New Delhi: RK Singh, Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, has directed state governments to monitor the performance of power distribution companies (DISCOMs) and generation companies (GENCOs) and ensure billing efficiency of 87 percent and collection efficiency of 97 percent. "Ministers and senior officers of states should regularly review and monitor the performance of discoms and generation companies to see that the energy accounts have been prepared, billing efficiency is above 87 percent, collection efficiency is above 97 percent. Only then will accountability come into the system and the system will get maintained and get better," said Singh.
Outlining the roadmap for the same, the minister said that the first necessary step is to fix the electricity tariff regularly, which means that it has to be fixed in the beginning of March of every year, before the financial year begins. Second, the tariff has to be cost-reflective. States can give whatever subsidy they want, but the subsidy has to be paid for, said Singh.
Singh delivered closing remarks at the end of a National Conference of Power and Renewable Energy Ministers of States and UTs on November 7 and expressed satisfaction on the outcomes of the conference. He said that the State Power and New & Renewable Energy Ministers’ conference should be held once in every quarter.
According to the Power Ministry, Singh asked state governments to shift the agricultural load to solar hours and save thermal power for the non-solar hours. "States should develop a plan during the next two-to-three months to optimise the mix of solar and non-solar hours power," said the statement.
"Modern India does not resort to load shedding. To ensure this, State GENCOS should endeavour to run their power plants at full capacity. Maintenance /overhaul of power plants must be completed before February 2024 so that all plants are available during March to June. All states to revive the generating units for minimum PLF of 85 percent target before March 2024," said the Power Ministry.
While reviewing the implementation of Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules 2020, it was advised to ensure quality supply and standards of service to the consumers and establish automatic and uniform compensation mechanism across the states for compensating consumers in case of non-compliance of rules by the DISCOMs. States need to work towards reducing the time for new connections and making the electricity available without any load shedding, said the Power Ministry.
"The Central Govt. is strengthening the National Grid. The States were advised to strengthen the state grid. This can be done through TBCB route," it added.
Stating that storage, including Pumped Storage Plants (PSP), is essential for Round-the-Clock Renewable Energy, the Power Ministry told states that a single window clearance cell has been set up by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) and the process for clearance for PSP has been simplified. "PSPs sites should be allotted to developers in fair and transparent manner. CEA is giving approval to PSPs in 90 days," said the Power Ministry.