After spending lakhs of rupees on rooftop solar installations, solar prosumers (producers and consumers of solar power) are now distressed as the electricity department failed to account for the solar power that their plants have been supplying to the grid.
Receiving their first bills after a period of six months since their solar installations were commissioned under net metering, the solar prosumers have found that the department has billed them for power consumed, without deducting the solar power that their domestic plants have been exporting to the grid.
A complaint was filed earlier this week with the Joint electricity regulatory commission (JERC) and the chief electrical engineer of the Goa electricity department, over the lack of clarity on solar grid connectivity and irregularities in net meter billing.
All prosumers are forced to pay the bill amount despite paying huge sums of money for the installation and despite not receiving any subsidy from the government, the complaint to JERC states.
“Presently my Import Energy reading is 6480 kWh and my Export reading is 8175.9 kWh, for which it has been observed that the solar energy exported by me is much higher than what has been imported by me from the grid. Even with these given readings I have been given a bill by the Electricity Department. The power purchase agreement was signed by me at the office of the Executive Engineer of the Goa Electricity Department on May 9, 2019, without any copy been given to me,” states Nigel Coelho who has installed a 11.2 kW solar plant at Dona Paula.
A former scientist with the national institute of oceanography (NIO) A G Untawale has paid his bill issued after six months despite the department not crediting him for the power supplied by his solar installation to the grid. He further added that subsidies through the Goa energy development agency (GEDA) are yet to reach consumers.
The complaint to JERC also points to the Goa government earlier this year setting the average power purchase cost (which the department will pay to the prosumer for surplus power supplied) at Rs 3.33 per kWh much lower than the JERC prevailing tariff.