Thiruvananthapuram: Electricity consumers in Kerala who use solar and wind power they generate along with the supply from the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) are likely to receive much higher bills in future. This is because the KSEB has approached the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking amendment of the rules in this regard.
If the Commission approves the demands of KSEB, those generating more than 500 kilowatts of solar and wind power a month would lose several benefits they enjoy at present. The main demand of KSEB is to change the metering method of such consumers from net to gross.
According to the present rules, if a consumer who uses 21,000 units a month generates 20,000 units as solar energy, KSEB needs to be paid for the remaining 1,000 units only. However, in case gross metering is implemented, the bill will be calculated for the entire consumption of 21,000 units. Subsequently, the amount for the 20,000 units generated by the consumer would be decided based on a rate fixed by the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission. The consumer should then pay the difference between the two amounts to the KSEB.
Consumers point out that there would be a huge increase in bill amounts if gross metering is followed instead of net metering.
As per existing rules, net metering is applicable up to one megawatt. But, in practice, consumers generating more power are also covered. However, under Government of India rules, net metering should be applied till 500 kilowatts and gross method above that limit.
As a result, the Commission is expected to agree to the KSEB’s demand.
Every year, the KSEB also pays consumers who generate excess power which is supplied to it. At present, the rate fixed by KSEB for solar and wind power supplied by consumers in Kerala is Rs 3.22 per unit. Under gross metering, this would fall to Rs 2.44.