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Significant advancements by DISCOMs in integrated and consumer service ratings

April 19, 2023 3:32 pm

Significant advancements by DISCOMs in integrated and consumer service ratings

The Review Planning and Monitoring (RPM) meeting with states and state power utilities was presided over by R. K. Singh, Union Minister for Power and NRE, which was held on April 10 and 11, 2023, in New Delhi.

R.K. Singh underlined the significance of a viable and contemporary power sector to the nation’s overall economic development. He emphasised that for India to become a developed country, there must be a 24×7 supply of high-quality, reliable, and reasonably priced electricity for all of the nation’s electrical consumers. It was noted that the majority of DISCOMs have begun carrying out the reform measures outlined by the Ministry of Power under its several efforts, including the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), Additional Prudential Norms, and Late Payment Surcharge (LPS) Rules 2022.

It was informed that many electricity regulatory commissions issued their tariff orders on time this year and also implemented the Fuel and Power Purchase Cost Adjustment (FPPCA) into effect. It was emphasised that for DISCOMs to be profitable, tariffs must be cost-reflective, and regulatory commissions must adopt practical loss reduction trajectories. The minister said that the Late Payment Surcharge Rules 2022, announced by the Ministry in June 2022, have benefited both DISCOMs and GENCOs.

The Minister also stressed the significance of accurate accounting for subsidies. He emphasised that the only way to deal with the problems of delayed billing and insufficient payments is with smart prepaid metres.

During the meeting, the Integrated Web Portal for Power Distribution Sector Schemes’ RDSS module was also unveiled. The platform will completely change the monitoring all distribution sector initiatives are monitored. This ground-breaking technology will provide transparency and efficiency by providing real-time updates and insights into the execution of power distribution schemes, including RDSS. On this occasion, it was also unveiled the State Energy Efficiency Index for 2022, the Second Consumer Service Rating of DISCOMs for 2022, and the Eleventh Integrated Rating of Power Distribution Utilities for 2022.

The 24 DISCOMs’ integrated ratings have increased from last year’s ratings. The performance of four DISCOMs, including MESCOM, CHESCOM, GESCOM, and AP Eastern DISCOM, has improved noticeably by three notches. Additionally, eight DISCOMs—MSEDCL, APDCL, Ajmer, KSEB, HESCOM, BESCOM, and Odisha South and Odisha North Discoms—have seen a two-notch improvement in their ratings. Similar to this, 24 DISCOMs’ consumer service ratings have increased over last year’s ratings.

The status of progress in the States under the RDSS was reviewed. The programme aims to increase operational effectiveness and ensure the sector’s financial viability. The Minister also examined how DISCOMs performed in relation to the RDSS Pre-Qualification Criteria and other important factors, such as subsidies and energy accounting, etc.

The states have been urged to execute the plan as soon as possible. The states have also been told to make sure that no consumer would be penalised for higher loads discovered after the installation of prepaid smart metres, and billing can be done based on actual loads with the recovery of prior arrears (if any) being done in stages.

Also emphasised was the necessity of ensuring adequate resource availability in terms of generation capacity to meet the rising demand for power. It was suggested to perform planned maintenance while demand was low. In order to meet the nation’s rising need for electricity, investments in electricity generation were required. A seamless transition to a financially successful and environmentally sustainable power sector in the nation will be made possible by the combined efforts of all stakeholders, including state and central government, utilities, and industry.

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