21/5/2017 614 Geography | Energy | View Recent Current Affairs
- India has climbed up to the 26th position in World Bank’s electricity accessibility ranking – up 73 spots from the 99th rank in 2014.
- India has taken many initiatives to increase the accessibility of electricity. Central Electricity Authority (CEA) regulations has been amended for installing transformers (up to 500KVA) on double-pole structures; waiving off electrical inspector approval for 11kV installations by Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) and allowing self-certification by DISCOM engineers; changing tariff regulations, rationalizing LT (low tension) tariff, and changing supply codes.
- Online portals also provided to enable customers to apply for connections without the need for physical documents,
- There is a reduction in procedures for the release of a new connection to only three: online application and site inspection, demand note generation (if required), and external connection and meter installation,
- The ranking was based on ten parameters, including the ease of getting electricity. Some other parameters were: number of procedures involved, time taken to obtain a new connection, cost for obtaining a commercial connection (up to 140KVA), and reliability of power supply.
- Infrastructure services are a major concern for businesses around the world. Unreliable electricity supply and high tariffs, in particular, can be hurdles to entrepreneurial activity. According to 2016 World Bank Enterprise Survey data for 139 economies, business owners find electricity services as the third biggest obstacles to their activities.
- A cumbersome connection process, consisting of numerous procedures, is more likely to occur in economies with an unreliable electricity supply, as they are plagued by inadequate electricity generation, coupled with high losses in the transmission and distribution systems.
- In most cases, a long-term approach is required to mitigate the adverse consequences of unreliable power infrastructure, through considerable capital investments in power system.
- There is a wide array of practical actions that governments can take to ensure more reliable electricity service, having a robust regulatory framework with the right oversight and incentives, establishing minimum quality standards on service continuity, ensuring timely investments in power system infrastructure are done, including investment in automated systems to identify network faults and restore service more efficiently, etc. The Governments role is instrumental for the majority of measures that can improve the reliability of electricity supply to customers.
- Electricity services are among the most regulated areas of economic activity, and research has shown that sector performance is linked to the quality of regulatory institutions.
- Transparency of electricity tariffs is important for customers to be able to plan their expenses, better understand the utility billing system, and contest the charges when needed. Businesses need to know in advance of any change in expenditure so that they can adjust their allocation of financial resources accordingly. In some economies, the regulation requires utilities to announce changes several billing cycles ahead. In others, the regulator helps ensure that tariffs are published through different media outlets and that adequate information and details are provided so that customers can calculate their electricity cost