Delhi Solar Plant 4kW

My BSES Electricity Bill After Solar, a 95% Reduction

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I am excited to announce that my first net metered electricity bill is here! At our home in Delhi, we would regularly get electricity bills of Rs. 15,000- 25,000 each month for our floor. Being a joint family, the home is occupied throughout the day and the electricity bills were becoming a major expense. Then in mid 2015, we installed a solar plant on the roof.

Specification of the Solar Plant:

Capacity 4 kWp
Modules 250 Wp x 16, Indian made
Solar Inverter 3.7 kW, 3 phase inverter, Austrian made
System Type Grid Synchronous, net metered
Structure Galvanized iron, Raised by min 6 ft

This January BSES approved net metering for my home and replaced our meter with a two way net meter.

From paying a Rs. 19,000 electricity bill in January 2016, we received a bill of only Rs. 1,406 for February and March combined!

Here are the key aspects of our net metered electricity bill. Refer to the annotation in attached bill image for bullet points below:

  1. The bill was generated for 1.7 months

    BSES Electricity Bill Page 1
    Net Metered BSES Electricity Bill- Page 1
  2. In Delhi, we have slabbed tariffs for the residential sector (Rs. 4, 5.95, 7.3, 8.1 and 8.75 per unit plus taxes). The highest slab inclusive of taxes costs Rs. 10.4 per unit. Our consumption used to consistently go up into the highest tariff slab, but this month, we consumed less than 200 units per month (from the grid) and are in the lowest slab of Rs. 4/unit.
  3. In fact, because we generated less than 200 units in the month, we received the Kejriwal government’s subsidy of Rs. 2/unit. This is a small reward for spending capital to install green and clean energy, our contribution to the environment.
  4. Our net metered electricity bill is less than 5% of our January billing of Rs. 19,100.

    BSES Electricity Bill Page 2
    Net Metered BSES Electricity Bill- Page 2
  5. The reverse page of our electricity bill now has a new section showing net metering details. This shows that after daytime consumption of solar, we exported 435 units of electricity.
  6. We imported only 723 units of electricity in the time period of Feb and March
  7. Our net billed units are (7-5) i.e. 288 units for the nearly two month period.

    BSES Electricity Bill Page 1a
    Net Metered BSES Electricity Bill- MDI
  8. Another interesting point to note is that our maximum demand (MDI) at 5.6 kW is substantially lower than our sanctioned load of 19 kW. This is because when part of the load in the peak daytime is met by solar the kW load on grid is reduced. We will track this closely for a the summer and can decide to reduce our connected load and free up some demand for others on the grid.

Finally, I compared our consumption to another floor in the same building with identical occupancy and consumption patterns for the same season.

  1. As you can see, the floor without solar was billed Rs. 13,450 for March only as compared to Rs. 1,406 for the floor with a solar connection.

    BSES Electricity Bill without Solar
    Bill for Similar Consumption without Solar and Net Metering

So there you have it, the proof is in the pudding. Solar has a dramatic impact on our electricity bills and at this rate our family will get breakeven on our investment in 2-3 years after which the electricity will be completely free, sponsored by the Sun!

Kanika Khanna

Kanika is passionate about data and technology- and writes about how they apply to roof-top solar.

19 thoughts on “My BSES Electricity Bill After Solar, a 95% Reduction

  1. Thank you Tanya, for the detailed analysis of your Electricity usage. It is very impressive.
    You have saved money and the Environment.
    I will keep this as an example for future discussions with my contacts and to explain a practical rationale !

    REGARDS

    Syed Haider

  2. Good to know that, this article need to publish in newspapers and public need to make noise to open up the authorities ear to hear and see the fact
    It may not be possible for Kerala (India)…..

  3. Thanks Kanika for sharing the information. That reiterates the fact solar not only but also economical. Many people are concerned that when would they receive the subsidies from the government. If you have any information on it, you may publish so that people would be encouraged to invest on solar. I believe in addition to this, the party can also avail 80% accelerated depreciation.

