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Monday June 17, 2024

Solar power tariff: Minister says IMF didn't set condition for gross metering

Energy Minister Awais Leghari says the cost of a 5kw solar system is currently much lower than last two years

By Web Desk
May 21, 2024
A man wipes the dust off solar panels he recently installed on the roof of his home in Larkana, in Pakistan’s Sindh province, June 28, 2017. — Reuters
A man wipes the dust off solar panels he recently installed on the roof of his home in Larkana, in Pakistan’s Sindh province, June 28, 2017. — Reuters

Amid panic in solar panels market, Federal Minister Awais Khan Leghari Tuesday demystified the controversy around net metering for consumers using solar power.

“Unfortunately, an unwarranted panic is being created in the market,” Leghari said talking to Geo News programme ‘Geo Pakistan’.

Dismissing the media reports, he said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did not place any condition to convert net metering into gross metering.

Minister Leghari said as per the estimate, the cost of a 5kw solar system was currently much lower than it was two years ago and recovery of the expenses on a solar system could be made in a very short period.

The minister said there was misappropriation and mafias in electricity distribution companies.

“Hence, the government wants to privatise some distribution companies which will bring down the price,” he said.

He also urged people to invest in low power consuming fans to save money on bill.

Last week, reports emerged that the federal government has planned to replace solar net metering with gross metering for rooftop solar panels which would extensively reduce the financial benefits of in-house power generation.

The sources said that recommendations have been tabled to end the unit-for-unit formula under the gross metering, whereas, the prices of electricity units given to the national grid would be halved under the new policy.

It was also learnt that the government will purchase electricity units from the rooftop solar panel owners at the price set by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA).

On the other hand, the power distribution companies (Discos) will sell the electricity to the consumers at the government rates.

The sources added that Pakistan also held talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding its gross metering policy. The new policy is likely to be presented before the federal government and the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for its final approval.

Here is the energy minister's explanation about the ongoing controversy: