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Regulator wants quick end to solar panel net-metering scheme

pexels pixabay 371917 - Store your own power

This article was written by Tom van Gurp for on 16 January 2023

If it is up to regulator ACM, homeowners with solar panels will no longer be allowed to use the net-metering scheme. If you feed solar energy back to the grid, you can now offset that against energy you take away. But that creates extra costs for those without panels, according to the ACM.

That is one of the reasons why the regulator would like to see the scheme disappear soon. That call comes a day before the Lower House discusses a bill to phase out the scheme in six years from 2025.

Netting was introduced years ago to make the purchase of panels more attractive. Many homeowners have accordingly done so in recent years. But according to the ACM, the benefits are financed by those who do not have solar panels on their roofs.

This is because energy suppliers incur extra costs for the transport of feed-in power. And these transport costs have to be borne by everyone, including people who do not own solar panels.

Also, the price of electricity is often low at the time when homeowners supply power back to the grid. They may offset that cheap electricity against the electricity they use at other times, including the times when electricity is more expensive. That price difference is also financed by the people who do not have panels. According to the ACM’s calculations, households without panels are therefore losing a few extra tens each month.

The regulator also sees other concerns. Because of the net-metering scheme, panel owners do not have to store the energy they generate themselves in home batteries or use it immediately. In fact, they can simply feed the power back to the grid. In addition, net-metering creates additional load on the already congested electricity grid.