Ministry of Power
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

Union Power and New Renewable Energy Minister releases 3rd Edition of Consumer Service Ratings of DISCOMs; Uttar Pradesh’s NPCL and Delhi’s BRPL, BYPL and TPDDL get A+ Rating

Powerthon 2024, a Startup Incubation Programme for Solving Discoms’ Problems Launched

Power and NRE Minister releases Electricity Distribution Network Planning Criteria formulated by Central Electricity Authority

Two-Day Review Planning and Monitoring meeting of power sector lays focus on further improving viability of power sector in meeting growing power demand

Posted On: 19 JAN 2024 8:54PM by PIB Delhi

The Review Planning & Monitoring (RPM) meeting of power sector, with states and state power utilities was held in New Delhi on 18th & 19th January, 2024, under the chairpersonship of Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Shri R. K. Singh. Secretary (Power), Govt of India; Secretary (MNRE), Govt of India; Additional Chief Secretaries / Secretaries / Principal Secretaries (Power/ Energy) of States and CMDs of State Power Utilities participated in the meeting.

During the meeting, the Minister launched the third edition of the Consumer Service Ratings of DISCOMs, covering performance of DISCOMs for FY 2022-23. As per the Ratings, NPCL (Uttar Pradesh), BRPL (Delhi), BYPL (Delhi) and TPDDL (Delhi) have achieved A+ (highest) ranking among all the 62 rated DISCOMs in the country. The report captures the current status of consumer services across various DISCOMs. The report will steer healthy competition amongst the DISCOMs and nudge them to improve upon the key services rendered to consumers. The report can be accessed here. A video on the report can be watched here.

The Minister also launched Powerthon 2024, which will enable budding startups and entrepreneurs having concepts and ideas for solving key problems of power DISCOMs to participate in an incubation programme, wherein they will have an opportunity to seek overall guidance, resources and nurturing by established domestic incubators to build prototypes. Here is a video on Powerthon 2024.

The Minister also released Electricity Distribution Network Planning Criteria formulated by Central Electricity Authority, encompassing different aspects of distribution planning processes at Sub-Transmission & distribution level including introduction of smart technologies.

Addressing the power sector stakeholders, the Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy remarked that power sector of the country has come a long way, with average daily availability of power supply in rural areas up from 12.5 hours per day in 2015-16 to ~21 hours. Similarly, hours of supply in urban areas improved to 23.8 hours per day from 20 hours in 2015-16. Electricity Shortage is now history, said the Minister.

Shri Singh said that the sector achieved many milestones through joint efforts which were not expected to have been achieved. 29 million households were electrified. AT&C Losses have been reduced from 27% in 2014-15 to 15.41% in 2023. However, he expressed his concern over increase in ACS-ARR gap from Rs. 0.15 per unit to Rs. 0.45 per unit in last one year. In this regard, distribution utilities were directed to make concerted efforts to become viable, or else, there might be challenges in attracting investments in the future.

The Minister highlighted the importance of ensuring resource adequacy for continued economic growth of the country to become a developed nation. He raised concerns about gratuitous load shedding by some DISCOMs in the country and mentioned that load shedding is not an option. He emphasized that consumers have the right to 24 x7 reliable power supply and need to be compensated as per Rules in case of load shedding.

The Minister stated that agricultural feeder segregation is beneficial for both farmers as well as DISCOMs and requires implementation in mission mode. He said that this is the need of the hour, in order to shift agricultural load to day light hours. This will have benefits in terms of cheaper power and reduced burden of subsidy on State Governments. States were directed to expeditiously submit their proposals for sanction.

The Minister appreciated efforts of states in expeditious survey and works under PM-JANMAN mission.

Emphasis was laid on increasing Roof Top Solar installations in the country and various interventions required from States / DISCOMs as well as Central Government for simplifying Roof Top Solar installation were discussed in detail.

The Minister emphasised on readiness to meet the anticipated increase in demand with the onset of summer season. It was suggested to take these challenges and push for early completion of projects.

The Minister pointed out that tariffs should be reflective of cost of supply and should be up to date and, it was further suggested that realistic / prudent loss reduction trajectories should be adopted by Regulatory Commissions to ensure viability of DISCOMs. He emphasised on the importance of correct subsidy accounting by the DISCOMs and timely payment of subsidy and Government dues by respective State Governments. DISCOMs were advised to undertake prepaid Smart Metering and on priority for Government offices, to overcome the issue of outstanding Government Department dues.

