Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

     
     
   
News & Updates
News & Updates
more news
Tips & Tricks
Save EnergyEnergy Conservation: The importance of electricity in present day life needs no explanation. For living, entertainment, learning, and what not, electricity plays a vital role. We cannot even think of a moment without electricity, especially for the city dweller. All are worried about the escalating electricity charges. But how many are aware of the optimum utilisation of the domestic appliances?
   
Learn More..
 

Power hikes may lead to theft, job losses

Durban - The middle class will join the poor if Eskom’s call for a 16.5% tariff hike is approved.
So say religious and non-governmental organisations, which came out strongly against the proposed increase at a public hearing in Durban on Thursday. The hearings continued on Friday. The increase could also encourage power theft and lead to job losses.
Reverend Sue Brittion, of the Anglican Diocese of Natal, said plans had to have the poorest of the poor in mind.
If Eskom was to get its way, even people who had access to electricity would not be able to afford it, Brittion told the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).
Mona Pilane, of the Austerville Project Steering Committee, said her 81-year-old mother had trouble keeping up with her bills.
Pilane said last year, her mom had received an electricity bill of R1 200 but only gets a R1 466 pension.
“What do you do with just over R200?” she asked.
“I could not assist her as I can barely pay my own bill.”
She said she had to call the municipality and make a special arrangement to pay.
Another consequence of high tariffs was that it led to people stealing electricity.
“It is a vicious circle.”
In a presentation due to be delivered on Friday, groundWork researcher David Hallowes said: “Eskom is using a “tactic” of making an application for a tariff increase late which gives little time for public hearings and puts Nersa under pressure to make decisions in a short space of time. This is something they had been doing for more than seven years and was anti-democratic.”
Fluctuating
The motivating reason behind the increase was that: “They are making us pay more because they are not making sales,” he said.
Hallowes said another problem was the fluctuating price of coal made worse by the poor state of the economy and that the coal plants had a life span of about 60 years.
“Too much money is being asked to build the wrong thing and the bill is being sent to the wrong address.”
The Durban Chamber of Business said investment was attracted by low energy prices but industries were shutting down because of economic pressure, and the increasing electricity tariff played a big role.
“We have already seen this with participants in the steel and iron industry closing down last year.”
The eThekwini Municipality’s chief electrical engineer, Leshan Moodliar, said debt would go up if the tariff increase was granted.
“There is a strong relationship between the price of electricity and debt. The city already has R1.2 billion debt and that figure will continue increasing,” he said.
As prices went up, electricity sales volumes went down, Moodliar also said. “Right now, we are selling as much as we did in 2004.”
And, finally, Moodliar pointed out an inverse relationship between the price of electricity and employment.
“The city’s ability to create jobs goes down as electricity prices go up,” he said.
He said the Multi-Year Price Determination was supposed to provide the public with pricing certainty over a five-year period.
The hearings move to Mahikeng in the North-West on Monday.
[IOL News ]
 

6 booked for attacking UHBVN team in Kaithal

The Kalayat police have registered a case against six persons of Baata village for allegedly attacking a team of UHBVN officials yesterday.
The officials had gone to check power theft in the village. In a complaint lodged with the police, Om Parkash, junior engineer of the department, alleged that under a drive to check power theft, the team visited Satish and Balkar in Nathwan Patti yesterday. He said they had
received a complaint that consumers were stealing power by connecting a rubber cable with LT line.
When they reached Shamsher Singh’s house, he asked the staff members and the police personnel accompanying the team to show their identity cards. Shamsher had turned off the metre and was allegedly stealing power. The raiding party prepared a video after which Shamsher misbehaved with them and used abusive language.
When they checked another house, it came to light that the occupants were getting supply from Shamsher’s house. Later, Shamsher and other residents dragged them inside a house and thrashed them.
Lineman Rajesh Kumar, ALM Sonu Sharma and other staff members received injuries. Some of their staff members rescued them. Ved Parkash, Kalayat SHO, said the police had registered a case.[The Tribune]

Firm steals electricity, fined

A private firm which allegedly indulged in pilferage of electricity has been fined Rs eight lakh by Tamil NaduGeneration and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO). 

During a recent inspection, authorities detected alleged theft of electricity in the facility of an industrial service connection user at Ponneri south near here. 

By flipping and rerouting power supply cables, recording of electricity consumption in the meter was allegedly avoided and electricity was stolen, TANGEDCO said in an official release here. 

A fine of Rs.Eight lakh was levied on the user for the loss caused to the power utility. 

The consumer came forward to compound (payment of charges to avoid criminal case) the case. He also remitted charges to avoid criminal proceedings and hence, no police complaint was lodged, TANGEDCO said.[Business Standard]

Over 200 households in power ‘theft’ racket

The wires were running below the earth, only emerging to connect onto a household whose owner was required to pay 15,000/- per month regardless of how much power the house has consumed.

