Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Indian Solar Market Aggregation for Rooftops (I-SMART) Program is a GIZ and MNRE supported initiative to help residents, businesses, and governments to take advantage of the range of benefits of rooftop solar. The I-SMART team consists of competitively selected expert consultants with domestic and international experience in rooftop solar markets, as well as thousands of I-SMART volunteers across Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

How does demand aggregation across residential sector work?

Demand aggregation or group purchasing is a way of attracting competitive pricing among rooftop solar by aggregating rooftop solar potential across several customers in order to increase the scale of projects and lower the transaction costs for solar developers. By coordinating between these customers and qualified installers, the I-SMART program would reduce the customer’s burden in navigating the process of purchasing rooftop solar and also benefits installers by providing customer acquisition service.

How much does rooftop solar cost?

The average cost of grid-connected rooftop solar systems is about Rs. 50 per watt or Rs. 5.0 crore per MWp capacity. The accurate cost of rooftop solar installation would depend on the available rooftop space and the unique design requirements for each customer at their facility. I-SMART will help customers to get the best available deal in the market and also ensures to meet high-quality material and design standards for installing the rooftop solar system.

How can I access financial service for installing the rooftop solar?

The Department of Financial Services had instructed all Public Sector Banks (PSBs) to make credit accessible for the residential rooftop solar projects through the Home Loan/Home Improvement Loan lending mechanism. For more information on available financing options please visit the I-SMART website.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering allows a DISCOM customer to be billed based on the electricity consumed from the grid net of electricity fed back into the grid from the rooftop solar system. This means, if a rooftop solar system generates more electricity in a given period of time than the total electricity consumed from the grid, it generates credits, that can count toward future electricity bills or can also be sold back to the DISCOM at a predetermined rate.

How much could I save by going solar?

The average savings that can be generated by installing rooftop solar at your facility depends on several factors, which include the size of the system, solar radiation, quality of the system and the cost of purchasing or leasing equipment. The payback period for a residence with a rooftop solar PV system with 1-10kWp capacity is approximately 6-7 years.

What kind of operation and maintenance does a solar system require?

Rooftop solar is relatively low-maintenance as there are few moving parts, requiring fewer operations and maintenance (O&M) costs than many traditional energy systems. However, solar systems may require annual maintenance to ensure that the system is operating efficiently and reliably. O&M activities may include cleaning, inspection, monitoring and safety, the method of implementing them will be determined by the ownership model (i.e., third-party or direct).

How do I know if my site is suitable?

A suitable solar site requires a range of factors, including a large, open and flat rooftop area that is south facing and unobstructed by objects that may cause shading (e.g., trees). For context, a grid-connected 1kWp rooftop solar system that is free of shade requires approximately 10m2 of the rooftop area and will generate approximately 4-5 units per day. After connecting with a qualified installer through the I-SMART program, you will receive an on-site feasibility assessment to determine if your rooftop is suitable.

How do find the right installer?

Only installations completed by installers empaneled by MNRE will be eligible to receive subsidies. To find a list of empaneled installers in your state, visit the I-SMART website. After registering interest with the I-SMART program, you will have the option of being contacted by empaneled installers or selecting the installers you would be interested in working with. If you have any questions on how to choose the best installer, our trained I-SMART volunteers can help!

I’m interested in rooftop solar! What are the next steps?

Visit to register your interest and the I-SMART team will help connect you with qualified rooftop solar installers in your area.

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