HT-EHT Industrial Electricity Consumers’ Association has come out against the Kerala State Electricity Board for putting up “stumbling blocks” before establishments seeking open access to power.
The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission had issued an order in October this year to the board to take time-bound action on applications for open access.
Open access consumers can buy power from any source at competitive rates. Consumers can utilise power using the KSEB infrastructure and making payments for it as per the rates fixed by the Regulatory Commission.
In its October 9 order, the commission had directed “KSEB to initiate immediate action for Medium Term and Long Term Power purchase, aggressive promotional steps for alternative sources of electricity, effective DSM activities, and take time-bound action on all applications for open access, to avoid dependence on high cost Liquid power sources in the future.”
However, industrial consumers have alleged that the board was making open access a contentious issue.
A spokesman for HT-EHT Industrial Electricity Consumers’ Association said: “It is unfortunate that a lobby is working against the introduction of OA [open access] in the State while electricity trade through OA has been taking place in other States for several years. Trade under OA would not cause any revenue loss to the KSEB. On the contrary, it would reduce the burden of KSEB.”
The board had claimed that permitting open access would result in power theft and losses to it.
Industrial consumers have said the KSEB’s claims against open access were totally false. The KSEB’s main allegation is against allowing open access using existing meters.
“But open access using the State electricity boards’ meters has been in practice in States such as Punjab and Tamil Nadu for several years now,” the spokesman for industrial consumers said. There would be no loss to the Electricity Board if open access was permitted, the spokesman claimed. The industrial consumers’ forum has backed its claim saying open access was envisaged as a means to ensure healthy competition in power trading and to break the monopoly of State Electricity Boards. Electricity trading has been on the rise in India, particularly in States such as Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.