Other Highlights of the meeting

  1. States to ensure that the tariffs orders are issued on time and are cost reflective. This would ensure DISCOMs remain viable and are able to provide quality power supply. For this, States should ensure that the gap between the cost of supply and the revenue realised is brought to zero.
  2. Gratuitous load-shedding is not permitted and the consumers to get compensated for load-shedding by DISCOMs.
  3. States to ensure that the DISCOMs make efforts to meet the global standards in Supply of power by reduction of both frequency and duration of interruptions.
  4. States to ensure tying up adequate generation capacity for meeting the growing electricity demands based on future projections as our economy is growing at a fast pace. To meet the demand, the generation capacity addition has to be ensured on priority by bringing fresh investments in power projects. States also to ensure that projects under implementation are also completed as per timelines.
  5. States should implement infrastructure works in distribution sector under RDSS on priority to improve their reliability in supply of power.
  6. Smart prepaid meters are a win-win situation for both consumers and for the DISCOMS and should be taken up on priority by all the States. It empowers the consumers to have control over their electricity expenses and also helps to reduce the losses for the DISCOMs and makes them viable.
  7. States to take up Roof Top Solar in mission mode where DISCOMs should play a major role and also bring about simplification in their processes.
  8. States to take up Agriculture feeder-separation on priority and take up their solarisation under PM KUSUM.
  9. States to shift agriculture power supply to Solar hours by 31.03.2024 so as to ease the life of farmers and also to bring down the cost of supply of power.
  10. Electricity is one subject where entire India is unified, being generated in one State and distributed in multiple States.
  11. States were advised to partner with CPSEs to leverage benefits of Pumped Storage potential. The state-wise status of projects was reviewed in detail. States were advised to avoid levy of any cess or taxes on Pumped Storage Plants.
  12. All the States/ UTs were advised to complete their Resource Adequacy Studies/ Plans by March, 2024 for the first 10 year rolling period: 2024-25 to 2033- 34. The Minister emphasized that Resource Adequacy Planning is designed to achieve the objective of faster growth in generation capacity so that available capacity remains ahead of the projected demand.
  13. It was noted that yearly average SAIDI (Supply Interruption Duration) and SAIFI (Supply Interruption Frequency) of most developed countries is under 1 hour and 1 interruption. DISCOMs were advised to aspire for this level of power reliability which is also in the spirit of Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules and to make load shedding a thing of the past.
  14. State-wise Stability of power supply and key interventions under MNRE like PM-KUSUM, developing Green Hydrogen ecosystem in the country and promoting usage of energy efficient appliances like BLDC fans, superefficient ACs etc. were also discussed in detail. A presentation was also made by Maharashtra on the best practices in successful implementation of PM-KUSUM
  15. States were asked to take up 100% of segregation of agricultural feeders on priority and subsequently solarisation of segregated agricultural feeders.
  16. Implementation status of RDSS was reviewed in the meeting. The status of tendering/ award and progress of works sanctioned under RDSS was reviewed for all the participating DISCOMs. DISCOMs were directed to expedite implementation of works and ensure quality of works being undertaken under the scheme. The Power Minister directed States to submit DPRs for modernization and system augmentation for sanction at the earliest.
  17. A presentation was made by Assam on the successful implementation of the Smart meter project under RDSS. The State also highlighted the challenges and the approach adopted in the implementation of the same. Further, the State also highlighted that the implementation of the Smart Meter has proved to be a win-win situation for both the consumers and the DISCOMs and would contribute significantly to bringing about financial viability of the DISCOMs in the long run. The State presented that with installation of just 10.5 lakh smart meters, AT&C losses have reduced from 17.9% to 8.6% in 100 feeders where these meters have been installed. Also, consumers have been able to save ~Rs 400 per month on account of energy saved after installation of prepaid smart meters.
  18. During presentation on Solar Capacity Addition, the Union Minister directed that the States have to comply with the renewable purchase obligation (RPOs) trajectory and non-compliance will be penalised under Energy Conservation Act. The shortfall can be met by purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates. The penalty for not meeting the RPO will be heavy.
  19. It was advised that Distributed Renewable Energy Resources like Roof Top Solar, PM KUSUM may be pursued on priority as it would not need any evacuation system. It would also reduce the cost of supply for the DISCOMS. The States were also directed to resolve the issues which are currently delaying the Solar-based Projects.

Also read: Two-day Review, Planning and Monitoring (RPM) Meeting of Power Sector being held in New Delhi

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PIB DELHI | Alok Mishra / Dheep Joy Mampilly



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