First and Foremost, given the varying prices of renewable energy systems, the CEB recommends prospective Prosumers to perform a financial assessment of their Project before making a decision.
1. What is the Green Energy Scheme for Cooperatives?
As part of a pilot project, the CEB plans to integrate a total of 100 kW of Small-Scale Distributed Generation (SSDG) using photovoltaic (PV) technologies, from the Cooperative Sector, in the Mauritian grid and 25 kW in Rodrigues.
In this new SSDG Scheme, titled Green Energy Scheme for Cooperatives, customers generating electricity using solar energy will offset their monthly energy imported from the grid, if any, with the energy, generated by their PV installations, exported to the grid and bank (store) any excess energy in the grid, in the form of kilowatt-hour (kWh) credits. The credits shall be used when the customer's system is not generating enough electricity to meet her/his demand.
For the purpose of the CEB's SSDG and related Schemes, an electricity consumer having installed a distributed generation system, especially a renewable energy system, to produce partly or fully her/his monthly electricity requirements, shall henceforth be referred as a Prosumer.
Note: Application for the Scheme will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
2. How does the Green Energy Scheme for Cooperatives Work?
This new Scheme enables qualifying customers to offset the quantity of energy (kWh) produced and exported to the grid by their PV SSDG Systems with their imported energy from the grid. The table below gives a simple example of the functioning of the Net-Metering principle under this Scheme.
All installations will be equipped with one production meter and one import/export meter. Prosumers are advised to verify the meters regularly so as to ensure consistency with statement of accounts.
If a Prosumer takes more electricity from the CEB than she/he has sent into the grid, the quantity imported in excess of the quantity exported will first be reduced by any quantity of energy already in balance, if any, before the final energy charge is raised.
For example, as shown in the table above, in April, the excess 130 (150 minus 20 - figures in red) kWh imported is reduced by the 50 kWh already in balance in March; hence only the remainder 80 (130 minus 50 - figures in blue) kWh is billed.
If the customer generates more electricity than she/he has consumed, the excess electricity generated is credited to its energy account. The balance carried forward, for example the 150 kWh (orange cell in above table) is used to adjust energy transactions in successive billings.
It is to be noted that a minimum charge amount is payable even if the net energy (kWh) for billing is zero. The minimum charge represents the cost of servicing the Prosumer's accounts. It includes, among others, CEB's costs of operating and maintaining power generation facilities and electric network, administrative costs, customer service costs and a large pool of fixed charges.
Note: The minimum charge is applicable only if the energy charge is lower than the minimum charge itself. Hence, only one charge is applicable at a time, whichever is higher.
Surplus energy, banked into the grid, may be set off against payment only upon closing of the Prosumer account. The compensation for the surplus energy shall be made at the overall marginal cost (MC) of production of conventional electricity generation for each unit traded. The MC shall be the latest estimated MC available at the time of the closing of the Prosumer electricity account. Prosumers are strongly advised to seek information on the payment for excess energy with CEB’s Customer Service Staff.
3. What are the benefits of the Green Energy Scheme for Cooperatives?
Under this Scheme, a Prosumer will have the following benefits:
By entering into this Scheme, a Prosumer will reduce her/his monthly payment for electricity. The savings on the electricity payments to the CEB can be used to pay for the investment made in the acquisition of the renewable energy system. However, the recovery of the investment made in the renewable energy system can vary drastically. The larger the quantity of electricity saved per month, the shorter the payback period for the investment. The payback period will be significantly different if a loan is contracted for the investment in the renewable energy installation. The table below gives the recommended typical size of solar PV installation, which will be allowed under the present Scheme, for different consumption levels.
Figures in this table are purely indicative
Note: The quantity of electricity that a Prosumer can save will depend on the annual quantity of electricity that she/he is buying from the CEB. Therefore, low electricity consuming customers may be better off by continuing to buy the subsidized electricity from the CEB. Please seek the advice of a CEB Customer Service Staff or a qualified person in the field prior to enrolling into the Scheme.
Prospective Prosumers will benefit the energy storage capacity of the grid at no cost; thus they will not have to invest in a costly battery energy storage system. Qualified Prosumers will be able to generate their electricity during the day from the solar PV source, and store excess into the grid for use in the evening and at night or even for future uses free of charge from the CEB if necessary.
The Cooperative shall receive a grant of Rs 10,000/kWp for a maximum of 5kWp disbursed by the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives (Cooperatives Division), following installation of the PV by the cooperative and commissioning by the Central Electricity Board.
In addition to monetary gains, this Scheme gives Prosumers who have the investment willingness and ability an extended opportunity to contribute in the preservation of the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels. They will also be supporting the sustainable development of the power system by contributing to defer investment in additional power generation capacity. The latter is however dependent on achieving the critical mass in due course.
4. Conditions of the Green Energy Scheme for Cooperatives ?
After taking due cognizance of active SSDG Scheme(s) available at the CEB, prospective Prosumers should duly fill and submit the relevant application form at the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives (Cooperatives Division), 3rd Floor, LIC Centre, John Kennedy Street, Port Louis for Cooperatives in Mauritius and Commission for Child Development and Others (Cooperatives Division), Human Resource Development Centre, Malabar for Cooperatives in Rodrigues.
A copy of the application form can be obtained from:
- Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives (Cooperatives Division), 3rd Floor, LIC Centre, John Kennedy Street, Port Louis
- Website of the Ministry: http://cooperatives.govmu.org
- Regional Cooperative Centres
- Commission for Child Development and Others (Cooperatives Division), Human Resource Development Centre, Malabar, Rodrigues
- CEB Customer Service Offices
- SSDG Unit, Central Electricity Board, Curepipe
- CEB Website: http://ceb.intnet.mu
Prospective Prosumers must have an active electricity CEB account in their names at the proposed SSDG sites.
