CERC moots hefty penalty for overdrawing power

CERC moots hefty penalty for overdrawing power

Apex regulatory body proposes to fine state Discoms

If any state’s power distribution companies overdraw power from the national grid, they have to pay hefty penalty.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), apex body of the power, has proposed to impose additional penalties on states distribution companies (Discoms) for overdrawing from grid.

According to the CERC proposed regulations on (Deviation Settlement Mechanism and related matters), the penalties will double from the present Rs 9-11.10 per unit as and when the electricity grid approaches critical levels. If the proposal accepted by the Centre the Discoms have to pay up to Rs 22 for each unit of overdrawn power.

This was aimed to prevent last year like situation where national grid was collapsed leading half of the country’s population suffered without power nearly for six to eight  hours. It was blamed that overdraw of power by states led to collapse of the grid system. Following this, the CERC has decided to replace the existing guidelines with new one with stricter fine on erring Discoms. 

Currently, the electricity grid operates in the frequency band of 49.7 Hz -50.2 Hz and any level close to the lower and upper limits is considered critical as it becomes susceptible to collapse.

The apex body wanted to introduce the new regime of imposing heavier fine at the earliest fearing that many states may start overdrawing power in the coming days to meet the electricity demand as the several states will go for assembly polls by November this year.

The Discoms always under pressure from political leadership to overdraw power from national grid to meet consumers demand particularly during elections, examinations or agriculture seasons.

Earlier the Union Power Ministry in its submission to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy said that to prevent repeat of grid collapse, the government is working on different technologies. Among them, Power Grid is in the process of developing a Grid Security Expert System that involves laying of optical fibre network for reliable communication. 

The ministry is also working to amend the Electricity Act so as to implement new rules.