What the Difference Between Solar System Net Metering and Gross Metering.

Due to the decreasing prices of solar panels and the increasing electricity rates across the country, a large number of people are opting for solar systems worth millions of rupees to avoid high electricity bills.

People think that by installing an expensive solar system once, they can use more electricity for free and won’t receive electricity bills, but this might no longer be possible.

In this context, it has been reported that the federal government plans to abolish solar ‘net metering’ and introduce gross metering.

In gross metering, the unit-for-unit formula is proposed to be eliminated. This step will result in higher electricity costs for consumers benefiting from net metering, although a final decision has yet to be made.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is a billing mechanism through which electricity consumers are credited for the electricity they generate using solar or wind power and supply to the grid.

Under a solar panel system, a green meter is installed alongside the electricity meter. Through ‘net metering’, the units of electricity produced by the solar panel are used, while the excess units are supplied to the national grid.

At the end of the month, the electricity units are accounted for. If more units have been consumed than produced by the solar system, the consumer has to pay for those units. If fewer units have been consumed and more units have been produced, the excess electricity is credited to the national grid, reducing the consumer’s bill.

What is Gross Metering?

In contrast, gross metering is a different process where solar consumers cannot use the electricity they generate.

All the electricity produced by the solar panels is exported to the national grid, and the consumer has to import the same electricity back from the grid.

The government has not made a final decision to abolish net metering and start gross metering, but it is being considered, and a decision will be made after approval from the federal cabinet.

Government’s Metering Policy.

According to the latest information, the government is considering a plan to end the net metering policy and is reviewing the possibilities of implementing gross metering.

Under the gross metering policy, two meters will be installed at the consumer’s home. The electricity generated by the solar panels will be sold to the national grid at about half the price, although the exact rate has not yet been determined.

Federal Minister for Energy Owais Leghari has stated that the solar net metering policy is an issue for the power sector. He mentioned that the government is in favor of continuing the net metering policy, but if a revision is necessary, it will be done responsibly before making any changes.

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