The offer of 24-hour power supply at a higher price has received lukewarm response from industrial consumers, as apparent from the number of applications received by the Central Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh (APCPDCL) under the APTransco’s Expensive Power Supply Scheme (EPSS).

The central discom has received applications and advance payment from only 240 industrial consumers, which amounts to just about six per cent of its total base of industrial consumers.

Under the EPSS, industrial consumers currently under the Restriction and Control regime can apply for additional power over and above the Permitted Demand Level, which would be supplied by the discom under no-profit, no-loss basis. The expensive power was proposed to be produced from the idle capacities of the gas-based generating stations in the State, through supply of the highly-priced RLNG (Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas). The proposal had received the stamp of approval from the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission only recently.

The scheme was devised in view of the outcry from industrial bodies about losses sustained due to restrictions on consumption.

As part of the Restrictions and Control measures, the APERC has approved heavy penalties between five to seven times the normal tariff for industries drawing power in excess of the allowed limits.

With EPSS, the power utilities hoped to not only supply quality power to industrial consumers, but also earn part of the capital cost incurred by the idle capacity of the gas-based stations. This win-win proposal has, however, not been lapped up by the consumers. “Consumers are not aware of the scheme and quite a few industries had already signed the ‘Open Access’ agreements by the time it was announced. In fact, consumers were continuing to approach discoms for the scheme, unaware that January 21 was the deadline. The field staff too was ignorant of the matter.”