Net metering- progressive and sustainable electricity generation
25 July 2019
The current electricity challenges have seen many consumers across the country investing in solar energy powered systems for domestic and commercial purposes.
Fortunately, global market forces and improvements in solar energy technologies have resulted in prices of photovoltaic and thermal equipment significantly dropping to the benefit of consumers.
In Zimbabwe, Government created an enabling environment as consumers can import solar energy equipment duty free through Statutory Instrument 147 of 2010, Customs and Excise (Suspension) (Amendment) Regulations, (No.29) which exempts duty on solar equipment and energy efficient lighting such as light bulbs.
This progressive move has seen industrials, commercial, farmers, small to medium scale enterprises and domestic consumers embracing solar as a cleaner, affordable and sustainable energy source.
The gazetting of Electricity (Net Metering) Regulations Statutory Instrument 86 of 2018 further liberalised the energy space, allowing consumers to be part of the power generation process while being consumers of power (pronsumers).
Net Metering is a solar incentive program that allows domestic and industrial users of power to be part of the generation mix as they can also store energy in the electric grid.
When one’s solar PV system produces more electricity than is needed, that excess energy is fed to the grid in exchange for credits. These credits can be used to offset the electricity bill for the home or business owner. The consumer is however credited 80% of the units supplied to the grid.
The incentive is also meant to promote small-scale renewable energy generation on rooftops.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has trained 270 Solar Equipment Technicians to ensure safe installation that meet specified standards across the country at household and industrial level.
Universities and technical colleges should invest in designing and manufacturing of solar panels and bi-directional meters for net metering and other renewable energy oriented programs.
In light of these developments, consumers are encouraged to embrace net metering and be part of the energy generation mix today!