In the face power outages in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi is set to penalise discoms in a big way. While that is music to the ears of the common citizen who is bothered by frequent electricity disruptions, the discoms themselves, starting at huge new potential losses are crying foul. Here is all you want to know about the scorching issue:
1. According to DERC, discoms will have to pay anything between Rs 50-Rs 100 to citizens and that too on hourly basis for unscheduled electricity cuts.
2. The state’s power regulator DERC has amended the relevant regulations, making it obligatory for Delhi’s 3 private power distribution companies (discoms), BSES Rajdhani, BSES Yamuna and Tata Power DDL, to compensate the customers for power outages beyond specified duration.
3. DERC has outlined nine possible events of power outages for which discoms would be held responsible and pay compensation.
4. The standard time frame for rectifying such faults without them taking a hit has also been outlined. For example, roster load shedding could be carried out in a particular area for not more than two hours at a stretch; beyond this period, the consumer will be compensated. The compensation for the consumer will be at the rate of Rs 50 per hour for the first two hours of default and Rs 100 for each additional hour.
5. Discoms will pay compensation to the affected consumers by way of adjustment against current and future bills within 90 days of failure of the licensee to meet the guaranteed standards of performance, according to DERC order.
However, implementation will be difficult. Here are some points revealed by discoms:
1. Identifying the exact time period of power outage would require installation of smart meters for all consumers and this could escalate costs as in Delhi, around 50 lakh meters would need to be replaced. Cost of a typical smart meter is six to eight times that of the meters being installed today.
2. Section 57 of the Electricity Act, 2003, required that before determination of compensation, the concerned licensee should be given reasonable opportunity to be heard. The commission will have to determine if, how and to what extent the person has been affected.
3. Compensation would have to be determined on a case by case basis after a proper hearing and an automatic imposition of compensation by way of regulation was not possible.
4. Several scenarios could lead to power cuts but were beyond discoms’ control. For example, even kite flying could result in disruption of 33/66 KV lines and snap power supply to over 10,000 consumers, one of them said.
5. Civic authorities, while performing underground tasks, often cut cables by mistake and that too leads to power outage.