Solar Energy

net metering in Pakistan

Pakistan has experienced a rise in interest in and investment in renewable energy in recent years, with solar power taking centre stage. People and companies are increasingly looking to solar solutions as the nation struggles with energy issues in order to not only lower the environmental impact but also take charge of their energy usage. Net metering, a system that enables owners of solar energy systems to connect to the grid and get credits for the extra electricity they generate, is a crucial component of this solar revolution.

What is Net Metering?

Solar panel owners can send excess electricity back into the grid using a billing method known as net metering, which repays them for the additional energy they generated. In other words, when the solar panels generate more electricity than is required, the excess is fed into the grid, and the owner gets credited. When the owner’s solar panels do not generate enough electricity, they can utilise their collected credits to draw power from the grid. In essence, it allows solar energy system owners to create and consume power at the same time.

how net metering works in Pakistan,
what is netmetering

How Net Metering Works in Pakistan

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) regulates the net metering system in Pakistan. NEPRA has formulated particular regulations and guidelines to help in the nationwide implementation of net metering. These rules outline the requirements, technical details, and procedures for individuals and companies interested in setting up solar power systems and joining net metering.
In order to participate in net metering, both individuals and businesses in Pakistan are required to meet specific eligibility criteria. Typically, net metering is available for any electricity customer, regardless of whether they are residential or commercial. The solar power system must meet NEPRA’s technical criteria, and the customer’s property must be connected to the distribution network.

Both individuals and businesses in Pakistan must fulfill specific qualifying requirements in order to take part in net metering. Any customer of electricity, whether residential, commercial, or industrial, may typically apply for net metering. NEPRA’s technical criteria must be met by the solar power system, and the customer’s property must be linked to the distribution network.

Aspects like the solar power system’s capacity, grid connection, and installed safety precautions are all covered under the technical standards. To guarantee adherence to safety and performance requirements, solar panel installation must be done by qualified specialists.

How To Apply for Net Metering in Pakistan?

NEPRA introduced Net Metering in 2015, enabling individuals to easily sell excess electricity back to the national grid. NEPRA describes a detailed procedure for requesting net metering in Pakistan.

  1. Solar System Installation. Before applying to netmeter, install a solar PV system at your home, either an on-grid or hybrid system with a three-phase meter connection. Solar panels on your rooftop are crucial to utilizing the net metering facility.
  2. Connect With an AEDB Registered Solar Company. Contact an AEDB registered solar company, like Alpha Solar, as NEPRA doesn’t permit individuals to directly apply. Engage the solar company to handle the net metering application process.
  3. Preparation of Application.  After contacting a registered solar company, the application process begins. Provide necessary documents, and the company guides you through the application, forwarding it to the relevant department.
  4. Inspection and NOC Issuance. In accordance with SRO 892 (1) / 2015, the Punjab Energy Department inspects the project upon approval and issues a No Objection Certificate (NOC).
  5. Signing of Agreement. Post NOC issuance, an agreement is signed between the consumer and the electricity provider, such as LESCO, valid for three years, allowing surplus electricity export.
  6. Allotment of Generation License. The signed agreement is submitted to NEPRA for verification, granting a generation license, designating you as an independent power producer for three years.
  7. Activation of Net Metering. After successfully obtaining the generation license, Net Metering is activated. A net meter is installed, allowing you to save money by selling electricity to the grid.

Benefits of Net Metering:

  1. Cost Savings: Net metering allows solar energy system owners to offset their electricity bills significantly. Consumers can now reduce their dependence on the grid by generating their electricity and earning credits for excess production. It leads to substantial cost savings in the long run.
  2. Return on Investment (ROI): The initial investment in solar panels can be significant. However, net metering accelerates the ROI by allowing system owners to earn credits for the excess electricity they produce. Over time, the savings on electricity bills contribute to the recovery of the initial investment.
  3. Environmental Impact: Solar energy is a clean and renewable source of power. By harnessing the sun’s energy, individuals and businesses contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions and environmental impact. Net metering encourages the adoption of sustainable energy practices, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change.
  4. Grid Stability: The integration of solar energy through net metering enhances the overall stability of the grid. By injecting surplus electricity into the grid during peak sunlight hours, solar power systems can contribute to meeting the energy demand and reduce strain on conventional power sources.

Challenges and Solutions:

Net metering has many advantages, but there are drawbacks as well, and knowing them is essential to the long-term expansion of solar energy use.

  1. The production of solar electricity is dependent on the presence of sunlight, which causes intermittency. New developments in energy storage technology, especially batteries, have developed to help lessen this difficulty. Solar energy system owners can use energy storage technologies to store excess energy when solar production is high. This stored energy ensures a reliable power supply when solar output is low.
  2. One of the biggest problems is that customers don’t know enough about the net metering procedure. Leading solar energy provider Syed Solar is essential in enlightening customers about the advantages, technical nuances, and legal requirements of net metering. To increase knowledge and encourage a wider use of solar power, outreach initiatives, workshops, and educational materials are crucial resources.
  3. NEPRA has set up detailed net metering laws. Efforts to simplify and speed up the regulatory process can boost adoption. Syed Solar often works closely with regulatory organizations to advocate for laws that facilitate smooth collaboration between solar energy and net metering..

Net metering emerges as a major factor in the broad use of solar energy as Pakistan works towards a sustainable and energy-independent future. The advantages of net metering, such as financial savings, less environmental effect, and grid reliability, make it a desirable and feasible choice for both people and companies.Syed Solar is paving the way in this revolutionary journey, enabling customers to capture solar power and help Pakistan achieve a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable energy environment.