PM Surya Ghar: MNRE Proposes Rating Of Rooftop Solar Vendors

Highlights :

  • The MNRE draft norms under PM Surya Ghar said that the ratings of the vendors would be visible to the general public too.
  • The new draft provisions batted for disbursing the CFA (subsidies) within 15 days.
PM Surya Ghar: MNRE Proposes Rating Of Rooftop Solar Vendors PM Surya Ghar: MNRE Proposes Rating Of Rooftop Solar Vendors

The Ministry of New and Renewable (MNRE) today published the draft guidelines under the newly announced PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana. The new draft norms proposed the concept of rating the vendors installing rooftop solar systems for the residential consumers.

The ministry said that the vendors would be rated based on the feedback of the consumers, the scale of installations done, data reporting and on other parameters. This has come to the fore months after the MNRE hinted about imposing a provision of rating of the EPC firms involved in the process. The ministry said that the ratings would be visible to the public too. The government body is likely to issue separate norms for the same soon, it said. 

“All the vendors registered on the National Portal shall be given a vendor rating depending on the size and scale of installations done, consumer feedback, reporting of data, physical inspection of quality of workmanship of randomized project sites and other criteria as per separate guidelines that will be notified by the Ministry. This vendor rating shall be visible to the beneficiaries on the National Portal,” the draft norms said. 

The MNRE draft norms under PM Surya Ghar scheme proposed appointing REC Limited as the implementing agency for the scheme. The ministry also said that to avoid overcharging of the consumers by the vendors, it would periodically release the benchmark prices of solar modules, inverters and other components of the residential rooftop solar systems.

The ministry, in its draft norms, also proposed interlinking the discoms with the National Rooftop Portal for different permissions related to load and other reports to expedite the process. The proposal also talked about disbursing the Central Financial Assistance (subsidies) within 15 days. It also has batted for the inclusion of state subsidy disbursement through the National Rooftop Solar Portal to integrate all services under one platform.

As per the latest draft norms, all those consumers who had availed central subsidies for rooftop solar below 3 KW could opt for other subsidies with a total ceiling upto 3 KW. For example,any consumer who had earlier received subsidies for 1 KW under the rooftop solar scheme can opt for the remaining capacities upto 3 KW. i.e 2 KW of additional capacity addition and the subsidies accordingly. 

The draft norms also proposed furnishing a Bank Guarantee of Rs 2.5 lakh for each state (for state-based vendor registration) and Rs 25 lakh for all states for national vendor registration. The draft norms said that once the vendors installed a significant capacity through the portal, the bank guarantee requirement would be indexed to the capacities accordingly.

This bank guarantee provision has not gone down well with some of the vendors and state-level renewable energy associations. Some has voices concerns over the low margins for the vendors if they follow the MNRE’s benchmark prices while the additional burden of hefty bank guarantee allegedly added extra burden for the vendors who want to get empanelled with the National Rooftop Portal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced the PM Surya Ghar scheme with a plan to install rooftop solar in 1 crore households. The government has announced a dedicated budget for the same and increased subsidies to upto Rs 78,000 per a 3 KW of residential rooftop solar. In addition to this some states also offer additional state subsidies for residential rooftop solar consumers.

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