, said a WBERC official.
The net metering concept enables the number of units produced to be deducted from total consumption, and the consumer only pays electricity costs for what he has derived from the grid or distribution company.
The ordinance allows the monthly offsetting of up to 90 percent of his solar energy generation
The new change prescribes “gross measuring systems” for installation capacities of solar systems over 5 KW.
The commercial benefit to a consumer is far less with gross measurement than with net measurement, making the introduction less economically attractive.
The Union's Ministry of Energy had provided gross metering for 10 kW solar panels in its model regulation, the official added.