Consumers can now help govt. overcome power crisis

Chief Executive Officer of IESCO Dr. Rana Abdul Jabbar Khan

An APP Feature
by Raziq Ali Shah

ISLAMABAD, Oct 16 (APP): Instead of staying just as consumers, the clients of power distribution companies have been provided a modern facility of selling the extra electricity.
The consumers can now sell extra electricity to the power distribution companies at off-peak rates, which they may be able to generate easily through solar and wind systems.
The novel idea to sell extra electricity by the consumers to power distribution companies at lucrative rates has become materialized as Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) has awarded over dozen net-metering connections to purchase surplus electricity, Chief
Executive Officer of IESCO Dr. Rana Abdul Jabbar Khan said.
He was talking to APP in an exclusive chat about recently introduced Net-metering system by the IESCO.
The net-metering would not only ensure uninterrupted power supply for consumers but would go a long way in establishment of clear and consistent tariff regime where consumers would be charged the same rate which they receive from the distribution company.
Following successful models of several western and eastern countries, the government ultimately introduced this technology to facilitate power-producing customers and help overcome the unending power deficit in the country.
“Net metering is an innovative and immediate solution to current power shortages, country is passing through. IESCO is country’s first power distribution company, which is offering opportunities to both commercial and domestic customers to generate electricity through solar panels and sell their surplus electricity” Rana said.
He said IESCO was getting encouraging response from the general public as 14 connections of net-metering having 1.5MW accumulative capacity had been energized in the short span of time. Those who have started to avail this opportunity include Parliament House and Engineering Council of Pakistan, while many such requests were under process.
“IESCO is purchasing electricity from the consumers at Rs 9.25 per unit and so far it has purchased electricity worth Rs.2.5 million”, Rana added.
“All customers having three phase connections can avail IESCO’s net metering facility and one window system is now fully functional for net metering where customers can register their applications. They can get free net-metering connection in just three to four
weeks,” he said.
“The system will help in fulfilling the power generation gap, resulting in reduced load-shedding,” said Chairman National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), Brig (R) Tariq Saddozai when asked.
“This system would promote electricity generation through solar and wind energy which is clean, environment friendly and renewable. Promoting clean and renewable energy is also a priority of the government,” Saddozai said.
“The Net Metering Regulations” introduced by the federal government pave the way towards establishment of flexible regulatory regime where any consumer can install solar panels and sell excess electricity to concerned distribution company by following a short simple and easy process.
The government has made Net Metering Arrangement very simple to attract more and more consumers.
“Pakistan receives one of the best solar irradiation in the world and has a potential to generate over 2.324 million megawatts electricity per annum through solar thermal and photovoltaic systems but this potential is yet to be tapped,” Ayesha Tassaduq, Spokesperson NEPRA when contacted.
China has already installed solar power projects having 22,000 MW and Germany succeeded in installing 38,000MW of solar power generation capacity.
“The consumer may produce 5 units of electricity every hour, with a 5 KW system costing around Rs 650,000 to 700,000. This adds up to a total of 35 units every day, considering the average daylight for 7 hours available for Solar PV panels to operate,” she said.
Producing 35 units daily, a consumer will produce 1050 electricity units every month (30 days). Assuming that the consumer is being paid Rs. 13 per unit sold, the total amount of money that can be made every month would be around Rs.13,650.
If there is an average consumption of 600 units/ month for domestic use, 450 units can still be sold.
The consumer will still be saving, even if there is no surplus energy available to be sold to DISCOs. For an average consumption of 2000 units/ month, the consumer will only be charged for the extra 950 units/month (2000-1050).