Karnataka

Study finds access to electricity almost 100% in State

Karnataka is the only State, among the 10 that were surveyed, where access to electricity is almost 100%, and the differences in the five distribution companies’ access rate across customer categories is not statistically significant.

This is one of the findings of the ‘Electricity access and benchmarking of distribution utilities’, a joint study by Smart Power India, NITI Aayog and the Rockefeller Foundation. The study was conducted across 10 States, 25 utilities, over 25,000 respondents from different consumer categories, such as households, agriculture, commercial enterprises, and institutions from both urban and rural areas.

The study has brought out findings on grid connectivity, electricity access, customer satisfaction, and the state of the utilities’ capacity to deliver. The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) has scored a high access index score, while the other four utilities in the State — the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company (CESC), the Hubli Electricity Supply Company (HESCOM), the Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company(GESCOM), and the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM) — have been given a medium scoring.

Customer satisfaction is often considered the goal of a service-driven industry. The study took into consideration customer satisfaction on six parameters – providing a new connection, power reliability, power quality, billing and collection process, complaint resolution process, and service provided. Interestingly, in this category, BESCOM and MESCOM were rated high, while CESC, HESCOM, and GESCOM got a medium rating.

With regard to the utilities’ capacity to deliver electricity access sustainably, all five utilities received a medium rating. The study has found that among the 25 utilities, CESC is among the three to have the lowest average number of hours of supply each day for agricultural customers at 6.7 hours. The other two are Gujarat South and Punjab. For all other utilities, the hours of supply to agricultural customers varies from eight to 21 hours.

While citizens here may complain about numerous unscheduled power cuts, the study has found that less than 10% of customers of CESC, MESCOM, and GESCOM claimed to have been notified by the utility, while it was nearly 20% for HESCOM and BESCOM.

With regard to affordability, cost as percentage of household expenditure, the study found that BESCOM was the least affordable, with around half of all household customers reporting unaffordable access.

Though all 25 utlities were observed to have performed well on providing metered connection for the majority of customers across all categories, GESCOM was among the three with the lowest percentage of customers with a metered connection.

According to the study, 100% of BESCOM and CESC customers reported a fixed billing frequency, while it was nearly 100% in MESCOM and HESCOM, and between 90% and 100% for GESCOM.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 6:25:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/study-finds-access-to-electricity-almost-100-in-state/article32967222.ece

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