By Ruth Simón Fermosell
Law 20,571 began with its promulgation in March 2012. After being known, it received the name "Net Billing", because the electricity consumed and injected are valued at different rates. After its promulgation, the entry into force of this law was subject to the publication of its Regulations, which would establish the security and implementation conditions for the connection to the network and the injection of the NCRE.
This law regulates the payment of electricity rates for Residential and commercial Generators with a capacity of up to 100 KW, to fill a legal vacuum that existed in the field of small distributed generation means that use non-conventional renewable energies (NCRE) as small business and residential. Of all the existing low voltage tariffs, BT1 is the most common and is used mainly for residential consumption in the country.
The BT1 rate is defined as: "simple residential type low voltage rate, for customers with a simple energy meter and connected power of less than 10kW".
It is the only electricity tariff where the charge for energy consumed in kWh includes the costs of installed demand and the costs of using the transmission system in the same value, not differentiating between power and energy.
This type of rate is applied nationwide and its value varies according to the distributor with which the supply contract is held.
The injections carried out will be valued at the price that the distribution companies pass on to their customers in accordance with the regulated prices set by decree, which must include the lowest energy losses. For a BT1 customer it means that the surpluses will have a value of only approximately 50% of the value at which the electricity is purchased from the distributor.
This differs from the original draft of the Project, which proposed a remuneration equivalent to the cost of the distribution company to deliver said electricity, minus the 10% corresponding to administration, billing and maintenance expenses of the distribution lines.
Even so, individuals who have photovoltaic panels installed in their home are noticing the difference in the bill.
In homes and companies, a bidirectional meter will be installed, which not only counts the energy consumption in the home, it will also read how much has been injected into the network, which is multiplied by the corresponding rate and deducted from the bill. With this system, depending on the size of the house or company and the size of the photovoltaic system installed, it can be compensated by taking the amount to zero. According to experts, the rate that the one who sells the surplus will receive may be half of what he pays for his consumption, the electricity companies will buy, as has already been explained, the energy about half the value at which they sell it.
Relations between customers and users will be supervised by the Superintendency of Electricity and Fuels with the aim that the possibility of selling electricity to those who have surplus is not limited. The new Law promotes the use of non-conventional renewable energies and efficient cogeneration systems, which is in line with the country's objective of moving towards a more sustainable and diversified energy matrix.
Law 20,571 for Distributed Generation enters into force. The measure called -Net Billing- democratizes generation and also encourages the use of unconventional energy.