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Government Plans to Replace Solar Net Metering with Gross Metering

Solar Net Metering

ISLAMABAD: In an apparent bid to discourage in-house power generation, the federal government plans to replace solar net metering with “gross metering,” citing sources.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has started developing a gross metering policy for rooftop solar panels, which is expected to significantly reduce the financial benefits of in-house power generation.

Insiders revealed that recommendations have been made to eliminate the unit-for-unit formula under gross metering. The new policy would see the price of electricity units provided to the national grid halved.

Under the proposed policy, the government will purchase electricity units from rooftop solar panel owners at a price set by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA).

In contrast, power distribution companies (Discos) will sell electricity to consumers at the government rates. The sources also mentioned that Pakistan has discussed the gross metering policy with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The new policy is likely to be presented to the federal government and the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for final approval.

Federal Minister for Energy Sardar Awais Ahmad Leghari, speaking at a press conference alongside Minister of State for Finance, Revenue, and Power Ali Pervaiz Malik, hinted at a plan to revise the country’s solar net metering policy.

Leghari acknowledged the issue of solar net metering and noted the PML-N-led government’s previous encouragement of solarization in 2017, which has resulted in 113,000 connections on net meters.

Leghari emphasized that the PML-N government supports continuing solar net metering, promoting renewable energy, and taking steps to eliminate power theft to reduce the financial burden on the national exchequer.

He also mentioned that the government is studying and assessing the impacts of the increasing trend of rooftop-generated electricity to determine the rate of return on investments in solar equipment.

The minister noted that the government would evaluate whether the growing reliance on solar panels is affecting local households in terms of inflated electricity prices.

He pointed out that, like Australia and other countries, Pakistan would analyze and balance the solar net metering system. While advocating for the continuation of the solar metering policy, Leghari clarified that power authorities would review it if necessary.

Leghari highlighted a recent 8% reduction in electricity demand. He stated that the power demand was 19,000MW the previous day, while Discos generated over 16,500MW, in addition to conducting over 4,000MW of “economic load-shedding” on feeders with 70 to 90% losses. To further reduce losses in the power sector, Leghari vowed to intensify the anti-power theft drive nationwide.

Addressing questions, Leghari acknowledged billing issues in many Discos and mentioned plans to form new boards to allow power firms to operate independently without ministry involvement.

He expressed confidence that Pakistan would overcome its power crisis after completing various hydroelectric power generation projects in the next six to seven years.

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I am a dynamic professional, specializing in Peace and Conflict Studies, Conflict Management and Resolution, and International Relations. My expertise is particularly focused on South Asian Conflicts and the intricacies of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific Politics. With my skills as a Content Writer, I serve as a bridge between academia and the public, translating complex global issues into accessible narratives. My passion for fostering understanding and cooperation on the national and international stage drives me to make meaningful contributions to peace and global discourse.

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