The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has issued new regulations for single-point supply through rooftop solar and open access projects for residential and commercial consumer categories in the state. The consumers include; employers’ colonies, group housing societies and residential or residential cum commercial, commercial complexes of developers and industrial estates, IT parks, and Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
The Commission said that it has previously recommended that in employers’ colonies, group housing societies, and residential or commercial cum residential complexes, it would be better for distribution licensees to implement pre-paid metering systems.
It said that it amended the Single Point Supply Regulations, 2013, to exclude these categories of power consumers. Following the amendment, it received petitions from group housing societies and resident welfare associations citing issues faced by the residents of these colonies with metering, billing, and inadequacy in supply position as well as about the inadequacy of the electrical infrastructure installed by the developers.
The Commission observed that the developers had not constructed adequate electrical infrastructure in some of the residential complexes, and the residents were not getting an uninterrupted and quality power supply. It had also received inputs that some single point supply connections were not charging the residents as per the regulations, charging them the highest slab tariff. Also, some RWAs were charging administration charges at the rate of 12% on energy consumption, contrary to the state provisions.
The Commission took these issues into consideration and drafted new regulations, inviting comments or objections from stakeholders. It framed the revised regulations following the public hearing on February 6, 2020.
The new regulations added separate provisions for the installation of rooftop solar systems for them. They said that these consumers would be allowed to install rooftop solar systems as long as the power generated from these projects could be counted towards the renewable purchase obligations (RPO) of distribution companies (DISCOMs) under the HERC guidelines.
The regulations also noted that if the solar project is installed by an industrial estate, IT park, or special economic zone, under any other set up than the net metering arrangement, the solar power generated will count towards their RPO targets.
Entities covered under the new regulations are also allowed to go for open access projects as per the guidelines. However, consumers with rooftop solar projects under net metering regulations are not allowed to take part in open access projects.
Previously, the HERC issued an updated version of its regulations for rooftop solar grid-interactive systems based on net metering in response to a petition filed by the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency. The petition asked for the regulations to be amended so that with the net metering provision, consumers are allowed to sell excess generated power back to the utilities. It also sought for the cumulative capacity of the rooftop solar systems at a distribution transformer to be allowed up to 100% of its particular distribution transformer capacity.
Last year, Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVN), a Haryana power distribution company, had issued an expression of interest to empanel agencies to install grid-connected rooftop solar systems between 1kW-500 kW in residential premises. These projects are expected to be developed in nine operation circles of UHBVN, namely, Ambala, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat, Sonepat, Jhajjar, and Rohtak.
Nithin is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Reuters News, he has covered oil, metals and agricultural commodity markets across global markets. He has also covered refinery and pipeline explosions, oil and gas leaks, Atlantic region hurricane developments, and other natural disasters. Nithin holds a Masters Degree in Applied Economics from Christ University, Bangalore and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai.