Ministry of Power instructed electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) to take up energy accounting on a periodic basis. It informed that distribution companies would now be required to undertake quarterly energy accounting through a certified energy manager within sixty days. It must provide detailed information on consumption and consumption patterns among different categories of consumers.
The finding would be made available in public domain.
The development comes in the backdrop of a potential energy crisis in the country.
"Energy accounting on periodic basic and subsequent annual energy audit, would help to identify areas of high loss and pilferage, and thereafter focussed efforts to take corrective action, " the release stated. It added that the measure would help India's objectives as listed out in Paris Agreement Goals.
The recently announced regulations were pre-published in April this year for public opinion.
India's overall AT&C losses stand at 24.45 per cent, NITI Aayog had stated in its report on the power distribution sector published in August this year. The concept of aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C) is used to determine the energy losses in a particular context. It takes into account technical reasons for losses, such as inefficiency, faults and billing, along with commercial factors such as payment defaults and inefficient collection mechanisms.
Crisis in waiting?
Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday wrote to the centre requesting intervention to bail out the state from a potential blackout. Last week, Utkal Chamber Of Commerce & Industry (UCCL) had written to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to ensure an uninterrupted supply of coal as their units stare at a dry-out.
The coal shortage follows a severe spike in electricity demand following the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. ICRA informs that electricity demand in India, during April to September this year, rose 12.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis to 707 billion units. With severe lockdowns, the coal stock-up took a serious hit as mining operations were halted. This was followed by monsoons which typically bothers mining operations rendering them unsafe. This is particularly true of eastern India, Jharkhand and Odisha are amongst the largest coal producers in the country.