Regulatory Mechanisms of Micro Generators (Net Metering)
If you are the owner of solar, wind, hydro and/or other renewable energy micro generator with the capacity below 500 kW, you can apply for the connection to the electricity distribution network and provide the excess electricity to the distribution company. This will allow you to satisfy your own consumption needs, save on your utility bills and even get reimbursement from the distribution company. Moreover, you will generate clean energy without adverse environmental impact.
Net metering is a process of reverse metering of outflows of excess electricity generated by micro generator and the electricity received from the network, whereby the generated and consumed electricity offset each other.
Any natural person, house-owners’ partnership, urban or rural resident can use the net metering mechanism. It is not an entrepreneurial activity. The micro-generating power plant may not be the property of this consumer(s), it can be under his (their) temporary ownership in the form of lease, rent or other type of agreement.
Electricity generation by the micro generator and consumption of the generated electricity can take place at different places, for those purposes it is necessary that the micro generator and the customer/group of customers are connected to the same distribution company. If the generation and consumption points are different from each other both reverse meters and smart meters shall be installed to each customer for the settlement purposes.
The applicant seeking connection of the micro-generating power plant to the electricity network shall submit an application to the distribution license holder. Connection of the micro power plant to the network is provided by a simple procedure – one-stop shop principle. After receiving the customer’s application, the company is obliged to install a reverse meter or a smart meter for the settlement purposes to the customer or to each customer in case of a group of customers are using a micro generator. The distribution license holder shall be liable to receive the electricity generated by the micro power plant and bill the customer on the balance remaining after offsetting the received and consumed electricity.
See the articles related to micro-generator in GNERC Resolution ‘’On Approving Network Rules’’
- If you are seeking connection of your micro-generating power plant to the electricity distribution network, you have to submit an application to the distribution company. The latter will provide the full technological cycle after the customer pays the fee set by the Commission (see the annex 4 and annex 7). Before submitting the application, the applicant shall pay 50% of the connection fee and the remaining 50% shall be paid within 5 business days (see the article 251, paragraphs 4 and 11 of Network Rules).
- Within 10 business days after receiving the application, the distribution company shall examine the accuracy of the application and its content and in case of any discrepancies, shall notify the applicant. Where the company fails to respond within the set period, the application will be deemed accepted from the day it was received by the company (See the article 251(4) of Network Rules).
- Before establishing connection to the network, the distribution company shall check the connection scheme for the micro-generating power plant and technical compatibility of the automatic control. In case of technical defects, the company shall notify you in writing. The micro-generating power plant shall not be connected to the network until elimination of the defect.
The electricity supplied by the owner of the micro-generating power plant to the electricity network and the electricity received from the distribution network are metered separately by the reverse meter (see the article 252 (2)).
- If the micro-generating power plant generates an excess energy and the amount of electricity supplied to the network exceeds the amount of energy received from the network, the difference, i.e. excess energy will be deemed as the energy supplied by the consumer to the network and will be credited to the next month bill.
- If the total amount of electricity generated by the micro-generated power plant and billed to the customer (supplied to the network) as a credit is lower than the amount of electricity received from the distribution network, the difference will be deemed as electricity purchased from the network and will be billed by the the consumer tariff of relevant voltage/level;
- The electricity reflected as a credit in the bill of the final month at the end of the reporting year (from May to May) will be deemed as electricity purchased by the distribution network. Respectively, the company will make the final billing in accordance with the electricity purchase tariff set by the Commission for the distribution license holder.
- After the end of the calendar year, the amount credited to the bill for the electricity supplied to the network may be reflected on your Subscriber’s Card and used for the next bill or upon your request, the company may transfer it to the bank account specified by the customer within three work days.
- In case of a group of customers, the distribution license holder will bill each member of the group individually. Electricity generated by the micro-generating power plant will be distributed equally to the group members, unless otherwise agreed among the group members.
The issues related to renewable energy and energy efficiency are regulated by the Georgian Law on Energy and Water Supply and the regulation adopted by the Parliament of Georgia on Main Directions of State Policy in the Energy Sector of Georgia. In 2016, to promote the renewable energy use, the amendment was made to the Law by which the status of the micro-generating power plant (a renewable energy source owned by retail customer) and its maximum capacity were defined; the law also determined the principles for the supply of electricity generated by micro power plants to the distribution network.
On the basis of these changes, the Commission in its Rules for Electricity (Capacity) Supply and Consumption, defined the status of the Micro-generating Power Plant, terms for connecting it to the distribution network, fees (including VAT) and billing/net-metering rules for retail customers of the micro-generating power plants.