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Amid fierce public opposition, Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has decided not to proceed with proposed amendments to its 2015 net-metering regulations. Nepra originally planned to reduce the tariff paid to net-metered households from PKR 19.32 ($0.072)/kWh to PKR 9/kWh.
Nepra says it will not move ahead with its draft amendments to Pakistan’s 2015 regulations for distributed generation and net metering.
In September 2022, the regulator proposed replacing the current national average power purchase price of PKR 19.32/kWh with the national average energy purchase price of PKR 9/kWh for net-metered households that inject excess electricity into the grid. The measure would have affected 20,700 households.
After public consultation, the public and consumers “strongly opposed the proposed amendments, citing reasons that electricity through net metering is one of the most efficient methods and the proposed amendment in the regulations would discourage net metering/solar installation,” Nepra said in an official statement about its decision to reverse the proposed amendments.
In the same statement, Nepra argued that electricity generated through rooftop solar should be mainly for self-consumption and “not for commercial sale.” However, it conceded that electricity from net-metered households represents less than 1% of the national distributor’s electricity purchases.
“The economic benefits of net metering in terms of displacement of costlier electricity, savings of foreign exchange and incurring minimal losses, cannot be ignored,” it added.
In September, Afia Malik, a senior research economist for the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), told pv magazine that she expects just 23 MW of excess electricity to be exported into the grid by the affected net-metered households.