The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (JERC) decision to go easy on domestic consumers who use electricity more than the declared load is said to have thrown a spanner in the efforts of the UT electricity department to check wastage of electricity.
There are nearly 2.5 lakh consumers in different categories. Of these, 1.75 lakh fall in the domestic category, but only about 6000 users have declared their load.
The JERC order states: “If connected load of a domestic category is found to be at variance of the sanctioned/contracted load as a result of increase of load replacement of lamps, fans, fuses, switches, low voltage domestic fittings, etc it shall neither fall under unauthorised use of electricity as per Electricity Act (EA) 2003 nor under theft of electricity (Section 135 of EA 2003).”
Admitting that the JERC’s decision would hamper their efforts, UT electricity department superintending engineer MP Singh said the department had decided to challenge it. “It will make this more difficult for us. We need some sort of deterrent for putting a check on use of electricity more than the sanctioned load,” said Singh.
Earlier, to put a check on use of electricity more than declared load, the electricity department treated domestic consumers who used load in excess of the sanction load as unauthorized. It also served notices to them under section 126 of the Electricity Act 2003, asking them to get their connections regularised by completing the requisite formalities.
Over the years, due to non-declaration of actual load, the department has not been able to properly plan electricity demand, leading to erratic power supply. The department is also facing the problem of overloading of transformers.
A recent study by Powergrid revealed that under emergency situations some of the system elements get critically loaded and therefore there was a need to strengthen the transmission system at various points in city.
During the last summer season, overloading of existing transformers was found to be more than 95% and rational power cuts had to be imposed to save the power transformers from damage. This year also, the department has decided to impose cut.
To address the problem of overloading, electricity department has been directed by JERC to conduct a detailed load forecasting study for short term (2-5 years), medium term (7-10 years) and long term (15-25 years) use in order to understand the load requirements in their area at various periods. For conducting the study, the department has initiated a move for appointment of consultant for load forecasting.
Total power consumers 2.5 lakh
Domestic consumers 1.75 lakh
Domestic users who
have declared their load 6,000