The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has imposed a penalty of Rs 72.27 crore on the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) for not implementing electricity-saving measures, and also hinted at larger penalties next year in case the PSPCL failed to get its act together.
In its tariff order announced on August 22, the regulator pointed out that in financial year 2013-14, shortfall of power-saving target by PSPCL is 160 million units. The target was fixed by the PSERC in the previous tariff order for 2013-14. “It is matter of serious concern that PSPCL could not engage even consultants to prepare demand-supply management (energy saving) plan. The PSPCL is directed to achieve a saving of 500 million units including the backlog of 2013-14 during financial year 2014-15,” said the PSERC order.
As part of the campaign, the PSERC had asked the state corporation to replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and lamps based on LEDs (light-emitting diode), besides installing energy-saving pump-sets on the 12.25 lakh agriculture tubewells across the state.
Though the regulator was satisfied that the PSPCL ensured compliance of using 4-star pumpsets for tubewell connections, it said in the order further that no tangible action was taken to take up the pilot project for replacing old sets with efficient motors. The regulator gave the example of Hubli in Karnataka where 600 farm pumpsets were replaced with energy-efficient motors, ensuring 37% saving.
It needs mention here that a sum of Rs 4,800 crore is required to replace farm pumpsets in the state, and the PSPCL could do it in six years with yearly expenditure of Rs 800 crore. This could lead to saving of 3,000 million units.
The regulator also pointed that no major effort was made towards replacing incandescent lamps with CFLs or LEDs. The PSPCL has been asked to submit its plan by November 22, within three months of announcement of the tariff order. The PSERC directive on power-saving includes replacement of old fans and ACs with energy-efficient one, and also electromagnetic choke with electronic choke for tubelights.