Net metering implementation issues subduing wider interest

Net metering applications have slowed down in more recent times, especially since the beginning of this year, market data has shown, as a result of problems encountered by applicants seeking to adopt the measure, sector officials have told energypress.

The net metering plan enables electricity consumers who generate their own power from an eligible on-site facility and deliver it to local distribution facilities to offset the electric energy provided by the utility during an applicable billing period.

Problems encountered by early birds have dampened the general interest in net metering.

Inaccurate power meter readings by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, committed frequently, according to sources, have stood as a key issue in the problems encountered by net metering participants.

Major delays by the main power utility PPC in delivering finalized billing amounts is another problem faced by participants. The utility just recently issued its first batch of annual net metering bills to net metering participants who registered in 2015. Self producers have, as a result, faced various unfair conditions, including being deprived of a 15 percent discount offered by PPC for punctual electricity bill payments.

To date, 1,317 net metering applications have been made around the country since May, 2015, when the initiative was launched.

The overall pace is expected to pick up now that HEDNO has begun receiving applications for virtual net metering. This measure allows vocational groups offering publically beneficial work, such as educational institutions, farmers and municipalities, to link fragmented and scattered operations and bases to just one electricity meter and offset the cost of electricity supplied to them by the power utility with electricity produced by their own power production systems for the grid.