CHENNAI: In a relief to consumers living in the apartments, Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has written to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) to extend the rooftop solar net metering mechanism for the domestic common services power supply (1-D) catering to common lighting, lifts, drinking and sewage treatment plants in the apartments.
“It has been represented by the consumers association and consumers that the solar net metering mechanism is not allowed for the common facilities of domestic category now categorised under 1-D in the recent tariff order. According to the Grid Interactive PV Solar Energy Generating System regulation 2021 of the TNERC, the net metering mechanism is applicable to all domestic categories. As both 1-A (domestic tariff) and 1-D (domestic common tariff) represent usage relating to domestic category, the purpose of specifying the applicability to tariff 1-A by the GISS Regulation is equally applicable to 1-D,” TNERC letter to Tangedco said.
In the recent tariff revision, TNERC has created a new tariff category 1-D for domestic common services in apartments and group houses with a flat charge of Rs 8 per unit and fixed charges of Rs 100 per kilowatt. Earlier, the common services were charged under the subsidised domestic tariff. In the big apartments with swimming pools, treatment plants and amphitheatres, the common services were charged under the commercial tariff.
The installation of rooftop solar under the net metering mechanism for the common services tariff category offers huge cost benefit to the consumers considering Tangedco’s energy charge of Rs 8 per unit, TN Solar Energy Developers Association president P Ashok Kumar said. “Under the net metering mechanism, the energy generated from the solar plant would be adjusted against the energy imported from the grid. So, the consumer would pay only for the balance units,” he added.
TNERC said that consumers can install solar plants with net-metering in tariff 1-D. “Necessary online facilities for application to net-metering for 1-D tariff shall be made. The plants already connected in tariff 1-A and converted to 1-D shall be billed under net-metering,” it said.