The Central Government has brought in a “sea of change” in the country’s power sector, which has raised power availability in rural areas from 12:30 hrs in 2014 to 22:30 hrs today, said Union Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy RK Singh.
While in urban areas, the national average power availability is 23:30 hrs a day, the Minister noted. A two-day Review Planning and Monitoring (RPM) meeting was convened under the chairmanship of the Union Minister RK Singh on July 10 – July 11. Officials from states and power companies were part of the review meeting.
The Union Minister stated that the power sector in India had added 185 GW of capacity, transforming the country from a power deficit to a power surplus.
“We have connected the whole country with a single unified grid capable of transferring 1,12,000 MW from one corner of the country to another,” the Minister said.
“As a result of all this the power availability in rural areas has gone up from 12:30 hrs in 2014 to 22:30 hrs today; while in urban areas the national average availability is 23:30 hrs. Minister stated that together we have made the power sector viable. Today all current power purchase dues are paid on time, while the legacy overdues have come down from Rs 1,39,747 cr to Rs 69,957 cr.”
Meanwhile, the Central Government has changed the prevailing power tariff system through an amendment in the existing rules, introducing a ‘Time of Day’-based power tariff mechanism.
Rather than being charged for electricity at the same rate at all times of the day, the price you pay for electricity will vary according to the time of day after amendments are made to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020.
Under the proposed Time of Day-based system, the tariff during solar hours — eight hours of a day shall be 10-20 per cent less than the normal tariff, while the tariff during ‘peak hours’ will be 10-20 per cent higher.
This proposed tariff would apply for commercial and industrial consumers with a maximum demand of 10 KW and above from April 1, 2024, and for all other consumers except agricultural consumers, from April 1, 2025.
“Time of Day tariff shall be made effective immediately after installation of smart meters, for the consumers with smart meters,” the Union Ministry of Power said on Friday in a release in June.
Union Power Minister RK Singh said the time-based tariff system was a win-win for consumers and the power industry. The time-based tariff system is recognised globally across electricity industries to shift some of their power loads from peak to off-peak times, thereby improving the overall load factor.