Order violates Central Electricity Commission’s regulations

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (KSERC) order, granting open access to high-tension and extra-high tension consumers for sourcing power purchased from various generating centres through Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) lines without proper monitoring, has come in for criticism.

The order issued by the commission on October 25 is reported to be in violation of the Central Electricity Commission’s (CEC) regulations, which mandate Availability Based Tariff (ABT) meters to monitor power flow and detect theft, if any, during a specific timeframe.

ABT meters have been made compulsory for bringing in more responsibility and accountability in power generation and consumption through a scheme of incentives and disincentives.

Such meters are used for time block-wise energy metering and accounting in accordance with the provisions of the grid code in force.

Complaints

The order was issued following complaints from consumers that the board was not allowing open access to eligible consumers and insisting for ABT-compliant meters.

Board reply

When the commission called for a report, the board said necessary metering facilities for communicating 15 minutes time block-wise transactions were not available on the premises of the consumers who had sought the open access.

This was cited as the reason for turning down the request. The regulations specify that such meters should be installed on the premises of the applicants and it should be verified by the State Load Despatch Centre while processing the application and issuing the no-objection certificate.

But the commission ruled that open access “can be allowed to eligible consumers even without insisting on ABT-compliant meters as an interim measure initially for three months.

Accordingly, the Board shall take steps to process the applications for open access immediately” and allow it so that consumers can bring in power from other sources without delay.

Heavy loss

The blanket permission that has been granted without a proper metering system is feared to incur heavy loss to the board since it would not be able to monitor the power being transmitted through its lines and will have to be content with the nominal wheeling charges given by them.

Moreover, this could be used as a precedent by other major consumers for seeking permission of the commission to source power from different sources.

There are complaints that the board authorities have not taken the initiative to go on appeal against the commission’s decision so that the process can be put to halt.