The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) together with the USAID/West Africa Energy Program, (WAEP) engaged some selected Stakeholders of the Commission in a one-day workshop on Monday, December 19, 2022, in Accra. The engagement aimed to educate these selected stakeholders on the Commission’s Quarterly Tariff Adjustment (QTA) Guidelines and the Net Metering Guidelines.
These stakeholders included Civil Society Organizations, the Media, the Energy Foundation, the Association of Ghana Industry, the Energy Commission, and the Consumer Protection Agency, among others.
The Executive Secretary of the PURC, Dr. Ishmael Ackah in his opening remarks disclosed that the Commission will introduce net metering next year. Net metering is an arrangement whereby contracted customers feed excess renewable energy into the national grid. Dr. Ackah explained that “under this system, customer-generators are credited in kWh for electricity supplied to the grid. This will be done in close collaboration with the Energy Commission in the identification of 35 Customer-Generators.” So far, Net Meters have been installed for all Customers but in series with their existing Prepayment and Postpaid meters. These meters will be configured to be read remotely and electronically.
On his part, Ing. Bernard Mordey, on behalf of the Chief Party of West Africa Energy Program (WAEP), Ms. Adaku Ufere, expressed the program’s profound gratitude to the PURC for coming out with Net Metering guidelines for the first time to serve as an incentive for private sector participation in generating electricity from various renewable sources.
Ing. Mordey explained that the Program and PURC is working to increase supply and access to affordable and reliable electricity. According to Ing. Mordey, “Net metering guidelines is welcome as it would encourage private sector investments in the renewables”. The net metering will help increase supply of electricity whilst reducing cost of fuel in generating electricity.
The Principal Manager in charge of Regulatory Economics at the PURC, Mr. Robert Saka Addo made a presentation on PURC Tariff Setting Guidelines. Mr. Addo took participants through the Commission’s Quarterly Tariff Adjustment (QTA) Guidelines. The QTA enables the Commission to reflect changes in macroeconomic variables in the operations of utility service providers. These variables are the inflation rate, foreign exchange rate, and the cost of natural gas, electricity, and water supply. The QTA further helps to minimize the impact of these uncontrollable factors on the cost of natural gas, electricity & water provision and to ensure the delivery of quality services to consumers.
Mr. Addo further explained that, the Net Metering Guidelines approved by the PURC shall consist of a price (capacity and energy charges in GHp/kWh) for energy exchange (kWh) between the Customer-generator and the distribution utility and shall be valid for the duration of the Net Metering Agreement.
The Net Metering Quantity shall be determined from the energy produced by the Customer-generator and the energy supplied by the distribution utility company to the Customer-generator. Eligible Customers under the Net Metering Scheme shall be classified into three categories namely Residential Customers, Non-Residential Customers, and Industrial Customers.
The Net Metering Credit shall take the form of Net Metering quantity (kWh) to the Customer-generator if there is net energy exported to the distribution grid and charged to the customer-generator if there is net energy imported from the Distribution Grid. Net Metering Credits shall attract the prevailing rate approved by the PURC to ensure rate uniformity for all qualified net metering customers at any given time. Distribution Utilities shall apply for the net metering credits against (per-kWh) charges on a customer-generator’s bill per PURC prevailing rate structure.