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What is Net Metering?

Updated: February 11, 2024
What is Net Metering?

Net metering, also known as Net Energy Metering (NEM), is a transformative mechanism empowering domestic and commercial users generating electricity through solar panels or photovoltaic systems. The primary concept revolves around exporting surplus energy back to the grid, providing an opportunity for users to gain extra revenue while making up for energy shortfalls via the grid.

How Net Metering Works in India: A Closer Look

Net metering operates on the principle of billing users for the "net" energy used, which is the difference between the total energy produced by the solar system and the total energy consumed. The billing process takes into account excess power exported back to the grid, earning revenue for users, while any energy shortfall is covered by the grid.

In India, the method of billing is a crucial aspect of net metering. The owner is billed based on the net value, i.e., the difference between the total energy generated and the total energy consumed. For instance, if 7kWh is generated and 2kWh is consumed, the net value would be 5kWh. With a billing rate of ₹8 per kWh, the user would be billed ₹40, resulting in savings of ₹80 (₹120 - ₹40).

Types of Net Meter:

  • Single-phase net meter: All the meters up to 3 KW are single face net meters.
  • Three-phase net meter: All the meters above 3 KW are the three-face net meter.

As per the net metering policy, In the case of individual houses or property, 80% of the PV plant is approved for the net metering. For example- A power plant of 3 KW will be allowed 80% of the 3 KW under net metering.

Advantages of Net Metering: Unlocking Financial and Environmental Benefits

  • Extra Financial Credit: Users receive extra credits and revenue if the amount of energy generated exceeds the amount consumed. This not only translates to financial benefits but also encourages a more sustainable use of solar energy.
  • Eliminates the Need for Battery Storage: Unlike off-grid PV systems that require battery storage, net metering utilizes the utility grid itself to store surplus power. This eliminates the need for expensive batteries, reducing the overall cost of the solar panel system.
  • Inexpensive and Low Maintenance: With reduced reliance on batteries and generators, net metering systems have lower maintenance requirements. Solar panels themselves are low maintenance, making the entire system cost-effective.
  • Social Contribution: By reducing dependence on the grid, net metering contributes to the overall reliability and resilience of the grid. It addresses issues such as transmission losses, outages, and congestion, making the grid more robust.
  • Environmental Benefits: Net metering promotes the environmental benefits of solar energy. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, users actively contribute to a cleaner and greener environment.

Applying for Net Metering in India: A Step-by-Step Guide

While net metering offers numerous benefits, it's essential to navigate the application process, which can vary by state in India. Here is a general step-by-step guide:

  1. Application Submission: Users must submit a duly signed application, proof of roof right and occupancy, ID proof, a recently paid electric bill, and a photograph. If applicable, an undertaking signed by a registered customer or a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the property owner is also required.
  2. Site Verification: An authorized DISCOM official conducts a site verification within three days after application submission.
  3. Approval: Upon successful inspection, users can expect approval within 15 days of submitting the application.
  4. Online Application: Fill up the online net metering application on the official website of the local DISCOM company.
  5. Agreement Signing: Consumers must sign a net metering agreement provided by the DISCOM official within three days of applying for net metering.
  6. Document Submission: Once the solar system is set up, consumers must submit property papers, a solar system certificate, an installation certificate, and the prescribed net metering fees.
  7. Final Inspection: A DISCOM official conducts a final inspection to ensure compliance with regulations. If all criteria are met, a bidirectional solar meter is paired with the solar system.

Government Requirements and Regulations: Ensuring Compliance

While many states in India offer net metering facilities for up to 1 MW solar capacity, the government imposes two primary requirements:

  1. Installation of a Net Meter: Users must install a net meter, also known as a bidirectional meter, capable of recording both imports and exports.
  2. Domestic Manufacturing of Solar Panels: The solar panels used in the plant should be domestically manufactured, aligning with the government's focus on promoting indigenous production.

Understanding and complying with these requirements is crucial for users looking to harness the benefits of net metering in India.

Conclusion: A Bright Future with Net Metering

In conclusion, net metering has emerged as a beacon of hope in India's journey towards sustainable and affordable energy. By unlocking financial benefits, reducing environmental impact, and contributing to a more robust energy infrastructure, net metering stands as a viable and attractive option for solar consumers. As the nation continues to embrace renewable energy, the widespread adoption of net metering promises a brighter, cleaner, and more sustainable future for all.

Frequently Asked Questions (Click to expand)

Net metering allows you to contribute surplus energy back to the grid, earning credits from your DISCOM company. These credits become invaluable during periods of low solar activity, ensuring a continuous power supply..

To apply for net metering, you typically need to submit an application along with required documents to your local DISCOM. OneStop.Solar will help you find the best installers in your area that help you get net-metering for your solar system..

Yes, net metering is compatible with both on-grid and hybrid solar systems. However, it is not compatible with off-grid solar systems..

But why do it alone?

At OneStop.Solar, we make your journey to solar power effortless and rewarding. We're your one-stop shop for everything solar, from initial consultations and system design to expert installation and seamless net metering setup. No need to navigate the complexities of the subsidy process - we'll handle it all for you, ensuring you receive every benefit available.

Here's how we make solar simple:

  • Free solar consultation: Our friendly and knowledgeable experts will assess your home's energy needs and recommend the perfect solar system size and configuration.
  • Competitive quotes: We partner with a network of vetted and certified solar installers to bring you the best value for your money.
  • Hassle-free paperwork Let us handle the subsidy application process and all necessary permits, so you can relax and enjoy the sunshine.
  • Expert installation: Our team of licensed professionals will install your solar panels efficiently and safely, ensuring optimal performance.
  • Net metering setup: We'll seamlessly integrate your solar system with the grid, allowing you to sell excess energy back to the utility and further reduce your electricity bills.
  • Ongoing support: We're here for you every step of the way, offering comprehensive maintenance and monitoring services to ensure your solar system keeps shining for years to come.

Call us at +91 62800 20890 to get started today!