Virtual net metering after Easter, starting with farmers

A virtual net metering plan offering energy cost savings will be introduced immediately after the Orthodox Easter break, when a ministerial decision is expected to be signed to bring the measure into effect, initially for farmers, sources have informed energypress.

In talks with agitated local farmers a couple of months ago, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had promised to offer the agricultural sector virtual net metering as a tool to help reduce energy costs. At the time, numerous farmers were involved in extensive protests, which included road blocks around the country, to protest against expected tax and social security contribution increases.

Besides the agricultural sector, other categories associated with public services will also be given the green light for virtual net metering, such as schools and other educational institutions, the sources noted.

Many farmers work fragmented plots of land scattered in different areas. Virtual net metering will 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 the electricity used 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.

Sources said the virtual net metering plan will be made widely available for all consumer categories in a second stage to follow.

For some time now, photovoltaic sector officials have pushed for the virtual net metering plan’s implementation, noting it will offer energy cost-cutting solutions for various professional categories, including hotels.