KOLKATA: In a bid to popularise solar energy in the state, the West Bengal government has allowed net metering for individual household rooftop solar panels starting from 1 KW, an official said.
Earlier institutional, commercial, industrial and cooperative housing were only allowed the benefit of net metering and that too for 5 KW capacity onward.
The West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission in its recent amendments to the Cogeneration and Electricity Generation from Renewable Sources Regulations 2013 had allowed net metering for individual households from 1 KW but had restricted it to 5 KW, a top official told PTI.
"To boost renewable energy use, we have allowed net- metering of solar power installation from 1 KW to 5 KW. Now there is no restriction and anyone can install rooftop solar panel. Earlier regulations did not allow net metering for common households," a WBERC official said.
However, a consumer cannot install solar panels more than its own load.
That means if a household has an existing electricity load of 2 KW then his installation cannot be higher than 2 KW even if he has space and interest, a WBERC official said.
The net metering concept allows to set-off the number of units produced from the total consumption and the consumer pays electricity charges of only what he had derived from the grid or distribution company.
The regulation allows set-off of up to 90 per cent of his solar power generation for any month The new amendment mandates "gross metering" facilities for solar system installation capacities above 5 KW.
The commercial benefit for a consumer is far less in case of gross-metering compared to net-metering thus making adoption less commercially attractive.
The Union Power ministry in its model regulation had provided gross metering over 10 KW solar installations, the official added.