Monday November 28, 2022

Nepra may curtail rooftop solar customers’ perks

The government’s power regulator made up its mind to curtail rooftop solar customers’ perks by more than half by redesigning the Net Metering Regulations 2015

September 28, 2022
Nepra may curtail rooftop solar customers’ perks.File photo
Nepra may curtail rooftop solar customers’ perks.File photo 

ISLAMABAD: The government’s power regulator on Tuesday made up its mind to curtail rooftop solar customers’ perks by more than half by redesigning the Net Metering Regulations 2015.

If the regulator makes the amendment, the credit rates to rooftop solar customers will be substantially reduced from current rates. The regulator wants to reduce the per unit price paid to the roof-top solar power generators for their net surplus units from the existing Rs19.32 per unit to Rs9 per unit, as the chairman of the authority clearly said, “It was not for the purpose of earning, but to reduce own cost. It was for self-generation.”

Since the solar energy industry is in its infancy, with meagre competitors and solar panels much pricey, the policy redesign to reduce the credit rates to consumers at this time would be discouraging for the new entrants. In Pakistan, the rooftop solar customers are only 20,700, and instead of discouraging them, the government should compensate them, a participant said.

“We did not want to generate another IPP [independent power producer]. It was not for the money-making venture,” Nepra Chairman Tauseef H Farooqi said while chairing a public hearing on the proposed amendment to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Alternative & Renewable Energy) Distributed Generation and Net Metering Regulations 2015.

“We could unilaterally take this decision, as we [Nepra] have powers but we deliberately invited the stakeholders to know their views,” he said, adding, “Media created a misconception; Nepra never takes decisions under pressure.”

On Sept 1, 2015, the authority notified vide S.R.O. 892(1)/2015, the Nepra (Alternative & Renewable Energy) Distributed Generation and Net Metering Regulations 2015. Farooqi said, “There are 20,700 roof-top solar power generators in Pakistan, we are not only looking after them but there are also 36 million other power consumers.”

Interestingly, one distributed generator from Karachi asked the chairman why not the authority allows them to carry forward the surplus units that they could use later and give to neighbours or to mosque. “We don’t want to sell them at this rate of Rs9 per unit.”

Farooqi said, “There are also such places in the world where excess units are taken for free from the generators, cash given to them instead of units.” An energy expert asked the chairman that then Disco will take from them at Rs9 per unit and sell it to other power consumers at higher rates, Farooqi said, “You have nothing to do with that. We are adding renewable and thermal power and taking its average price.”

Another distributed generator customer said, “You are discouraging us. You are encouraging to buy IPPs’ electricity at higher rates.” The chairman replied they were not discouraging. “This government is adding a renewable capacity of 10,000 MW. We have already classified hydropower as renewables, so currently our share of RE is 35 percent of our energy mix. We are modernising the energy sector.”

It may be noted that on Dec 20, 2017, Nepra brought the first amendments to these rules by issuing another SRO 1261 (J)/2017 in which the term of the agreement between distributed generator and Disco was increased from three years to seven years.

Interestingly, in regulation 14, a sub-regulation (5) was inserted, “The Authority may determine the tariff payable by the Distribution Company to the Distributed Generator from time to time; provided; however, the tariff once awarded to a Distributed Generator shall remain valid for a term of the Agreement/ License.” When one of the participants pinpointed this amendment under which the authority cannot change the tariff and which is still applicable, and no amendment was proposed regarding it except a change in price.

The chairman including members of the authority and officials was unaware of it, which clearly says, “The tariff once awarded to a Distributed Generator shall remain valid for a term of the Agreement/ License.” The chairman replied that it was a valid point and added, “We would look into it.”

Rafique Ahmad Shaikh, a member of Nepra, asked the person who raised the question that whether there was any commitment of tariff in regulations. “I think it’s just net off of excess units.”

When Shaikh asked an official, who looks after these issues in Nepra whether the tariff was there in the rules, the official nodded in the affirmative. The Nepra chairman further said it was for the netting off of the cost of excess units. “We think that Rs9 per unit should be paid for excess units.”

He also said that this year we have paid nearly Rs1,400 billion as the capacity cost to IPPs, which is more than the defence budget. We have around 42,000 MWs installed capacity. He also said that the payback period of your rooftop plants is nearly 3.6 years and with tariff increase, the period reduces.


