Bridge India

DERC releases implementation guidelines for rooftop solar

Last week, the Delhi Electricity Regulator Commission (DERC) released the guidelines for implementation of solar energy systems on rooftops in the city. The document details the procedure for application, registration and connectivity. These guidelines bring clarity to the nitty-gritties of installing solar on rooftops and greatly simplifies the approach for people looking to go solar. The key takeaways:

  • The registration process has been divided into 3 tiers: feasibility analysis, registration and connection agreement
  • The rooftop solar plant must get connected to the grid within one year of registration
  • If more power is fed into the grid than taken out, the distribution company will, at the end of the year, reimburse the system owner at the Average Power Purchase Cost (APPC) for that year (currently around INR 4.75-5/unit)

netmetering oct 13th


The local transformer capacity allotted for renewable energy systems will be at least 20 % of the rated capacity of the transformer. In case the capacity of the renewable energy system exceeds the sanctioned load in the premises, rooftop owners will have to enhance their sanctioned load by paying “Service Line cum Development (SLD) charges”. The owner will be exempted from paying the corresponding fixed charges for load enhancement.

The procedure has been divided into three steps:

1. Feasibility analysis

The consumer will have to submit an application to the distribution company along with an application fee of INR 500 for feasibility analysis. Applications will be put on a priority list and served on a first-come, first served basis. The distribution company will then complete the feasibility analysis within 30 days of receipt of the application.

Upon completion of feasibility analysis, the distribution company will decide whether it is feasible to provide connection for the applied capacity, reduced capacity or it is unfeasible.

In case the feasibility analysis suggests reduced capacity or unfeasibility, the rooftop owners have three options:

  1. Accept the reduced capacity and move ahead with registration
  2. Seek refund of application fee within 7 days of receipt of feasibility report
  3. To stay in the priority list for 180 days and seek a re-consideration of the application

2. Registration

Within 30 days of receipt of feasibility report, the consumer is required to fill in the registration form and submit it along with requisite documents and the registration charges listed below.

Sl. No. Capacity (kW) Charges (INR)
1 1 to ≤ 10 1,000
2 > 10 to ≤ 50 3,000
3 > 50 to ≤ 100 6,000
4 > 100 to ≤ 300 9,000
5 > 300 to ≤ 500 12,000
6 > 500 15,000

 If the registration is found deficient or not in order, the consumer will be given two chances to rectify these after which application for registration may be rejected.

3. Connection agreement

Within 30 days from the date of registration, connection agreement will be executed between the consumer and the distribution company. The rooftop solar plant must get connected to the grid within one year of registration, failing which the registration may be cancelled and the freed capacity will be used for allotment to other applicants.

Non time of day consumers (residential and commercial/industrial consumers with a load less than 5 kW) will get their exported units of energy adjusted against their electricity consumption in the monthly bills. In case the export of energy from the solar plant exceeds the consumption from the grid, excess energy credits will be carried forward in the subsequent billing cycle.

For time of day consumers (commercial and industrial consumers with a load above 5 kW), the exported energy will be compensated with electricity consumption in similar time blocks in the billing cycle. In case of surplus export of energy, the surplus generation will be accounted as if it occurred during the off-peak time block.

Any remaining net energy credits remaining at the end of the year will be paid for the distribution company at Average Power Purchase Cost (APPC) of the company for that year (currently around INR 4.75-5/unit). In case of revision of APPC by DERC in the true up order of relevant year, the differential amount will be credited/debited to the account of the consumer.

 Shikhin Mehrotra is a Research Analyst – Consulting at BRIDGE TO INDIA

1 comment

  • We have a habit of inventing reasons for why things should not be done rather than how it can be done. In the name of meticulous planning or preventing corruption or failure things are made so complex that they stay where the are.
    The main purpose was to promote solar installation and RPO was a good intentioned route to generate demand. Without enforcement mechanism the provision is of no value. After all would anyone pay Income Tax if only the rules were notified and there was no Income Tax Department to enforce them.
    When the projects are being awarded based on Tariff based bidding, what was or is the rationale for fixing floor or ceiling prices for RECs specially when there is no RPO enforcement. Why cant it be left to market forces.
    The burden of RPO has also been exagerated. Most states had started with a low percentage of 0.25 to 0.5. Considering an APP of Rs 3 and Solar power price of even Rs 9 per unit, the net would be Rs 3.03, an increase of 3 paisa per unit. If we take average family consumption as 200 units per month, the additional load is Rs 6. With per capita of less than 1000 units per year, the load is Rs 2.5 per month. The 120 cr brave people of India have managed to remain alive facing a much bigger onslaught of vegetable prices alone. So much for not being able to load the consumer.

    The falling capital cost of PV and rising coal prices will decide the economics- clearly in favour of Solar. What needs to be done is to focus on building evacuation and simplifying net metering and open access.