Net Metering

Conservation is the lowest cost alternative to high utility bills. If everyone reduced their consumption by 20 percent, there would be 20 percent more money staying in your pocket. The cheapest kiloWatt is the one you don’t have to go out and purchase. Likewise, it could be equally vocal to get your free energy and be able to sell the excess back at a very lucrative rate.

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority recently presented their “net metering” program to the public of Islamabad, Rawalpindi & Lahore. This plan credits customers for the electricity they produce in excess of the electricity they are consuming after each three months. Compare this to paying a monthly utility bill and getting no return on investment.

Net metering is a billing arrangement by which a net meter ( Bi-directional meter) is installed at any Grid Tied Renewable Energy system ( Solar and wind power system)  which import electricity when production from solar system is less than demand and it exports electricity when electricity production through solar system is more than the demand and at the end of month the Utility company sends the monthly bill of the net meter and this gives a saving to consumer and benefit to Utility of having solar electricity for other consumers to use when Renewable system exports electricity.

This is a list of electric supply companies (DISCOs) in Pakistan:
  • Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO).
  • Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GESCO).
  • Hub Power Company.
  • Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO).
  • Sukkur Electric Power Company.
  • Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO).
  • K-Electric- old company name was Karachi Electric Supply Company.

Pakistani Net-Metering: Application & Process

First of all, a request is filed by Zorays Solar on behalf of the applicant to DISCO for information about net metering. The Disco is liable to provide information to the applicant and furbish authority’s approved documents free of charge.

  1. IESCO has designated the authority that sanctioned the current electric connection to act as focal person in the field.
  2. Director planning at HO is the focal person at IESCO HO level.

Following to which an application is submitted by Distribution Grid (National Transmission Distribution Centre) to DISCO along with necessary documents. List of Documents include:

  1. Completed application form as per Annex-II
  2. Attested copy of CNIC
  3. Copy of latest electricity paid bill
  4. Technical specifications of inverter
  5. Technical specifications PV
  6. Single line diagram
  7. NOC by Electric Inspector

The DISCO then acknowledges its receipt and informs Zorays Solar Net Metering Team (the applicant) if application is complete in all respects. If any information is missing, the DISCO identifies and informs Zorays Solar Net Metering Team (applicant) as we work toward its rectification. (In case of missing Documents or information, or additional requirements, Zorays Solar Net Metering Team shall provide the same to DISCO.)

The DISCO also performs initial review to determine if applicant qualifies for DG or may qualify subject to additional requirements. The parameters like transformer loading limit, allowed percentage of RE components mix and feeders identified for RE or similar other policy level factors may also be a part of review parameters. In case DG is technically not feasible, DISCO shall inform Applicant with reasons on completion of review.

If satisfied that applicant qualifies as DG, DISCO advises applicant to physically install the DG up to interconnection point by DISCO approved PV installer, if not already installed, but not to connect with DISCO. DISCO may maintain a list of approved qualified installers (including Zorays Solar) and applicant may be provided with that list.

In the next phase, the applicant gets his installation checked by a licensed electrical supervisor. The Electric Inspector grants NOC (No Objection Certificate). Exact scope of inspection by Electrical Inspector is little hazy and Zorays Solar Net Metering Team  takes care of that on the behalf of its esteemed customers.

Applicant applies to Electric Inspector for his inspection. Application shall enclose report by licensed survivor (Licensed by Electric Inspector) as a part of request. Zorays Solar Net Metering Team then coordinates with get the installation checked and certified OK by the electrical inspector. The electric Inspector , having satisfied himself about safety and other parameters as per his mandate, may issue clearance certificate /letter or ask for rectification of identified defects. Having satisfied the electric inspection , Zorays Solar Net Metering Team obtains clearance certificate by submitting an NOC by Electric Inspector.

After completion of installation, applicant invites DISCO for technical inspection. With the request applicant submits the tech report prepared by Approved installer and a certificate issued by him that the DG facility design and installation meets all requirements of para 9 of the regulation. At this stage, a pre-constituted team of DISCO personnel visits site for tech inspection in coordination with applicant. Mandatory design and operating requirements of DG as per Para 9 of the regulations must be verified and statement to this effect included in report by DISCO technical team.

If DISCO becomes satisfied that applicant qualifies as DG, DISCO and applicant shall sign interconnect agreement. DISCO shall invite Applicant for Interconnect, and send a copy of interconnect agreement to Registrar, NEPRA. Send connection charges as a demand note up to interconnection point including metering installation (customer prepays to Zorays Solar, if applicable, in case of change of meter).

If bi-directional meter is not available with DISCO, applicant may procure their own meter via Zorays Solar and install after approval by DISCO. (Applicable charges to be notified at time of service level agreement between Zorays Solar and its client.)

Next, the installation and commissioning is done by the DISCO side of the proposed facility interconnection. Actual net metering shall commence only after grant of license by NEPRA. Net Metering Licensing in Pakistan is what Zorays Solar feels best at. The DISCO forwards application to NEPRA for grant of license as per Schedule III along with regulatory documents para (2).

  1. Interconnect Agreement along with its encl (Qty 7).
  2. Application as per Schedule IV
  3. Evidence of license fee deposit if applicable, Schedule V
  4. Affidavit as per Schedule VI.

Finally, the NEPRA issues license at its according to Schedule VI to the applicant and after this grant of DG license Zorays Solar activates netmetering in coordination with DISCO.

Related: Captive Power Plants for Industry and Free-Wheeling Bills

With free installation, state-of-the-art online monitoring and industry-leading guarantees, there’s never been a better time to go solar.

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