Net Metering Explained

While researching Solar Energy systems for your home or business, you may have come across the term “Net Metering”. Simply put, net metering is an arrangement between you and your Electric Utility company where you are compensated at a fixed rate of Rupees per unit for the excess Solar Power generated by your solar energy system. An excess Solar Power generation scenario happens every time your Solar generates more than the power you consume at your premises (when you’re away from home, for instance).

Almost every Utility Company in India has different policies with regards to net metering. However most utilities install what is called a “Bi-directional Meter” after your Solar energy system is commissioned and inspected. This meter records how many units were imported (consumed by your loads) and how many units were exported (excess generation from Solar) in a given time period. When Solar Generation is present, your loads first utilize the available Solar Energy and if excess power is needed it is drawn from the utility. When excess Solar Energy is produced, it is sent back through the bi-directional meter to the electric grid for use by other consumers.

For example, Tamil Nadu currently has a “net feed-in” policy. What this means is every unit of Electricity generated by the Solar plant that is utilized for self consumption will be compensated on a one to one basis, i.e., the same rate which you pay for consumption (~ 6 INR/unit). For every unit generated which is not consumed on site at that moment in time, you will be compensated at a fixed rate – currently about 2.5 INR/ unit. The net savings will be reflected on your bill each month. Karnataka on the other hand only allows you to export power at a fixed rate (~3 Rs/ unit) without allowing any self-consumption on site, which makes it less lucrative than the Tamil Nadu policy.

Understanding this concept will help you make a more informed decision when you decide to go solar. For example, you can adjust your time of use for different loads (air conditioning units, water pumps/motors, washing machines and dryers etc.) to be used when your Solar energy system is generating at its peak so that you will be compensated at a higher rate which ultimately results in the most savings.

At Swan Energy, we customize each System Design and optimize with usage patterns of our clients to ensure maximum savings and Return on Investment on your Solar Energy system. To understand more and to see how much Solar can save you, get in touch with our team at info@swanenergy.in.


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