|Mr. Ajoy Mehta, MD,|
There is need to create right and holistic competition in the power distribution sector, and the road-map cannot be same as followed in Telecom, as electricity is still not ‘wireless’, and differential pricing based on Value-added-Services is not allowed. In Power Distribution sector, competition should be created on customer services delivery side, and private participation in this area should be strongly encouraged. Creating competition between Discoms and private companies on Generation and Network side via mechanisms like Open Access, should be further vetted for Discom viability.
Input Based Distribution Franchisee model has emerged as better politically accepted model, as it allows Govt. /Discom to continue owning the Network, tariffs to be controlled by the State Regulator, and private player playing role to improve efficiency on O&M and customer services. For further scale-up, the model needs to be made attractive for private players, with key focus and defined SLAs on ‘improving customer services’ and ‘loss reduction’ to be derived from it. It should receive improve integration and support from Govt. invested schemes like R-APDRP, to ensure right size network improvement investments are made.
MSEDCL is focusing upon reducing human intervention on all processes that are customer facing, to allow improved transparency, productivity and customer experience. Some good results yielding interventions:
- New Connections: All 13+ lacs annual new connections and demand notes are now released online, to avoid any intermediate handling and delays.
- Metering: Mass Meter replacement Plan is in place, to overall reduce/ remove Meter Readers via AMRs (Installed – 50,208); IR Meters (Installed – 16.10 Lacs); RF Meters (Installed – 5.09 Lacs); Prepaid Meters (Installed – 18,039)
- Payments: Online mode of payments facilitated, with most Industry and Commercial consumers now using RTGS mode. Domestic customers are encouraged to use ATPs and online modes.
- Complaints: 100 seater centralized Call Centre to receive and track complaints closure, to remove culture of patronage/tips.
- Energy Auditing: Transformer level energy auditing, and sharing results publicly has helped bringing down transformer failure rates from 14.3% in 2008-09 to 6.9% in 2012-13.
- Load Shedding: Made load shedding hours proportionate to feeder level Distribution Collection losses. This resulted into changes in customer behaviours to better cooperate with MSEDCL. 84% of feeders today are on zero load shedding.Power deficit has reduced from 18% in 2005 to 3% now in 2013-14.
On a concluding note, he said, 'Private sector participation will be important for improving overall viability and services delivery in power distribution space. The monopolistic structure and tariff subsidies will prevail for some time, and hence Govt. would have to play continuing role on investments on Network side, with private player focusing on bringing efficiency in O&M and end-customer services. In this regard, Input Based Distribution Franchisee model has performed well.
New Technologies has made it possible to reduce or completely remove human interventions and associated errors across key customer interaction processes – Metering, Billing, Collections, Complaints resolution etc.'
Full presentation can be viewed below:
Posted by: Kunjan Bagdia @ pManifold