Delhi consumers gets to choose power suppliers

Under Open Access scheme, commercial electricity users will be able to choose their power provider.

June 27, 2007

If you happen to run your business based out of the national capital, certain privileges may come your way. According to the electricity distribution players in Delhi, commercial power users will be able to choose their power supplier, starting July next. From next month, Delhi electricity consumers who utilize up to 5 megawatts of power will be able to buy it from the provider of their choice.

Delhi’s Chief Minister Shiela Dixit has reportedly placed all her trust in NDPL. A report quoting the CM said she would choose NDPL any day, if she was offered the choice.

From next year onwards, one would be able to see blocks of apartments choosing their supplier, under the Open Access scheme. However, middle-class households might find migration a dead choice because they happen to be in the lowest consumption bracket.

Analysts said that the distribution networks are currently not compatible with each other and would require heavy investments for that to be made practical. So the ease with which Delhi's commercial power users will be able to choose their supplier is unclear.

Meanwhile the government has directed distribution companies to upgrade their network for the upcoming Commonwealth Games when the national capital would require 10,000 MW of power. If that materialises, Open Access will be possible.

Observers deem that this would mean empowerment of the Delhi consumer who used to be at the mercy of the state-owned monopoly.

Taking off from this potential development, analysts have gone ahead and done studies which said that with a per capita consumption of 704 kWh, Delhi lays its claim to be the most pampered consumer of electricity in the country. Frequent power cuts and water shortage are a daily phenomenon, but according to NCAER, an economic think-tank, Delhiites are the most pampered electricity consumers with highest per capita consumption in India.




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