Soon, you may get to choose your power metering agency

  • Aman Malik, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 11, 2015 00:25 IST

Are your monthly electricity bills getting inflated because of faulty metering? There’s good news on the cards as you may be able to soon choose who meters your electricity consumption.

As part of its move to unbundle the electricity sector, the government is planning to separate metering from electricity distribution and opening up the task of metering to competition. This could effectively allow the consumer to chose the agency that would meter his connection.

A proposal to this effect was in the works, two people in direct knowledge of the matter told HT. The proposal was mooted by the forum of regulators, led by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and that it was likely to be presented before the parliamentary standing committee on electricity headed by BJP member of Parliament Kirit Somaiya, sources said. “In developed countries such as the UK, metering is a separate specialised function, unlike in India, where the distribution company also meters the connection.”

Two ideas are being worked out — setting up a pan-India government-owned metering company or opening up the sector to competition. “A metering company would put the best of technologies. The money that the power ministry has been pumping has not got any traction at the state level. While one view is that it should be a government-owned monopoly, the other view is that the private sector should be allowed,” sources added.

A senior power ministry official said it would be better to allow the private sector into the metering business since it “would create thousands of new jobs.”

The standing committee looking into the Electricity Amendment Bill 2014, had submitted its report to Parliament last week. The panel is likely to decide on a comprehensive road map for the exercise by July-end.

The Electricity Bill, which aims to open the power distribution and transmission sector in the country to competition, was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December last year.

Power minister Piyush Goyal had said in April that the Bill was likely to come up for consideration in the monsoon session of Parliament.
The government is also in the process of separating the Power System Operation Corp from the Power Grid Corp of India to create an independent grid management agency.

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