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The government is set to terminate solar net metering next month.

The government is set to terminate solar net metering next month.

The federal government’s decision to transition from solar net metering to gross metering has sparked concerns about its impact on consumers and the solar energy sector. Under the new system, consumers will be required to sell all electricity generated from their rooftop solar panels to the grid and then purchase the electricity they need, potentially discouraging the adoption of solar energy.

The Ministry of Energy has reportedly cited concerns about net metering eating into the revenues of distribution companies (DISCOs) as a reason for the transition. The move is seen as an attempt to address the increasing number of households turning to solar energy to avoid expensive grid electricity, which can cost around Rs. 62 per unit with additional charges.

According to reports, the government is responding to pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which views idle capacity payments and the increasing adoption of solar panels as factors contributing to rising electricity costs. The IMF has recommended a review of policies such as captive power generation, which allows industrialists to use cheaper gas for in-house electricity production. There are indications that the government may discontinue this policy and push industries to rely more on grid electricity, despite its higher cost.

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However, critics argue that the move to gross metering could hinder the growth of the solar energy sector and make it less accessible for consumers. Solar net metering has been instrumental in encouraging households and businesses to invest in renewable energy by allowing them to offset their electricity bills with excess solar power generated.

The decision to transition to gross metering raises questions about the government’s commitment to promoting renewable energy and addressing climate change concerns. It remains to be seen how this policy shift will affect consumers, the solar energy industry, and the broader energy landscape in Pakistan.