In a bottoms-up approach to fulfil its UDAY promise of arresting the burgeoning AT&C losses, the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPPCL) has formed a task force to conduct an extensive energy audit on all the 14,000 feeders in the state. It has engaged an external agency, RECPTCL, as a consultant for the project. As part of the feeder-tagging exercise, energy flow to each of the 9,000 rural and 5,000 urban feeders would be measured by installing meters on all of them to check input and output of energy on them. Every feeder will have a junior engineer (JE) as its in-charge. Giving details, a senior UPPPCL official said the exercise would entail a “flowering approach”, wherein the JE in charge of the feeder would have to ensure that all the consumers attached to his feeder are metered.
“One of our biggest challenge is the high AT&C losses due to poor repair and maintenance of equipment, theft, pilferage and meter tampering. To begin with, each JE has been asked to ensure that every household attached to his feeder is a metered one and ensure that every unmetered connection is regularised and metered. In case people are still unwilling to take a connection, the JE has been authorised to conduct raids and disconnect illegal connections. He has been made accountable to ensure that not a single consumer on his feeder remains unmetered or draws power illegally.,” he said, adding that it would also check if there is any overloading on the feeders.
Stating that the ‘flowering approach’ concept is unique, the official said it was very important to conduct feeder-wise energy audit and monitor the losses as that is the root cause of energy loss. As part of the exercise, meters would be installed on all the feeders as well as transformers, which would calculate both the input and output of energy and monitor the losses. “The process to train the lower staff has already begun at the Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nagam discom and would be replicated in other discoms soon,” said another official.
Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation has 1.70 crore consumers at present, of which approximately 80,000 are unmetered. “Rural metering is almost nil. As a result, there is no estimation of how much energy is being consumed and how many ‘katia’ connections we have. In urban areas too, a large number of meters are defective. To top it, almost 25% meters are not attended to by meter readers on a month-on-month basis. So, it is very difficult to co-relate out-go of power from transformers with the energy consumed,” said the official.
In the absence of efficient energy audit, controlling UP’s AT&C losses would remain a distant dream. At present AT&C losses run up to a whopping 33%. Under UDAY, UP has a target to reduce AT&C losses to 19.36% by FY19 and 14.86% by FY20-end. “It is a Herculean task. And the decision to conduct energy audit is probably the first effective step in that direction,” said the official. Unmetered consumption of electricity is one of the major reasons behind high loss levels in the state and hence, utmost importance is being given by the state government to install meters where supply is unmetered.