JERC seeks progress under RDSS, milestones achieved in reducing AT&C losses in J&K UT

JPDCL, KPDCL fail to submit action plan for RPO

Warns of action in case of non-compliance of directions

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Dec 1: Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has directed the Jammu Power Distribution Corporation Limited (JPDCL) and Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) to submit progress with regard to targets under Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) and details of physical and financial milestones achieved vis-à-vis strengthening of distribution infrastructure and reducing the Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses.
In JPDCL and KPCL areas, unmetered consumers are present in domestic, commercial and public lighting categories. In domestic category almost 80 percent and 40 percent consumers are still unmetered in KPDCL and KPDCL areas respectively.
While laying stress on 100 percent metering on priority, the JERC had sought an action plan/roadmap from JPDCL and KPDCL. However, while submitting the tariff petitions for the financial year 2023-24, both the distribution companies submitted before the Commission that under RDSS funding for the metering component will be available only for the Smart Prepaid meters operating in pre-payment mode for all the consumers and in accordance with the uniform approach indicated by the Government of India.
Now, the JERC has directed both the distribution companies to submit progress with respect to target under RDSS in the next tariff petitions, which as per the Commission should be submitted well in time so that new tariff is decided before the commencement of the next financial year.
Regarding the capital investment and capitalization plan along with details of source of funding, the JERC has observed, “the distribution companies have submitted the capitalization plan. However, they have ignored the important point regarding quarterly monitoring. The JPDCL and KPDCL should apprise us about the progress in this regard”, adding “the distribution companies should submit the details of the physical and financial milestones/targets along with progress achieved vis-à-vis the action plan on strengthening of distribution infrastructure and reducing the Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses on quarterly basis”.
About the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO), the JERC had earlier directed the JPDCL and KPDCL to meet the RPO targets by initiating timely action for procuring renewable energy power or inviting competitive bids for procurement of solar/non-solar power. However, the distribution companies have not submitted any concrete plan for RPO compliance for financial year 2022-23. “The non-submission of action plan within prescribed time is uncalled for and totally ignoring the directive given by the Commission”, JERC has mentioned in the official communication addressed to KPDCL and JPDCL.
As far as energy accounting and determination of loss and feeder wise account of losses and performance of sub-stations, the JERC said, “instead of providing required data, the distribution companies have mentioned the website address only where only data is available”, adding “the directive was issued to evaluate the performance of the sub-divisions”.
“If the required data is not available with the petitioners then they should produce a comprehensive analysis report. This type of approach is not acceptable and can be considered by the Commission under Section 142, which deals with punishment for non-compliance of directions”, the JERC has made it clear, adding “the JPDCL and KPDCL should refrain from making such reply and the required reports should be produced in next tariff petitions”.
The JERC has further directed both the distribution companies to work proactively and complete the process of submission of audited account and true-up petition. Moreover, the Commission has directed the JPDCL and KPDCL to submit status report under unified billing system along with the next tariff petition.
Earlier, the Commission had asked both the distribution companies to explore more options regarding online bill information and downloading of bills and payment of bills which could be in terms of e-payment through net-banking, credit/debit cards, kiosks, mobile connection vans etc.