New Delhi: In a major reform initiative, Delhi`s power regulator DERC has decided to introduce a new system under which tariff will be charged according to electricity consumption in peak and off peak hours.
The proposed mechanism -- aimed at encouraging consumers to limit their power consumption in peak hours -- will be introduced on a pilot basis, officials in Delhi Regulatory Electricity Commission said.
The system, known as Time of Day (TOD) metering, is also expected to discourage commercial users from consuming more power during peak hours and result in minimising load shedding in residential areas when the demand goes up substantially.
"An appropriate system of incentives to promote consumption of power in off peak hours and levying of surcharge to discourage peak hour consumption is expected to reduce power purchase cost," the DERC had said while announcing hike in tariff last month.
If implemented Delhi will be the first state in the country to have such a metering system, which, experts said, would benefit everybody including the consumers.
The power distribution companies often have to procure additional power from the market at very high cost to meet the demand at the peak hours from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM.
"The proposed system is being introduced to discourage commercial users from consuming more power during peak hours so that load shedding could be minimised in residential areas in the peak summer months when the demand goes up substantially," the officials said.
The city has been witnessing long power cuts for last couple of months due to the increasing demand and supply gap.
The power demand in the city registered an all-time high of 5,642 MW on July 6, breaking all previous records.
Resolving to implement the new system, DERC officials said the National Electricity Policy and National Tariff Policy mandates the state regulators to introduce the TOD in order to reduce the demand of electricity during peak hours.
Officials said initially the DERC will introduce TOD for
industrial consumers having a load of 300 Kilo Watt and above.
DERC wants to put in place an effective demand response mechanism through which consumers will be able to save money on power consumption while discoms will be able cut down power purchase cost as price of power goes up during peak hours, they said.
To ensure supply of quality power, the DERC has proposed to appoint independent consultants to check the maintenance, upkeep and safety of infrastructure in all areas serviced by the power distribution companies.
"The Delhi government will be requested to set up Consumer Advocacy Centre to provide legal help to consumers for pursuing their grievances," a DERC official said.