Tap solar power, rake in moolah

Net-metering offers a viable answer to exorbitant power bills

February 21, 2014 02:59 pm | Updated May 23, 2016 04:35 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA:

If the exorbitant electricity bills make you twitchy, there’s a way out. You can not only offset the cost of your electric use but also make some additional moolah.

Net-metering is the answer to your problem. To embrace the new concept, one must have a rooftop solar power plant not only to generate electricity but also to sell the excess power generated by your solar panels back to the distribution company’s grid.


“Net-metering is the latest mantra and we are trying to promote it in a big way. The lucrative idea of ‘exporting’ the surplus electricity back to the grid companies for a price seems to have caught the fancy of electricity consumers and this tendency reflects in the good response we are getting,” New & Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) District Manager K. Srinivasa Rao told The Hindu .

The department has kicked off a campaign to popularise the new device in domestic and non-domestic sectors. Besides conducting meetings, it distributed about 10,000 pamphlets. It has approached banks asking them to extend loans for purchase of the solar plant. “The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation has applied for 500-kw, which it intends to install at five different places. We are also trying to motivate educational institutions to opt for this model,” he says.

A consumer producing solar electricity at home by using solar panels can opt to give excess remainder of the energy back to the grid. “This will spin the electric meter backwards giving the consumer a credit for that net energy transferred back to the grid. It is a kind of banking one’s own energy for later use or sharing for credits,” explains Mr. Rao.

Incentives are offered to motivate consumers to produce renewable energy through their home solar power projects. A plant with a capacity of generating up to 3 kw is entitled for a 50 per cent subsidy.

The surplus energy fed back into the grid will be considered for payment by the Discom at pooled cost decided by the APERC.

The department has received 80-odd applications from domestic and non-domestic sectors.

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