Cooperative societies that have leased building or land for their operation shall provide written permission of the owner(s) for installing the SSDG on their building/land for the lease period. The consent letter should be submitted with their application.
Prosumers are required to pay the applicable processing fee for processing of the application at the CEB. Prosumers are advised to seek the support of a qualified person in the field for filling the application form.
The capacity of the PV System to be installed should not exceed 5 kWp. PV System above 5 kWp will not be accepted. Prospective Prosumers are strongly advised to seek information from a qualified person in the field prior to engaging into the Scheme. The SSDG Unit officers may also be contacted for information.
PV SSDG installations should fully comply with all conditions set out in the applicable SSDG Grid Code and its future amendments.
Electricity contract accounts of eligible Prosumers are classified under the appropriate Prosumer Category upon commissioning of the PV installations.
Prospective Prosumers should not have already benefitted grid-access for an SSDG installation under a previous Scheme.
Prospective Prosumers cannot not install more than one SSDG installation on the same premises.
Electricity rates are applied on the metered total net energy on a monthly basis. The electricity tariff applicable to Prosumers shall be in accordance with the tariff schedules defined for Prosumers (see Tariff Schedules)
Prosumers have to pay either the applicable Minimum Charge or the Energy Charge, whichever is higher, in case there is net energy imported.
The Minimum Charge is also payable when the net import/export energy for the month is zero or when there is net export.
For administrative, accounting and good practices, the payable minimum charge and other charges (TV license, meter rental and communication fees) will not be set off against energy (kWh) balance.
Prosumers have to give full and free access to CEB officers to the SSDG installation and meters at all times.
Prosumers have to satisfy all other billing requirements and pay all relevant charges, including the applicable SSDG connection fee.
Prosumers should ensure that payments of all payable charges are made within given dates to avoid the disconnection of the RE system, including the electricity supply, to the premises from the grid. Failing to remedy after a period of cure, the Prosumer account will be permanently closed, entailing cancellation of the connection agreement. Accordingly, the Prosumer will be removed from the Scheme.
The installation of the SSDG system shall be completed within a period not exceeding nine months as from the date of the letter of intent.
Prospective Prosumers have to fill up an implementation schedule (submitted together with the letter of intent) whereby they shall provide a tentative date for the installation to be completed and sign a form to ascertain ownership of the site or submit a written approval from relevant owners if needed.
The prospective Prosumer has to submit proof of order placed with the supplier/manufacturer within three months of being issued the letter of intent.
Prospective Prosumers agree and sign a legally-binding Connection Agreement with the CEB, after submitting the proof of order placed.
Prospective Prosumers/Suppliers have to submit a duly signed 'Certificate of Installation' and the as-made drawing, following completion of the SSDG installation.
5. Who is eligible for the Green Energy Scheme for Cooperatives?
- Beneficiaries should be duly registered cooperative societies or cooperative federations with the
- Registrar of Cooperative Societies.
- The cooperative should be active.
- The cooperative should satisfy other criteria of the SSDG Net Metering Scheme.
Note: Application from prospective Prosumers who are in litigation with the CEB will not be accepted.
6. How to apply for the Green Energy Scheme for Cooperatives?
The duly filled application form together with all relevant documentation requested, as per the checklist in the application form, should be submitted in person to:
For cooperative societies in Mauritius:
The Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives (Cooperatives Division), 3rd Floor, LIC Centre, John Kennedy Street, Port Louis.
For cooperative societies in Rodrigues:
Commission for Child Development and Others (Cooperatives Division), Human Resource Development Centre, Malabar.
Upon receipt of the application form from the Ministry, the CEB will charge the cooperative society a processing fee of Rs. 375. The processing fee shall be raised on the electricity bill of the applicant or paid at any CEB Cash Office as agreed by the cooperative society.
Given a number of technical issues to be addressed when filling the form, Prosumers should seek the support of a qualified person in the field when filling the form. Insufficient and incorrect information provided in the form may substantially delay the processing or non-consideration for further processing of the application.
Payment of the processing fee does not guarantee registration into the Scheme.
Prospective Prosumers are requested to keep the original of the notification safely for reference purposes.
7. Important Advice to Prospective Prosumers
Be very careful when soliciting third party support. Contact the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives Representative or the SSDG Unit staff if you are not very sure.
Seek support from knowledgeable people who can help to assess the financial viability of your investment in the PV system.
Submit all documentation, as per the checklist in the application form, with the application at the Ministry of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives (Cooperatives Division), 3rd Floor, LIC Centre, John Kennedy Street, Port Louis for cooperatives in Mauritius or Commission for Child Development and Others (Cooperatives Division), Human Resource Development Centre, Malabar for Cooperatives in Rodrigues.
Engage in payment for equipment only after the letter of intent has been issued.
Always ensure security of your PV installation.
Carry out regular maintenance of your system with the support of a technically qualified person or the supplier of the equipment.
Do not intervene in the installation. This may be very dangerous and may even cause death.
Seek CEB's intervention whenever required.
Ensure full compliance, at all times, with the Grid Code and its future amendments and the Connection Agreement.
Modification of the setup of the PV installation, without CEB's consent, will result in an automatic disconnection of the installation from the CEB's network and cancellation of the Connection Agreement.
Customers who do not own a premise/building should obtain a written consent of the owner(s) for installing the SSDG on their building for the lease period. The consent letter should be submitted with their application.