Maharashtra’s Progressive Push for Rooftop Solar: MERC Proposes 2024 Draft Second Amendment Regulation

Posted On - 5 July, 2024 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva


In a bid to further accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has unveiled a draft second amendment to its 2019 regulations on Grid Interactive Rooftop Renewable Energy Generating Systems.[1] Published in May 2024, the proposed amendment introduces a series of progressive measures aimed at simplifying the installation process, expanding the reach of net metering, and promoting collaborative energy generation. This comprehensive analysis delves into the key changes proposed by the MERC and explores their potential impact on Maharashtra’s renewable energy landscape.


  • Virtual Net Metering (VNM) – Empowering Collective Energy Generation:
    • The introduction of Virtual Net Metering is a landmark move that allows multiple residential consumers, including those residing in housing societies, to jointly establish a renewable energy system at a shared location.
    • This innovative mechanism enables the virtual allocation of generated energy to individual consumers based on their respective shares in the system.
    • By fostering collective investment and addressing space limitations for individual rooftop installations, VNM is expected to significantly broaden the reach of rooftop solar.
  • Streamlined Approval Process – Removing Barriers to Adoption:
  • The proposed amendment eliminates the need for technical feasibility studies for rooftop solar systems with a capacity of up to 10kW.
  • This simplification of the approval process is poised to expedite project implementation and reduce administrative burdens on both consumers and distribution licensees.
  • Expanded Scope – Enhancing Flexibility and Accessibility:
    • Under the amended regulations, residential consumers gain the freedom to install renewable energy systems at any location within their distribution licensee’s area of supply.
    • This enhanced flexibility empowers consumers to optimize their installations based on factors such as sunlight exposure and available space.
  • Transparent Energy Accounting and Settlement:
    • The draft amendment outlines comprehensive guidelines for energy accounting and settlement within the VNM framework.
    • These guidelines encompass procedures for crediting surplus energy, carrying forward excess units to subsequent billing cycles, and determining the monetary value of unadjusted credits.
    • This transparent approach ensures fair and equitable energy distribution among participating consumers.
  • Cost of Infrastructure Upgradation – Shared Responsibility:
    • The amendment clarifies that the financial burden of upgrading distribution infrastructure, when necessary to accommodate rooftop solar installations, will be borne by the distribution licensee.
    • By removing this potential cost barrier for consumers, the MERC aims to incentivize greater investment in rooftop solar.
  • Exemption of Open Access Charges – Boosting Financial Viability:
    • To further bolster the financial attractiveness of rooftop solar, the draft regulations propose to waive open access charges and losses for sourcing electricity from renewable energy systems.
    • This exemption will remain in effect until the cumulative installed capacity of rooftop solar reaches 5,000 MW within Maharashtra.


The proposed amendments to Maharashtra’s rooftop solar regulations represent a significant stride towards a more sustainable energy future. By embracing virtual net metering, streamlining approval processes, and expanding the scope of installations, the MERC is actively fostering an environment conducive to the widespread adoption of rooftop solar.

Furthermore, the regulations’ focus on transparent energy accounting, equitable cost-sharing, and financial incentives demonstrates a commitment to making rooftop solar accessible and viable for a wider range of consumers.

The MERC has actively sought feedback and suggestions from stakeholders regarding the draft amendments. Once these inputs are incorporated, the final regulations are anticipated to be formally notified in the near future.