Delhi Expands Applicability of Virtual Net Metering for Renewable Consumers

The guidelines will now also apply to some entities like hospitals and NGOs that do not fall under the domestic consumer category

October 21, 2020


The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has amended its regulations on group net metering and virtual net metering for renewable energy. In the amendment, the regulator has modified its guidelines on the applicability of virtual net metering.

Virtual net metering is an arrangement for consumers who do not have a suitable roof for installing a solar power generating system but want access to a solar net-metering facility. With virtual net metering, consumers can own a part of a collectively-owned solar power generating system. All energy produced by such a solar system will be fed into the grid through an energy meter, and the exported energy, as recorded by that meter, will be credited to the electricity bill of each participating consumer based on beneficial ownership.

The purpose of this group net-metering framework is to help maximize the utilization of rooftop space for solar energy generation for consumers with multiple buildings and service connections.

The amendment has broadened the scope of applicability for virtual net metering connections. Earlier, it applied only to residential consumers, including group housing societies, government offices or local authorities, and renewable energy generators registered under Mukhya Mantri Kisaan Aay Badhotari Yojna.

Now, the amendment says that virtual net metering will be applicable for consumers under the domestic category as well as consumers such as hospitals, colleges, schools, other institutions run or managed by charitable institutions, non-profit organizations, trusts that do not fall under the category of domestic consumers, and renewable energy generators registered under Delhi’s solar program.

The DERC had finalized the group and virtual net metering guidelines in June 2019. It had set the minimum project capacity at 5 kW while the maximum was 5 MW at a single location. The DERC had issued draft guidelines in December 2018.

Mercom’s Renewable Energy Regulatory Updates has been keeping a track of net metering regulations across India.

In 2018, the Delhi government approved the Mukhyamantri Solar Power Program to give the necessary and required boost to solar power adoption in the national capital. This program applies to domestic category consumers in Delhi.

Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.