    DR.ABDUL BASHIR commented 2 months ago


    47 0

    Shahzad Quadri commented 2 months ago

    White collar High way Robbery

    40 5

    Aamir Latif commented 2 months ago

    Simply thick head NEPRA, what a stupid logic. They can't run their own system efficiently and control losses, yet the experiment that is very successful worldwide to support power generation is to be killed eventually... These officials' mindset is a curse anyway for Pakistan

    54 0

    noman commented 2 months ago

    kelectric nepra ke rules ke against work kara sari discos net units pe billing krti. jabke k electric gross units ke uper billing karai. jis waja sy taxes ki amount bohot ziyada hojati aur excess bill ata hai solar ke baad bhi

    16 2

    Bu Ali Shah commented 2 months ago

    I wanted to install bug now I am not sure, that's how we meet global energy crisis.

    13 2

    Ali commented 2 months ago

    Going with IPPs was a wrong decision & the distributed generators have to pay the cost. How unfortunate.

    14 0

    Kanwar sajid commented 2 months ago

    I am seriously thinking of leaving this country after reading about this new amendment. Living here is becoming difficult day by day. I have recently invested a huge amount on rooftop solar. I have seriously started thinking of leaving this country.....

    51 5

      PMLN LION commented 2 months ago

      Then leave! Who's stopping you?

      Muhammad commented 2 months ago

      It's shameful

      Engr Babar Hussain commented 2 months ago

      The day, governments of that time entered into agreements with so called IPPs, was start of the evil. Everybody knew that commission mafia will now never go for hydropower generation which was in the interest of the public. May Allah bless us all.

      Aka rashid commented 2 months ago

      Name suggests your mind mentality

      Aamer commented 2 months ago

      Dont be a coward. Stand up and fight instead of running.

      Ch irfan zafar commented 2 months ago

      چور چوری سے جائے ہیرا پھیری سے نا جائے پورے ملک میں اوپر سے نیچے تک جاھلوں کی لائن لگی ھے اور ان کے جاھل سپورٹر انکو پسند کرتے ھیں اور اپنی باجیاں بھی پیش کر دیتے ھیں

    Kanwar sajid commented 2 months ago

    I have seriously started thinking of leaving this country....

    14 3

      hadi yasir commented 2 months ago

      I suggest everyone stop selling and remove net metering and stop all taxes.

    Omer commented 2 months ago

    The day NEPRA and other free bees will start paying their share of utility bills, they'll know what it takes and how it takes, so far these officials are enjoying free electricity and heavy perks just to come ways to make life miserable for common man

    30 2

    I don't know from where govt find these stupids to sit on top slot. commented 2 months ago

    I don't know from where govt find these stupids to sit on top slot.

    0 0

    Absolutely rubbish commented 2 months ago

    Rubbish rubbish

    1 1

    Screw the choirs. commented 2 months ago

    Screw the choirs. now install excess power if one has resources. All for salman shahbaz

    1 1

    Asad Abbas Mirza commented 2 months ago

    Thank u salman shahbaz Leave no room for people. I have asked .y workers for contribution for one panel. What to do.hardworking daily wagers.

    1 1

    Shani commented 2 months ago

    The person that said You are discouraging us. You are encouraging to buy IPPs’ electricity at higher rates. Was very right.

    12 0

    Shad Mahmood commented 2 months ago

    Such a lame excuse by the regulator. Speaks volumes of its incompetency. Rest in peace Pakistanis

    3 1

    Tariq commented 2 months ago

    Rooftop solar is totally an individual investment. Bureaucracy is trying to divert outcome of wrong power policies like IPP etc on general public.

    6 1

    Akhtar commented 2 months ago

    excess unit of electricity should be forward to nearby mosque, school, neighbors, net metering must be disconnected, a discussion sessions should be processed in senate and national assembly and pass a proper bill in favour of people of Pakistan, who is chairman nepra to decide about this,

    9 0

    Muhammad Safdar commented 2 months ago

    When it comes to IPPs, these powerful people can influence the decision makers and get 1400bn in capacity charges but distributed common people like these can't influence and hence the decisions will always be against them, the commoners.

    3 0

      Imtiaz Mahmood commented 2 months ago

      They are all corrupt. Don't waste time on them. Stopping capacity payments is better than going into a default

    Nasir commented 2 months ago

    نیپرا والے پیسے کھائے بیٹھے ہیں انکا کاں چٹا رہنا ہے اور انکے کے پاس کوئی لاجک نہیں اس افسر کی تحقیقات ہونی چاہیے جو پس پردہ آبی پیز سے ملا ہوا ہے

    5 1

    Sheikh commented 2 months ago

    Let the execss units be used as excess units which can be used as Let the excess units be used in the next billing cycle.

    0 0

    Sajid saide commented 2 months ago

    Its time to start a campaign to support Masjid because they are very hard to pay the electricity bill in the situation so that with net metres we have to donate our extra units to their near by Masjid

    1 0