Net metering plan, to provide needed stimulus, imminent

A net metering plan for electricity self-production is expected to be launched by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator – known as DEDDIE locally – within the next few days, promising to provide some needed stimulus to the country’s otherwise mostly dormant photovoltaic sector.

According to energypress sources, HEDNO has already prepared all necessary steps for the introduction and implementation of the net metering plan based on a ministerial decision signed by the country’s previous administration on December 30. An announcement calling on prospective investors to submit applications is expected to be made over the next few days, possibly within the current week.

Net metering will enable 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.

Although investor interest is believed to be subdued at present, the net metering plan’s launch will definitely come as a major development for the photovoltaic sector. Sector officials believe the plan could reignite activity in the sector which has been stagnant over the last couple of years, prompting business closures and unemployment in the photovoltaic market.

According the the ministerial decision, net metering will be permitted for low and medium voltage self-production. It will be limited to photovoltaic systems and will not include small-scale wind energy generators. A 20 KW cap has been set for self-production, but 50 percent increases will be permitted. Also, a lower 10 KW cap will apply to non-interconnected islands, except for Crete. Net metering will be available for all interested parties at points permitted by the new regulations, which allow for greater installation flexibility. Besides roof tops, PV facilities may also be permitted at other household points, such as garage roof tops, gardens, even adjacent plots of land. Self-producers will be required to pay an Emission Reduction Tariff (ETMEAR) only for electricity absorbed from the grid. Self-producers will use two power meters, one measuring incoming electricity drawn from the grid, the other self-produced electricity exported to the grid. The net amount will be calculated on an annual basis.

It should be noted that the net metering plan promises to offer major electricity savings to the agricultural sector, which could positively impact price levels for consumers around the country.