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Net metering gets a tepid response in Delhi, solar power users unaware of the incentive

The majority of households that generate solar power were unaware of the incentive being given to them.

delhi Updated: Feb 19, 2018 22:47 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times
Ashwani Kapoor, showing the solar panel installed on the rooftop of his house in Kailash Colony (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

New Delhi: The concept of net metering using rooftop solar panels has made a limping start in Delhi where people are largely unaware of the incentives involved.

Ever since the solar policy was notified in September 2016, only 31 out of around 40 lakh domestic consumers in the city have availed Delhi government’s generation-based incentive (GBI). Households that generate solar power are entitled to an incentive of Rs2 per unit which comes as a one-time annual adjustment in electricity bills.

One of the biggest gainers of the scheme is Ashwani Kapoor, who had got a 9 kwp of rooftop solar plant installed in his Kailash Colony residence back in 2015. “I got an incentive of Rs12,296 for the period between October 2016 and March 2017. Ever since my first plant, I have now set up solar generation in the other buildings I own,” he said.

Kapoor said that his solar plants have generated 36,600 units of electricity in the past three years, which has helped him save nearly Rs3 lakh in total.

However, HT found that the majority of households that generate solar power were unaware of the incentive being given to them. Rajiv Ghai, who has a 10 Kwp plant in his farm at Bijwasan, had no clue that he is entitled to a rebate of Rs11,260 during the same period.

“Till now, GBI has been disbursed only once in the electricity bills of December 2017. Many people are unaware that this will be adjusted only on a yearly and not monthly basis,” said a power department official who handles the government’s solar power branch.

Officials acknowledged that the response of people has been tepid. “Delhi’s total solar power generation now has increased to 78 MW from 56 MW recorded early last year. In this, the contribution of households is only 5 MW,” said another official from the department.

As a result, the government lags way behind its target of generating 84MW of solar power only through rooftop solar panels in residences by March 2018.

Households that are interested raised issues about being unable to avail the 30% subsidy that is offered by the ministry of new and renewable energy to install rooftop solar panels . “As such there are only a few genuine solar panel dealers in Delhi. Now, the situation has become tricky as the dealers charge more for solar panels that have the subsidy attached with it as their cut is added to it. They now ask if you want a non-subsidised one as it turns out to be cheaper,” said RS Seshadri, a resident of GK-II who has a rooftop solar plant of 4.65 kwp.

Power department officials said that the problems in availing the 30% subsidy on installation have been resolved. “The list of empanelled manufacturers and suppliers is given on our website and people are requested to choose only from that list as their products are genuine and certified by us,” the official said.


First Published: Feb 19, 2018 22:47 IST