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The session was chaired by Mirza Hamid Hassan, former secretary, Water and Power, and the key

speakers
included: Mazhar Iqbal Ranjha, director, Standards Department, NEPRA, Wajid Ali Kazmi, chief engineer
Planning, IESCO, Faiz Muhammad Bhutta, member, Energy Committee, Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC).

N et-metering an initiative for mitigating


demand supply gap in the distribution of
electric power in the country is an
encouraging development endorsed by NEPRA
Generation but have added reactive load at Distribution
system. The concept of net-metering was introduced in
Pakistan under the Policy for Development of
Renewable Energy for Power Generation in 2006. In
through passage of requisite regulations. Institute of 2012, Pakistan Engineering Council and Planning
Policy Studies held consultative roundtable session on, Commission both installed on-grid solar power stations
Net Metering: An Alternate Source of Power for with the capacity of 178 KW each.2
Electricity Consumers on January 19, 2016. This brief
To promote net metering in Pakistan, AEDB
is based on the proceedings of the subject roundtable.
collaborated with NEPRA to prepare draft regulations
Net Metering is being practiced in many countries. It on net-metering. The Regulations were launched in the
enables customers producing power from renewables workshop conducted by NEPRA in 2013, where all the
for their domestic use and supply surplus power to the concerned stakeholders such as DISCOs, Provincial
national grid. Hence, in case of solar energy Inspectors, PEC, Secretary, Provincial Energy
production, the meter records the import and export of Departments and others participated and submitted
Power from and to Grid and consumers would only be their comments on the draft regulations. Thereafter,
charged for the net- energy consumption.1 draft Regulations were uploaded in October, 2014 on
NEPRAs website and the letters were sent to all
Introduction of Net Metering in Pakistan
Stakeholders for their comments. The draft regulations
The introduction of net metering in Pakistan is were revised in the light of stakeholders comments.
significant in the context of chronic energy crisis. Due
Regulations were approved in September, 2016 with its
to prevalent power outages through load shedding, the
final version available on NEPRAs Website. These
consumers are forced to buy UPS and Generators and
regulations provide both regulatory and technical
50 lack UPS are deployed now which have added load
features of the net-metering arrangement including
on generation because of their low efficiency ranging
from 40 to 60%. UPS have not only added load at

1
http://www.seia.org/policy/distributed-solar/net-metering
2
http://www.jica.go.jp/pakistan/english/office/topics/press120529.html

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customer service matters such as Billing Requirements, 1741 standard (Inverters, Converters,
and Dispute Resolution. Controllers and Interconnection System
Equipment for Use with Distributed
NEPRA conducted a workshop for establishment of
Energy Resources) which addresses the
Distribution Code Review Panel (DCRP) in Oct, 2014.
electrical interconnection design of various
The purpose of establishment of DCRP was to discuss
forms of generating equipment, IEEE 1547
the integration of power at distribution voltage levels
2003, IEC 61215, EN or other international
such as small hydel, net metering through renewables,
standards. UL1741 is a US standard and
and wheeling etc. so that appropriate technical codes
could be developed for smooth operation of net-
needs to be followed by the net metering
metering.
applicant. It was discussed that it is a
stringent standard and difficult to be
Implantation: Steps taken by IESCO practiced. Instead of referring to a fixed
standard, the reference to other
After the announcement of regulations by NEPRA, the
international standards creates ambiguity
responsibility of the implementation lies with the
and was proposed to be substituted with
distribution companies. Among DISCOs, IESCO has
fixed standards in line with other
taken lead with by initiating following steps after the
applicable standards in Pakistan and
issuance of Net-Metering regulations: -
Equivalent IEC standards should be
It constituted a committee for the formulation mentioned which are already applicable in
of departmental Standard Operating Pakistan and the sentence Other
Procedures (SOPs). SOPs were formulated International Standards should be
and approved within a month; eliminated.
It started educating field officers for the The agreement annexed to Net-metering
implementation of net metering; regulations, only three phase consumers
It processed first application of connecting have been declared to be eligible. Hence it
Parliament House Building 1000 kw load. does not addresses single phase consumers
Application has been forwarded to NEPRA.
whose requirement is 1 or 2 Kilo watt.
The work has started over this project.
Interconnect study charges are not
Other DISCOS have concerns over net metering and defined.
had not taken any step forward. To start with, they can The issue of billing is yet not resolved. Net
take guidance from IESCOs experience. metering has been installed at PEC but
Issues and Challenges billing has not yet been started due to
certain unknown reasons making it
There are several technical issues in the difficult for ordinary consumers to take
implementation of Net Metering including ambiguities benefit of net-metering.
in the NEPRAs regulations, as well which need to be The staff of the DISCOs are not adequately
addressed. Following are some of the issues that are trained to deal with the issue of net
needed to be addressed. metering.
DISCOS have not defined the process to
The processing time required to approve an
deal with the consumers such as the forum
application for net-metering is lengthy. It
for entertaining applications.
will take approx 100 days to process an
application of ____load may exceed In case of load shedding, it would require
further in real time. to ensure that the grid is off and the surplus
power stops supplying to the grid.
According to SRO-9.5, The grid
connected inverters and generators shall The installation cost of net-metering
comply with Underwriter Laboratories UL infrastructure should not be high,

