Virtual net metering plan may start with farming sector

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who held extensive talks with farmers yesterday, making a number of proposals to end their protests against tax and social security contribution rises, also presented a plan to introduce a virtual net metering system that would help reduce farming electricity costs, according to energypress sources.

Though many farmers work fragmented plots of land scattered in different areas, virtual net metering would allow for all land masses cultivated by each farmer to be linked to just one electricity meter. By installing photovoltaic systems for self-produced electricity, each farmer will – through virtual net metering – be able to offset electricity consumed when pumping water for fields.

Net metering 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.

The photovoltaic sector has also been pushing for the introduction of virtual net metering. Sector officials believe its implementation will offer solutions to many professional categories, including the hotel sector. If made available for farming, virtual net metering will be expanded to other professions, it is anticipated.

During his talks with farmers yesterday, Tsipras also promised favorable pay-back terms for amounts owed to PPC, the main power utility. Farmers were told they would be able to pay amounts owed to PPC, both old and new, through at least 36 installments without needing to provide a deposit up front to qualify for the favorable pay-back offer.