In Karnal, rooftop solar power project a non-starter

Published by firstgreen on

KARNAL: A state government’s project to promote rooftop solar power system has not caught the fancy of city residents. Scores of people have purchased solar panels and other equipment at a high cost. But only a few of them have installed the panels in their houses.

In September 2014, the state government had made solar power systems mandatory for all buildings built on a plot of 500 square yards or more.

The rooftop panels were to be connected with the power grid through the net metering system. In such a system, a consumer generating excess power through solar panels can sell the surplus to the power grid and get the amount deducted from his or her bill.

Suppose, a consumers sells 100 surplus units to the grid. As per the policy, as many units should be deducted from his consumption. It should reflect in the bill. 

But this is not happening. There is no system in place that can deduct the units from the bill. This means a consumer has to visit the Electricity Department’s office to get the bill rectified.

And this is not the only concern. High power bills are discouraging consumers from installing solar panels.

Take the case of Jagdeep Singh, a resident of Nayaypuri. He had installed the rooftop solar panel in January. His electricity bill for March and April was around Rs 35,000. It touched Rs 38,000 the next time. 

“I was expecting a drop in bill amount because I had supplied around 1,100 units to the UHBVN,” he said, adding the UHBVN did not have a software that could deduct units supplied to the discom from his bill.

Another problem is the non-availability of net meters that calculate the production, consumption and supply of surplus units to the grid.

“I had to run from pillar to post to get a net meter,” Jagdeep said.

JK Kamboj, Superintending Engineer, Karnal circle, UHBVN, said: “The department has 50 net meters, but we do not have software to calculate the deduction of surplus units. At present, we are deducting the surplus units manually from the bill.” 

And because of these problems, the equipment is biting the dust. 

“I had purchased a solar panel and other equipment for Rs 7 lakh around six months ago. The equipment is lying unused since,” said Ravi Singh, a city resident.

Source: The Tribune