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otherwise it would discourage consumers. and number of standards should be fixed
It was also learnt that even the existing instead of mentioning all other
digital meters being installed by utilities International standards.
can be used for net-metering after requisite The NEPRA prescribed Net-metering
programming. Agreement is for three years that would be
The equipment generating renewable onerous for consumers. Hence it should be
energy is the critical most important for 10 years at least.
component of the whole chain enabling List of approved manufacturers for
net-metering and AEDB was spotted as the Inverters, a key component of renewable
organization to ensure standardization energy/solar energy plants should be
mechanism at import and local assembling included. AEDB can assist in this regard.
of solar panels in Pakistan. AEDB The concept of local service providers for
informed that such ECC approved installation, surveys in the country;
summary and standards implementation is Electricians should be educated and trained
in process and consultation with concerned in his respect.
departments and Pakistan Standard and Manufacturers of bi-directional meters
Quality Certification Authority is in should be encouraged. The subsidy given
process. on tariff, should be given on solar panels.
The absence of certified installers was It can help promote solar panels by
highlighted during the session which will replacing UPS which is burdening the
ensure implementation of net metering national grid. To give the incentive, there
regulations at the time of installations. should be understanding between NEPRA
Recommendations and DISCOs that the feeders connected
with net metering would be exempted from
Following measures can be taken to promote and load shedding during the day time.
implement net metering in the country: Specification of meters may be notified by
NTDC.
DISCOs should set up clear SOPs and
NEPRA should lead the introduction and
provide one window operation. NEPRA,
speedy implementation of net-metering
AEDB, DISCOS and PEC should play
regime inter alia by creating a Net
active role for the education of electrical
Metering Desk at its Consumer Affairs
inspectors/ DISCOS official/ masses
Division, setting up targets for utilities to
regarding net metering regulations.
promote net-metering in their consumers.
Total time taken from application to In this regards a hand book can be
interconnection should not be more than 15 developed to create greater awareness and
days up to 20KW and 45 days from 20 to assist the consumers in adoption of net-
100KW and 60 days from 100KW to 1 metering.
MW.
SOPs should clearly define the Conclusion
Interconnect study charges as per slabs and
who will conduct this study. There should Pre-requisite for the promotion of net metering
be approved consultants for undertaking across the country is the popularization of
Interconnect study. Renewable energy at the consumer level. Its
IEC equivalent to UL standard 1741 for implementation can only be successful with the
inverters should also be mentioned as IEC involvement of community that needs mass
standards are mostly practiced in Pakistan awareness program. Coordination among all the

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stakeholders is required to improve the the end of the session that NEPRA, IESCO, PEC,
regulations; to overcome the technical hurdles and AEDB, and IPS can make a joint forum to push the
to facilitate the consumers by easing the process of issue of net metering through an integrated effort.
net metering. Therefore, it was suggested towards

Prepared by an IPS Task Force | For queries: Mairaj-ul-Hamid, Asst. Research Coordinator, mairaj@ips.net.pk | www.ips.org.pk

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