We are moving to an energy intensive world. Among the different stages of electricity generation and consumption, distribution is a primary area where we can make necessary adjustments in the power sector value chain to increase efficiency drastically.
One of the features of the Indian power sector reforms is the increased attention to the distribution sector. Systems and procedures for monitoring Quality of Service (QoS) of distribution utilities have been finalized by State Electricity Regulatory Commissions, especially subsequent to the Electricity Act 2003.
Distribution is the most important link in the entire power sector value chain. As the only interface between utilities and consumers, it is the cash register for the entire sector. Under the Indian Constitution, power is a Concurrent subject and the responsibility for distribution and supply of power to rural and urban consumers rests with the states.
Systems to improve consumer interface, quantify performance and to monitor progress in a transparent manner are necessary and welcome steps. QoS process meets one of the many long felt needs to improve distribution sector. At this initial stage, it is crucial that the distribution utilities and regulatory commissions show serious end to end commitment in the QoS process. This includes the steps of formulating the system, reporting performance, monitoring progress and taking corrective measures. It is also important to proactively work for the active participation of consumers at all stages of the process. With such an approach, over the years, QoS process can evolve to be the necessary and sufficient condition for continuous improvement of the distribution sector.
Government of India provides assistance to states through various Central Sector / centrally sponsored schemes for improving the distribution sector. Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) approved on 20.11.2014 with a total outlay of Rs 32,612 crore which includes a budgetary support of Rs 25,354 crore from Govt. of India. The objectives of scheme are:
- Strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in the urban areas
- Metering of distribution transformers / feeders / consumers in the urban area.
- IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network