Net metering can end power load shedding

  • Consumers can sell extra electricity to power distribution companies

The novel idea to sell extra electricity by the consumers to the power distribution companies at lucrative rates has become materialised as the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) awarded so far over 40 net-metering connections having 1.8 megawatts accumulative capacity to purchase surplus electricity.

The consumers now can sell extra electricity to the power distribution companies at off peak rates which they could generate easily through the solar and wind systems. Instead of staying just as consumers, the clients of the power distribution companies have been provided a modern facility of selling the extra electricity.

Following successful models of several western and eastern countries, the government ultimately introduced this technology to facilitate power-producing customers and help overcome the unending power deficit in the country. IESCO is the first power distribution company which has offered opportunities to customers to generate electricity through solar panels and sell their extra electricity, said Basit Zaman, the chief executive officer.

He said that IESCO was getting encouraging response from the general public and 40 connections of net metering had been energised in a short time including the Parliament House, Pakistan Engineering Council and so on while many such requests were under process.

“All customers having three phase connections can avail IESCO’s net metering facility and one window system is now fully functional for net metering where customers can submit their applications and have free net metering connection in just three to four weeks,” he said.

Renewable and Alternative Energy Association of Pakistan (REAP) Executive Secretary Mir Ahmad Shah was of the view that the net metering was an easy and prompt solution to power outages. He said that negotiation was at the advanced stage with policymakers including NEPRA and IESCO to provide the facility at single phase metre as consumers were using single phase and showing keen interest to install reverse metres.

To a question about a system having the capacity to generate one kilowatt (KW) electricity, he said would have the cost around Rs 120,000, while the system for three to five KW would be sufficient for an average house. However, he said still there was dire need to create awareness among the masses about net-metering system besides simplifying the process for getting the connection.

He was of the view that expenditures incurred on installation of the solar panels could be recovered within a period of five years in the form of saved money, which otherwise had to be paid on account of electricity bills to power distribution companies.