Solar Power Q & A

What is Net-Metering


NET-METERING is a billing mechanism that allows the owner of a solar photovoltaics (PV) system to store energy in the electric grid. When your solar panels generate more electricity than what you need, that energy will be sent to the grid in exchange for credits. For example, your Solar power System generates Energy – Credits in Months That You receive sunlight the most. These credits are then used when you connect to the main utility power at Night (when there is no sun) and in Rainy and Cloudy Months. This is the Best and User friendly method that can be implemented in sri lanka.

According to Power Ministry Government website – link

Net-metering is a policy that allows an electricity customer to use renewable energy sources within his premises to generate electricity and utilize it within his premises, and to export it to the national grid if excess power is being generated, to be recovered when needed. Therefore, the grid acts like an energy bank for the customer. This policy originated in the USA, but has now spread to many countries. Both electricity distributors, that is, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Lanka Electricity Company Pvt. Ltd. (LECO), offer net-metering to their customers.

Net metering has some limitations. For example, the credits you receive for excess energy production are usually at a lower rate than the retail price of electricity. This means that you will not be able to sell your excess energy at the same price you buy it from the grid. Additionally, some states have caps on the amount of energy that can be net metered. This means that if you produce more energy than the cap, you will not receive credits for the excess energy.

By studying the above mentioned website – The limitations are

  • Both regulations are nearly the same, with the only difference in fees for net-metering.
  • Net-metering involves a ten year contract.
  • A generation facility with a limit of 10 MW or the contract demand of the premises and any renewable resource for power generation.
  • The surplus will be credited to the customer but no payment will be made for the surplus nor can the customer sell it to another customer.

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