Better still, even when other areas suffered blackouts, the illegally connected houses continued to enjoy uninterrupted electricity supply. The Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO) Arusha branch is currently trying to hunt down the culprit who for many years has been raking in 30m/- every month (360m/- per year) from his underground cabling network of illegal power supply.

But the residents of the area, seem not to cooperate, choosing to conceal the identity of their expensive benefactor. Mr John Manyama is the Chairman of the TANESCO committee formed to inspect the company’s infrastructural networks in Arusha and he reported that in addition to the strange power theft of Ngaramtoni, a total of 12 out of 483 inspected customers of the power company have been discovered to be by-passing their electric metres, through some clever tampering of connections, thus consuming electricity free of charge.

Through the rackets, the ailing National Power supplying company has incurred losses amounting to over 20m/- and counting. “It is also shocking to see people doing dubious connections through very dangerous setups without bothering that it was placing their lives in danger,” he stated.

Mr Manyama also revealed another strange case of people who were discovered to be watching Television Programmes in their homes despite the fact that their houses did not have any traceable form of power supply.[The Daily News]

 

These were named as Ms Agnes Petro aged 30 and Ms Dina Wilson, both residents of Ngaramtoni and who were arrested in connection with power theft to help authorities uncover the horrid scheme.

The ongoing power inspection operation for Arusha region has also nabbed several big businessmen who have been stealing power from Tanesco by using electricity through metre by-passing rackets and these were named as Ms Zuhura Macha who has skipped monthly bills of over 880,000/- Mr Dickson Mrosso who has stolen electricity valued at more than 8.3m/- .

Action taken against electricity theft

Roughly half the electricity distributed in Vryheid is stolen through illegal connections. Abaqulusi municipality is now taking drastic action.Roughly half the electricity distributed in Vryheid is stolen through illegal connections.Abaqulusi municipality is now taking drastic action.

In just two days, 48 illegal connections were removed in Bhekuzulu, and residents throughout Abaqulusi can expect spot checks as plans are underway to audit every single electricity meter, in search of bypasses.

Manager of debt collection and credit control, Grant Bradbury, says that among the people who have been caught already, are professional people residing in the CBD, and warned that transgressors can expect no leniency.

“Anyone caught with electricity bypasses will have their electricity disconnected until they pay a R5 000 tampering fee, if it is a first time offence. If caught for the second time, the cable running to the house will be removed completely and water supply will be restricted to a trickle feed. The resident will then have to apply for new services and this cost is well over R10 000,” said Mr Bradbury.

Two teams of municipal contract workers are addressing the issue of illegal connections with the help of a handheld device that simultaneously photographs the bypass and logs the GPS co-ordinates as evidence.

Since their intervention, the payment rate for electricity has gone up to 108%, as arrears are being recovered.

“We are picking up a lot of illegal connections through people not purchasing prepaid electricity. When caught, the average amount that the person would have paid for electricity is written back to their account,” explained Mr Bradbury.

Expressing concern about the safety issues that illegal connections pose, Mr Bradbury warned that using flimsy material like speaker wire to bridge the connection, could cause a fire when the material overheated. Bare wires also posed a risk of electrical shock capable of killing a person.

“We want to send a message to the community that this will no longer be tolerated,” concluded Mr Bradbury.

 

[Vryheid HERALD]

83 booked for power theft in Bijnor

BIJNOR: In the wake of increasing cases of power theft, power corporation authorities raided several houses in Bijnor on Wednesday to catch those indulging in electricity theft. Power corporation officials along with a heavy contingent of police raided a large number of houses at Kassaban Colony and found as many as 83 people stealing power through illegal means. The police have registered a case against the defaulters under relevant sections of law.

The move follows after the district magistrate instructed power corporation officials to curb cases of power theft in the district. Acting on this, a joint team of administrative officers, power officials and the police conducted a raid.
Giving information, superintendent engineer, AK Singh, said, "The team caught 83 people stealing power on the spot. They were stealing power by cutting the cable and taking power directly from another cable. Some of them were stealing power from the pole wire directly. A case has been registered against the defaulters."
 

Singh further said, "The raids are set to continue. The team will raid other places where power theft cases are on the rise. We've marked the areas where power theft has been reported. The police will accompany us when we conduct raids."
 

Sources said there are 19% line losses in Bijnor district. The power corporation is suffering huge losses due to power theft.
 

Discussing the issue, district magistrate VK Anand, said, "The state government is supplying sufficient power to consumers. However, unfortunately some people are stealing power through illegal ways. If power theft is stopped, all consumers will get enough electricity for their use. Power theft has to be stopped by all means."[TOI]

Illegal Power Connection & Revenue Losses… ECG Chases Industries, Hotels & Others

GHANA
The nation’s power distributor, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), under the directive from the Ministry of Power has formed a taskforce to combat and bring to book, all individuals or organizations involved in illegal power connections across the country, in its resolute effort to prevent revenue loss.

