Pakistan Solar Association Says FESCO Is Violating Solar Net Metering Rules

Pakistan Solar Association (PSA) has raised objections to recent directives issued by Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) on new net metering connections, arguing that they fail to consider the evolving dynamics of the solar industry.

In a letter to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), PSA said these directives have prompted concerns among PSA’s 600-plus members and are in complete violation of NEPRA’s various rules, regulations, and consumer manuals.

PSA explained that FESCO vide letter no. 8182-87 dated April 03, 2024 (attached herewith) has issued directives regarding the new net metering (NM) connections having load 5kW and above:

  1. SE (Operations) Sargodha FESCO directs that all new net metering connections having a load of 5kW and above will be processed with independent/dedicated transformers.
  2. In the case where NM connection is demanded from a general duty transformer, he (SE Operations) Sargodha will confirm the authenticity of the available load and accord approval subject to the availability of the load. Subsequently, the SDO/XEN, as per his competency will allow the NM connection after following other procedural formalities.
  3. SE(Operations) Sargodha FESCO alleges the use of sub-standard solarization equipment and links the same with an adverse impact on the distribution network.
  4. SE(Operations) Sargodha FESCO passes directions to its executive engineers to stop the issuance of demand notices of extension of load from the general duty transformers for the installation of net metering connections.

The Association said the underlined directions by SE (Operations) Sargodha FESCO to process 5kW and above NM connections are not aligned with NEPRA regulations. PSA believes that directing a dedicated/independent transformer for all NM connections of SkW or above is unfair to consumers and without technical assessment, such directions threaten the promotion of renewable energy in Pakistan.

It said the permitted distributed generation capacity on a specific distribution transformer is up to 80% of its loading capacity. Beyond this threshold, processing a new Net Metering (NM) connection is contingent upon augmenting the existing distribution transformer.

This protocol has been abruptly altered to prioritize the availability of load by the SE (Operations) Sargodha without prior consultation with stakeholders such as NEPRA, DISCOs, and electric network consultants, PSA added.

“It is important to note that load availability is dynamic and subject to seasonal variations, influenced by factors such as the area’s load profile, temperature fluctuations, feeder type, and other considerations. Making decisions without careful consideration is detrimental and undermines public trust in distribution companies, especially when they are already grappling with financial challenges, posing a threat to Pakistan’s overall economy,” the association added.

PSA said the solar sector in Pakistan has undergone significant growth in recent years, attracting numerous globally renowned manufacturers to establish their regional/country offices in the country to cater to the general public’s needs and dominate the majority share of the Pakistani market for solar panels and inverters.

These manufacturers adhere to strict quality measures to ensure that high-quality equipment is made available to consumers.

It contended that addressing the extension of load applications for consumers should be approached on a case-by-case basis rather than issuing blanket directives across an entire operational circle to refrain from granting load extensions.

PSA said this approach contradicts NEPRA’s policy directive, which allows single-phase consumers to benefit from Net Metering by converting to a three-phase connection under a Time of Use (ToU) tariff regime.

PSA argued that directions by SE (Operations) have been issued on a personal level without undergoing thorough technical due diligence by the distribution licensee. Making sudden decisions in isolation, without considering their broader impact, can lead to public unrest specifically due to the involvement of capital costs in the procurement of a distributed generator.

PSA urged to reconsider the directives issued by FESCO and emphasized the importance of collaborative decision-making processes that uphold regulatory standards and support the growth of renewable energy in Pakistan.

  • FESCO asking for 120k to 190k under table for each and every net metering file to process. Especially the madina town division SDO and his subordinates shamelessly asking for 10k bribe for load extensions alone.

    • Not only Madina town sub division but all the sub divisions and divisions officials shameless for net metering.

  • Consumets in Sargodha are already facing lot of difficulties. These directions by SE will increase corruption and unfair means .

  • ریاست ہو گی ماں کے جیسی

    یہ کیسی ماں ہے جو اپنے بچوں کی زندگیاں مشکل بنا رہی ہے

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