PSERC’s role as a power sector watchdog

PSERC’s role as a power sector watchdog

Virender Singh was member of Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC ) for the last five years before retiring on December 5. He talks about the PSERC role as a power sector watchdog in Punjab .
Excerpts
The Punjab State Electricity regulatory Commission (PSERC) began functioning in the year 2002 and tasked with the deciding tariff for the state of Punjab and deciding legal cases relating to power sector of Punjab on fast track which earlier took years together in judicial courts.
The last five years has been watershed in the history of Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Commission took various pro-active and out of box decisions to reform the power sector of Punjab.
The decisions taken by PSERC included fuel audit of thermal plants being run by PSPCL, Power audit of PSPCL, Checking consumption shown by PSPCL for agriculture sector, giving relief to general consumers and calculating accurate AT & C losses.
Today the financial strength of PSPCL has been much better as compared to last decade. PSERC made tariff revision from 2010-11 to 2014-15 @ 8.13 % per annum (Rs.6552 crore) against earlier revision of 5.21% per annum (Rs. 3174 crore) for the period 2002-03 to 2009-10.
Virender Singh informed that the fuel audit of all the three thermal plants resulted in annual saving of Rs. 317 crore annually. For the first time in India Commission restricted the gross calorific value loss of coal as received and as fired to 150 kilo calories from 900 kilo calories. The gross calorific value loss has been reduced to zero from the start of this financial year. This enables Punjab consumers to save Rs.500 crore per annum on this account.
The power purchase audit conducted by the Commission led to reduction of burden on consumers .This was Rs.463.13 crore for year 2010-11, Rs.40.93 crore for 2011-12 and Rs 43.90 crore for year 2012-13. The revision in open access regulations by the Commission saved Rs. 500crore annually to PSPCL.
The Agriculture power audit made by Commission reduced the subsidy amount by Rs. 2207.65 crore in last five years. The projected reductions for the last three years starting from 2012-13 are Rs.409.22 crore, Rs.555.90 crore and Rs 837.67 crore. This made the Commission to arrive at correct line losses in Punjab at 18.85%which PSPCL was claiming at 16.5%.
The progressive steps initiated by the Commission include Rebate for more consumption, KVAh tariff for industrial consumers with load of more than 100 KW, ToD tariff for industrial units.
Singh informed that off late, PSERC has been working in close association with Forum of Regulators to finalize a Rs. 10 lac crore ‘Power Sector Rejuvenation Plan for India’ which is being submitted to Government of India to make India power surplus.
He appreciated the Government of Punjab for not interfering in the working of the Commission and complimented the Commission Chairperson, Members and officers for working with true team spirit.

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