The taskforce, which began its work in full, yesterday, is expected to expand its operation throughout the country, with additional mandate to focus mostly on industries, hotels, ministries and agencies, as well as individual homes, where the power theft is apparently widespread.

Speaking during the first operation of the team conducted unannounced, a Minster of Power, Mr. John Abu Jinapor, who himself led the team, disclosed to journalists that the team was on “a special unannounced energy audit exercise.

The Minister, who was accompanied by the Managing by the Managing Director (MD) of ECG, Mr. Robert Dwemena, and other top officials of the company, said they have realized that “we are having some losses attributable to energy theft, illegal connections and some bypasses.”

He explained that, the Ministry of Power and its agencies, have constituted a taskforce to conduct this exercise by examining the metering systems of their equipments to ascertain whether they have been tempered with or not.

He also explained that, the purpose of this unannounced exercise, would have been defeated if ECG, had informed the companies they visited about their coming hence the resistance by some of them.


For this reason, he noted “that is why we want to send the signal and assure you we shall collect all those monies, because the Minister of Finance indicated that all these institutions ought to be budgeting for the power they consumed.”

The Minister bemoaned, “we cannot have a system where one section of the society pays for the power they consumed while the other enjoys power without paying… it creates an imbalance; it creates inefficiently and so we are determined to pursue this course.”

He, therefore, said; “I want to use this opportunity to caution all those who are stealing power, bypassing-power theft and illegal connection that once we [ECG] get hold of you, we shall deal with you.”

 [peace FMonline.com]

IEEMA holds road show to promote Elecrama 2016

The Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers' Association (IEEMA) organised a road show in the city to promote its upcoming mega event 'Elecrama 2016 - The World Electricity Forum'. 

Elecrama 2016 will be the 12th edition of the event. It is scheduled to held in Bengaluru from February 13-17, and over 1,000 companies from the power sector are expected to take part in the leading trade and networking forum. 

IEEMA President Babu Babel said the road show, held yesterday, was organised here as the city is the headquarters of Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd, and is a pioneer in power supply in the country, with 1,800 villages in the district being supplied electricity round-the-clock. 

"Within a decade, Gujarat has turned around a Rs 2,500 crore loss making power utility into a Rs 500 crore profit making entity. 

"The state has demonstrated the will to proactively address the challenges in power sector, such as mounting losses of the state's electricity boards, power theft and technology upgradation," Babel said. 

He said Gujarat's discoms (distribution companies) have been consistently ranked among the top discoms in the country, and it is a role model when it comes to power generation and transmission.

The next road show in the series will be held in Jamnagar on January 9, he said. 

Babel said IEEMA plans to hold around 20 road shows across the country. 

"Elecrama had organised the preview of its 12th edition in Nairobi, Kenya, which was welcomed by its electricity industry," the event's Chairman Aaditya Dhoot said today. 

Dhoot had earlier visited other East African countries such as Uganda and Tanzania, and met key ministers and officials. 

Road shows were organised in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, Dubai and Jakarta, which saw good participation, he said. [Business Standard]

States with most indebted discoms ready for rescue

New Delhi: Four states accounting for one-fifth of the Rs.4.3 trillion accumulated debt of state power distribution companies (discoms)—Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra—have agreed to sign up to the government’s ambitious turnaround scheme, power minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.

A part of the debt to be retired by the utilities themselves by a fresh issue of state-guaranteed debt would not be regarded as bad debt by lenders, he added.

Discoms of the four states have accumulated a debt of overRs.80,000 crore. With this, a total of 15 states have voluntarily joined the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana announced on 5 November, accounting for 90% of the total outstanding loan liabilities of power utilities.

The other states are Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Under the scheme, states that can borrow at lower rates than anaemic discoms will take over 75% of their debt as on 30 September 2015 within two years. The remaining 25% would be retired by the power utilities with fresh state-guaranteed debt.

Some bankers had expressed concern that since this would be a one-time repricing of loans, it could be construed as a loan restructuring exercise. If the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) treats it so, this would qualify as a third restructuring which, in turn, would mean that these loans would need to be classified as bad loans. Under existing rules, any account restructured for a second time should be classified as a non-performing asset (NPA). A final call on the matter will be taken by RBI.

An email sent to an RBI spokesperson remained unanswered at press time.

“Discoms will be issuing fresh debt guaranteed by the state which would be used to retire past debt. This is not a debt restructure and these loans will not be regarded as NPAs. There may be an interim period between the two (issuing fresh debt and retiring the past loans), but that is not very critical in the overall context,” Goyal said in reply to a query from Mint.

