Minister of Energy and Power Development tweeted earlier today about net metering for ZESA in an open dialogue where he asked for public opinion on the matter.
Net metering is a pretty technical term that a great many are not too familiar with. So what is it anyway?
What Is Net Metering?
Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to sell the electricity they aren’t using back into the grid. You are only charged/paid for Net electricity used/fed back into the grid.
This means if you have a solar system that you are using for backup power, you can sell the excess to ZESA in cases for example when you are not at home and no power is being used at your home or it’s a time in the day when very few appliances are running.
Did This Not Exist In Zimbabwe?
SI 86 of 2018 is the current legislation that is available for Net Metering that classifies candidates for this service either being a Residential Premise or a Commercial Premise.
Requirements for one to be eligible for this service are:
- Power generated should not exceed limits of the premises’ circuit breaker for residential premise
- For industrial or commercial premise, generated power should not exceed 100KW
From there you apply for a licence and the authority, which in this case ZESA, would assess the premise and if technical specifications are met. If they are, the licence is approved by the authority and you are in business.
The Electricity Situation In Zimbabwe
There are a couple of videos we made explaining the current electricity situation in Zimbabwe. It’s noteworthy to mention that electricity production is far below the demand and this has forced many household to have alternative sources of power such as diesel generators and solar backup systems.
Some companies are now seeing it as a viable investment to put up solar systems at their premises. Being able to back-feed power into the grid mean less electricity imports and saving the precious forex for other pressing expenditures.
To the customer this translates to a reduced electricity bill without a reduction in electricity supply. It’s a proper win-win.
One can only hope that the discussion materializes into something viable for both our power utility and the customers it serves.