Power distribution loss still high across many states

 ICRA has observed an improvement in distribution loss levels for discoms in 12 states in the period FY 2007 – FY 2013 while a deterioration or limited progress in reducing loss levels has been seen in five states and in the remaining two states, loss levels have remained almost unchanged. Despite this improvement, the distribution losses remain relatively high in a majority of the states – with discoms in 10 states showing losses higher than 20 per cent loss in FY 2013.
Discoms which have seen a deterioration or limited progress in reducing loss levels are in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Odisha – where the loss levels in FY 2013 remained significantly higher as compared with the national average. ICRA estimates average all India AT&C loss levels in the range of 27 per cent for FY 2013. This is significantly higher than what is targeted and points to a considerable scope for reduction in loss levels. The distribution segment of power sector is predominantly state owned and the private owned distribution utilities account for about 7-8 per cent of the energy demand in the country. As against the state-owned utilities, operational efficiency levels for most of the private owned distribution utilities have remained relatively better which is largely on account of favourable demographic profile with limited mix of agricultural consumption, implementation of adequate capex for strengthening of distribution network and better operational focus and practices followed.

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