The line losses in the purview of Southern Power Distribution Company Limited of A.P. (SPDCL) which was as high as 27 per cent in the initial years when the Electricity Act, 2003 came into being, has come down to around 11 per cent.
It is just under six per cent in Vijayawada city. It would not have been possible without a slew of measures taken for curbing transmission & distribution losses, the most important of them being Meter Data Acquisition System (MDAS) under implementation by TATA Consultancy Services (TCS).
What the IT major has done is installation of meter reading instruments comprising modems and SIMs which transmit the data on a real time basis to TCS recovery centre at SPDCL headquarters in Tirupati and local head offices. MDAS helps in identifying points where the voltage bypasses meters and detecting other forms of loss. It (MDAS) is in advanced stages covering 11 KV, 33 KV and 130 KV transformers.
The larger job of covering the massive number of low tension services has also been set in motion using GIS mapping. It is scheduled to be taken up in Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam districts soon and is targeted to be completed in three months but is likely to take more time considering the magnitude of the task.
Data obtained through GIS mapping is integrated into MDAS and with it the exercise of energy audit becomes all encompassing inclusive of the field work done by Department of Pilferage Energy (DPE).
These are all part of the Restructured Accelerated Power Development & Reforms Program of the Ministry of Power, which is aimed at bringing down the T&D losses and improving the overall quality of power.
A few years ago, the SPDCL and other DISCOMS had to replace the electro-mechanical meters with electronic ones which are also transparent.
This was necessitated by clever ways of tampering old meters with the help of foreign material fitted into them.
In one such instance detected in Ongole about two years ago, some electronic devices were kept inside the meters, which were made to stop running at nights by remote controls given to customers. It is the kind of challenges SPDCL is facing in supplying power to the last mile and it is certainly gearing up to meet the evolving situations with sound technological back-up.
It came down to around 11 p.c. from 27 p.c. a decade ago