Though the commission has fixed a tariff in the range of Rs 3.10 per unit to Rs 3.61 per unit for capacities in the range of 10 kilowatt to 999 kW and a 20 per cent higher tariff has been fixed under the time-of-the-day (ToD) tariff to encourage consumers to install energy storage facilities, the levying of the network charges on the domestic rooftop consumers has evoked strong opposition.
The TNERC has fixed a network charge of Rs 0.83 per unit and Rs 1.27 per unit for HT and LT consumers respectively. The domestic consumers would get a subsidy of 20 per cent up to 10 kW and 75 per cent above 10 kW.
Aravindan, who has installed a rooftop solar plant at his home in Tambaram said “I spent money considering the economical benefits it offers. Now all of a sudden, the commission has introduced network charges which could be revised every year. I don’t know how much charge I have to pay.” Martin Scherfler, co-founder of Auroville Consulting said, “Assuming that the network charges will increase every year by at least by 5% (rate of inflation) the network charges at the end of 25 (lifetime of the solar) for LT consumers will be Rs 4.30 per kWh and for HT consumers Rs 2.81 per kWh. This makes the entire rooftop segment financially unviable.”
A senior Tangedco official said that most of the domestic consumers would be charged a mere Rs 0.25 per unit as the network charge. “Considering the economical benefits of rooftop installations, the network charges will be negligible,” he added.