Soon, consumers may get to choose new power supplier


New Delhi: Now, consumers will be able to change their power suppliers just like telecom services, after proposed amendment to the existing Electricity Act is approved, Union minister R K Singh said.

The power ministry will push Electricity Amendment Bill in the forthcoming Budget session, which provides for segregating the distribution network business and the electricity supply business.

The separation will pave the way for introducing a new system where consumers will have option to choose from multiple electricity service providers in their areas, similar to that of telecom services.

The bill will also provide for making tariff policy mandatory to keep cross subsidy below 20 per cent. It means that difference between highest and lowest tariff rates should not be more than 20 per cent.

The minister said that it will help to make industrial tariff reasonable which is unsustainable at present.

The bill would also provide direct benefit transfer of subsidy to farmers to improve efficiency in power consumption.

It also seeks service obligation in part DISCOMs to ensure reliable power supply service by March 2019.

The minister was of the view that per capita consumption in the country will also increase in future. It is 1,075 units in India as against 5,000-6,000 units in Europe and around 1,1000 units in the US.

In order to deal with this issue, the government is promoting pre-paid and smart meters.

The minister further said that the power ministry has asked the states to reduce their AT&C losses below 15 per cent by 2019.

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