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Kerala Distribution Company Requests Commission For Inclusion Of Gross Metering And Net Billing

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Recently Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd (KSEBL) has filed a petition seeking modification of the KSERC (Renewable Energy and Net Metering Regulations), 2020 in line with the “The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules,2020″. KSEBL humbly requested the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) ‘Gross metering scheme’ and ‘Net Billing’ scheme as envisaged in “The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules,2020 and the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Amendment Rules,2021″ by amending the KSERC (Renewable Energy and Net Metering) Regulations,2020.

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Present Net Meter Regulation :

The present practice provide ‘Net Metering ‘ facility for grid interactive RE systems of not less than 1 kW and not exceeding 1MW capacity on AC side of the invertor, limited to the sanctioned connected load or contract demand as applicable to the prosumer, with the distribution licensee. Domestic consumers with connected load up to 20 kW is permitted to install ‘Renewable Energy System’ of capacity up to 20 kW, irrespective of their connected load. For above limit of 20 kW
connected load shall not apply in the case of group housing societies and residential flats, for common services such as lift, common lighting, club house, car parking, common areas etc.

Present Banking Facility :

In case the energy injected by the prosumer from his renewable energy system exceeds the energy consumed by
him from the distribution licensee during the billing period, such excess energy is allowed to be banked with the distribution licensee and to be carried forward to the subsequent billing periods of the settlement period.

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Present Net metering, Energy Accounting, Banking and Settlement :

For prosumer having connected load of and below 20 kW under net metering arrangements, they are allowed to draw back from the grid, the electricity injected during a time block at a different time period without any restriction. Excess energy shall be allowed to be banked and be carried forward to the next billing period .

For consumer having connected load above 20 kW; only 80% of the net energy injected in time periods other than peak hours, will be allowed to adjust against peak hour consumption. The net energy injected during peak hours shall be allowed to be adjusted 100% during the peak hour and the balance shall be allowed to be adjusted 120% during other time blocks. Any excess generation during a billing period, after adjusting against the consumption during the same billing period shall be banked and carried forward, to the next billing period.

Prayers of KSEBL to commission :

Solar technology in the state ,has achieved grid parity and significant addition in solar generation is being integrated to the grid. In this scenario, continuing ‘net metering’ methodology is creating heavy financial burden on the DISCOMs.

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Kerala’s power demand during peak hours varies from that during the normal hours by 400MW to 800MW. To meet the peak
demand, the costliest power has to be scheduled by DISCOM. The average Market Clearing Price during day time is below Rs.3.50/unit, whereas during peak hours the Market Clearing Price range from Rs.4.50/unit to Rs.6.00/unit and can
go even up to Rs.9-12/unit in extreme summer months. This huge price variation, forcing the DISCOM to provide costlier peak power to the consumers almost at zero cost which is creating a huge financial burden for the DISCOM.

For time blocks other than peak hours, the DISCOM will have to surrender the conventional energy sources like thermal energy to accommodate the RE injection by the consumers, which again will cost the DISCOM heavy as they have to pay fixed charges to the conventional generators.

Trend in solar capacity addition in the state.

2017-20182018-20192019-20202020-20212021-2022 (up to Dec 2021)
Total10.2179.16121.71176.28226.61

Expected solar capacity in next five years is 1415 MW with 2355 MU solar energy generation at the rate of annual 19% CUF achievement. The huge addition in solar capacity will lead to corresponding reduction in energy sales in the coming years.

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In the above context, KSEBL humbly requested commission for inclusion of ‘Gross metering scheme’ and ‘Net Billing’ scheme in KSERC (Renewable Energy and Net Metering Regulations),2020.

As per KSERC (Renewable Energy and Net Metering Regulations),2020, the distribution licensee shall at the end of the settlement period pay for the excess energy banked by the prosumers and captive consumers at the Average Pooled
Power purchase Cost (APPC) of the licensee as approved by Commission from time to time. The APPC approved by Hon’ble Commission for the FY 2021-22 is Rs.3.22/unit. This rate becomes significantly higher compared to the prevailing rate of solar at 2.44 INR/Unit in the state.

Subsequently, KSEBL request Hon’ble Commission for approving Rs.2.44/unit for excess banked energy for the period starting from 1st October 2021 to 30th September 2022.

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