Power Ministry Mandates Quarterly Energy Audits by DISCOMs to Reduce T&D Losses

The Ministry of Power (MoP) has directed power distribution companies (DISCOMs) to undertake energy accounting periodically to develop a comprehensive energy accounting system to quantify distribution losses.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has issued regulations in this regard with the ministry’s approval under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.

As per the regulations, DISCOMs have to undertake quarterly energy accounting through a certified energy manager within 60 days and an annual energy audit by an independent accredited energy auditor.

The energy accounting report will keep track of all energy inflows at various voltage levels in the distribution periphery of the network, including renewable energy generation and open access, and energy consumption by the end consumers.

BEE has a certified pool of national accredited energy auditors and energy managers to prepare the audit reports. They would also provide recommendations for loss reductions and other technical measures.

With this energy accounting, DISCOMs will develop a comprehensive energy accounting system to quantify and determine actual losses in the power distribution system, separated across technical and commercial losses. The energy accounting will also help DISCOMs identify areas of leakage, theft, and wastage or inefficient and lead the way for tackling the challenges of high transmission and distribution (T&D) losses.

In addition, DISCOMs will undertake targeted efficiency improvement activities to reduce T&D losses in priority areas or consumer segments by energy accounting. It will also provide a base for prioritizing energy capital investments to achieve better results. With energy accounting, DISCOMs will identify an overloaded segment of the network for necessary capacity additions.

The ministry said these energy accounting reports would be published in the public domain. The reports will provide information on power consumption by different categories of consumers and T&D losses in various areas. The measures will help fix the responsibility of officers for losses and theft and help DISCOMs take appropriate measures for reducing their power losses. DISCOMs will also be enabled to plan for infrastructure upgradation and demand-side management efforts effectively.

In September 2020, all DISCOMs were notified as designated consumers under the Energy Conservation Act. Earlier, only DISCOMs with annual energy losses of 1,000 million units or above were covered as designated consumers.

Earlier this month, the ministry released the framework for implementing the Market-Based Economic Dispatch (MBED) – Phase 1 program to reduce consumers’ power purchase costs by 5%.