ISLAMABAD: The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has trashed its plan to revise rates of electricity being purchased by Discos from consumers of net metering, after massive pressure from different government and private quarters.
The Regulator wanted to revise down Rs 19.32 per unit National Average Power Purchase (NAPP) and replace it with National Energy Purchase Price (NAEPP), which is Rs 9 per unit aimed at bringing the sale price of net metering electricity slightly above the price of solar projects.
In September 2022, Nepra initiated the process of amendments to the NEPRA (Alternative & Renewable Energy) Distributed Generation and Net Metering Regulations, 2015 and proposed the following amendment: In Sub-Regulation 5 of Regulation 14 of the Regulations, the word NAPPP be replaced with NAEPP.
The process for amendment to the regulations was initiated, keeping in view increase in National Average Power Purchase Price, from existing Rs.12.95/kWh to Rs.19.32/kWh, after notification of revised consumer end base tariff by the federal government from July 25, 2022.
The proposed amendment to Regulations was published in newspapers for eliciting public opinion for a period of 30 days. The Authority, however, considering the comments received from various stakeholders and media reports, decided to conduct a public hearing in the matter, which was accordingly scheduled for September 27, 2022. In this regard notice for public hearing was published in newspapers and also uploaded on Nepra website.
During the hearing, the Authority seemed determined to revise down the rates of solar electricity being purchased by Discos from Green Meter holders, and has now bowed down before unprecedented pressure from top government circles as well as private sector investors.
The public/consumers, during the hearing, strongly opposed the proposed amendments citing the fact that electricity through net metering is one of the most efficient methods incurring low distribution losses, with no investment for distribution infrastructure, and the proposed amendment in the Regulations would discourage net metering/solar installation.
According to the decision, the Authority has carefully reviewed the submissions of the stakeholder, made during the hearing & in writing and is also cognizant of the vision of the Government for induction of cheap and clean renewable energy into the system.
The Regulator, in a revised logic, stated that although net metering is predominantly based on the concept of minimizing electricity cost through roof top solar self-generation for self-consumption and not for commercial sale and Discos have to maintain Grid & Generation Capacities for the Net Metering consumers during non-solar hours as well however the economic benefits of net metering in terms of displacement of costlier electricity, savings of foreign exchange and incurring minimal losses, cannot be ignored.
Moreover, the quantum of net metering units at present is very low i.e. below 1% of the total energy purchased by Discos.
After explaining the entire scenario, the Authority maintained that it has decided not to amend the existing NEPRA (Alternative & Renewable Energy) Distributed Generation and Net Metering Regulation, 2015.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023