    1. Dear Srikanth,
      Thank you for your message. We will do an article sometime in the near future regarding subsidies. However, the happy news and main message is that solar is still viable without subsidies. The plant that I have installed at my house is without subsidy and still I am expecting a breakeven in about 3 years. Accelerated depreciation benefit is available to business and commercial establishments.
      Best
      Kanika

  4. Dear Kanika,

    Nice to hear about the net metered electricity bill savings for you & family. Do you have a solar PV + inverter setup only or also have solar PV + inverter + battery ? That would be interesting to see, with battery integration – how much does it cost and what is the payback period.


    Regards,
    Harsh

    1. Dear Harsh,

      Thank you for your question. We have a Solar PV + Inverter setup, i.e. a grid synchronous system.
      With batteries we lose about 15% of the generation due to battery inefficiencies. Also the cost of the system with batteries will be about 20% higher. Thirdly, batteries need to be replaced every 5 years. Finally with batteries, you cannot guarantee that all the electricity that is possible to be generated will be consumed. For example, if you are out of town and there is no consumption, the batteries will get fully charged and any generation beyond that will be wasted. Considering the additional cost of capital and maintenance associated with a battery system, I estimate that the payback will increase by about 2-4 years.

      Best,
      Team Sunkalp

  5. What was the total amount spent on purchasing and installing the 4kW solar system and the net meter?
    Thanks

  6. Hi Kanika……Thanks for the excellent report you compiled. It was precise and perfect giving enough technical details and listing out the benefits so accrued to the intended consumers. Since, i guess, you are from the industry, you have given a neat analysis of an anecdotal event. This brings cheers to all who wish to join the solar movement.
    Places or major cities like Delhi, Kanpur, Chandigarh, Amristsar, Jammu, Jaipur, Varanasi, Pune, Bangalore & Chennai should bring mandatory rules for using Solar Panels on roof tops of Bungalows having over 1000/or 1250 sq ft plinth area.
    Moreover, the grid synchronous – net metered system was a surprise for me. I am but perplexed on the part of your example/event, where and when you informs on the export of around 400+ units, and imported around 700+ units of electricty. My query (do not take it as a critique) is when you had to import why should you export?
    My submission is that on the theory that one should be completely be independent of the grid. Or one should strive for that as a goal. This import and export business (so to speak)just creates additional technical processes and management structures. And perhaps, transmission losses. You valuable insight would be welcome.
    But no doubt, in the present instance the personal gain of saving 435 units and your well earned money is quite substantial and solid one. Congrats on your good investment and well thought off initiative.
    Once again thanking you for sharing your useful and fruitful experience.
    Would like to hear your comments on this aspect.

  7. Hello Ms.Kanika

    Really it was nice and implementable step in ground reality ,

    but there is some little error to write and it is also important
    that

    which capacity u wrote that is 3.7 w but it should be 3.7 kw

    1. Dear Mr. Gupta,

      Thank you for your kind words and for pointing out the error. It has been fixed. Looking forward to more of your comments and feedback.
      Regards,

  8. Nice information. we all should start using solar power energy which will help to generate free electricity and reduces electricity bills,i am currently using solar panels for my home and i am feeling great because i am contributing towards nature and environment and it also help to generate free electricity and it reduces electricity bill also.i want to thanks for this to Insolergy who gave me such a wonderul solar power project.If you want to install the same you can visit on this site.

  9. Dear Ms Kanika,
    Nice to see your BSES bill with net metering.
    I have also installed 5 kva on grid system on my rooftop. Have applied to BSES for net metering.
    They have given the approval, but installation of net meter is being delayed for unknown reasons.
    Can you guide me how to proceed on the same.

    1. Dear Mr. Mukesh,
      Good to know about your initiative to go solar. BSES has proven to be a forward thinking and professional organization w.r.t. net metering and have done meter replacement very promptly. I would recommend that you check with your installer if they have sent and update to BSES regarding the same and have submitted all the required documents. BSES also sends written communication via mail or post to the addresses provided in the application, kindly check those for any pendancies. You can also call BSES’s helpline number or send a mail to inquire about the status of your application.
      Best,

    1. Dear Sanmit,
      Yes there is, we can accept payments in 12-30 installments. Please contact us at sales[at]sunkalp[dot]com for further assistance.
      Best,
      Team Sunkalp

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