Eight months since its official launch in Gurgaon, only 11 net meters installed across the city are connected to the grid and are functioning, even as 54 applications continue to await approval.

On being probed, the Haryana Renewal Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) officials blamed the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (DHBVN) for delaying the approval of the net meters.

"Initially, the discom took time in zeroing in on the vendors for installing the net meters. The vendors, in turn, took another three months to give further approvals, delaying the entire process," said one of the HAREDA officials requesting anonymity.

Net metering is similar to the existing metering system except that the user will be able to source supply from both the grid connected discom line and the roof top solar plant. If the supply from one of these sources (electric grid or solar power plant) stops, the net metering system switches over to the functional one. The meters designed specifically for this purpose will record how much electricity was used from which source and accordingly the discom will adjust the difference while billing.

Applicants rued that they have been waiting for months for installation of the meters, especially in the industrial sector where HT meters are required.

"The first time we applied for meter installation for a 100KW panel was in January, it was denied by the DHBVN for not being aware of the related terms and conditions. We applied again in February at the single window and have been awaiting clearance since then," said Amit Sehgal from Novus Greens, who is commissioning a plant for World College of Engineering and Technology.

Another application for a 100KW panel for Northcap University is pending for similar reasons. Officials at HAREDA said the applications for industries were the worst affected.

The DHBVN officials, however, have blamed HAREDA instead for the delays being faced by the consumers. "We have given all approvals from our end. The delays, if any, are from HAREDA's end," said Naveen Verma, superintending engineer, Gurgaon circle, DHBVN.

Apart from the delay in obtaining approvals for installation of the meters, DHBVN's billing software is unable to calculate the net units produced after adjusting the utility consumption.

"The software is not updated, forcing the officials to undertake manual billings. This is not allowing the benefit to pass on to the consumers in case of net export of units to the grid," a HAREDA official said.

Source: October 4, 2016, The Times of India