Goyal said only public sector banks have lent to discoms and are happy with the scheme. Private banks that may have exposure to power producers will also indirectly benefit from the scheme, when discoms regain financial health, he said.

The power ministry will be signing a deal with Jharkhand on Tuesday to restructure the debt burden of power utility Jharkhand Bijli Vitaran Nigam Ltd, under which the state will take over three-fourths of its accumulated Rs.12,000 crore debt in two years. Jharkhand is the first state to sign up for the scheme, said the power ministry.

The earlier two debt restructuring attempts of discoms—the last was by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in 2013—did not work out in the absence of adequate reforms in power tariff.

Although, technically, the debt taken over by states will not be counted for calculating state fiscal deficits and their borrowing limits, taking over half of the power utility debt in the current fiscal itself, as proposed, could double the actual fiscal deficit to 6% or more for Jharkhand as well as Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, according to the central government’s internal estimates.

The bailout also includes steps to reduce power theft, improve bill collection and raise tariff every quarter in line with production cost that would lead to an estimated savings of about Rs.1.8 trillion a year. If implemented, the scheme could avert about Rs.40,000 crore of power utility loans from becoming bad assets this fiscal and enhance discoms’ ability to source more power from producers and help boost capacity utilization.

Experts said reviving debt-ridden firms cannot be a one-off solution without addressing underlying issues of remunerative tariff and efficient collection of dues. “The restructuring of discoms have to be designed in a way that would ensure generation of positive cash flows on a sustainable basis,” said Kalpana Jain, senior director, Deloitte in India.[live mint]

Power theft to the tune of Rs 3, 77,930: TPDDL

Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd, which supplies electricity in north and northwest Delhi, today said that a Special Electricity Court has determined a civil liability of over Rs 3.7 lakh for power theft. 

"The Special Electricity Court in Rohini has determined a civil liability to the tune of Rs 3,77,930 for meter tampering, stealing electricity for industrial and domestic usage against electricity thieves ," a Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) statement said. 

"In each case TPDDL's Enforcement Team booked a case against erring consumers and issued theft bills in their names. The FIRs were then registered in the Police Stations and after trials faced by the accused, the court found them guilty for committing theft of electricity and accordingly convicted them," it added.[Business Standard]

Power Theft-Meter inspectors undergo martial arts training for own safety

KUCHING: Sixty Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) meter inspectors have undergone training in Aikido and Taekwon-do to equip them with self-defence skills to help in their line of work.

A press release said the company’s technicians often faced “difficult” situations.

“Our technicians have been in situations when customers caught stealing electricity have turned violent. The martial arts training is to build up their confidence.”

SEB assured the new skills would only be for self-defence, “not for the purposes of causing injury”.

“Aikido is a non-violent martial art from Japan using minimum force and energy. It is used by enforcement agencies throughout the world including the police and security companies. Taekwon-do on the other hand is Korean, consisting of unarmed combat for self-defence, with focus on mind and the body.”

The Aikido training was led by Shihan Muhd Haneef Ali, who is of 6th Dan level from AikikaiKo Bu Kan Dojo. He is Head of the Technical Committee for Aikikai Malaysia.

The Taekwon-do training was led by chief instructor Abang Ahmad Zaini Abang Fauzan (5th Degree level), who is president of Sarawak Global Taekwon-do Association.

SEB’s ongoing efforts to curb power theft have recorded significant success. The utility’s annual loss from power theft has seen a reduction from RM140 million in 2010 to RM34 million as of last month.

“However, the revenue loss is still substantial.”[ the Star Online]

Panels to fight power theft

Chandrashekhar Bawankule In order to overcome power theft in the state, the energy department has decided to set up committees in areas on the lines of Mohalla committees. The members of these committees will take the responsibility of ensuring that there is no power theft in the area and that residents pay their bills on time. The committees will act as a bridge between the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd. (MSEDCL) and consumers. In the first phase, every village till the district level will have these committees, with members, including the guardian minister, district collector, the CEO of the Zilla Parishad and superintendent engineer, gram panchayat sarpanch, MLAs and citizens, an official from energy department said. The committees would be set up on the lines of Mohalla committees, he added. "The committees are being formed after receiving a few complaints from the consumers about distribution losses and power theft. The committees are also expected to review the services given to the consumers, MSEDCL's efforts in electricity bill recovery, electricity supply to agriculture pumps, maintenance of the infrastructure in power supply and mainly report cases of power theft," the official added. Power losses in Maharashtra are about 15 per cent and include power theft. In some places, the losses are as high as 50 to 70 per cent. The areas are not provided with power supply 24 hours but have to undergo load shedding. The measures of forming the committees were taken in the backdrop of the large number of power theft cases in some regions. The energy minister, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, has approved the proposal, and the committees will soon come into existence, the official said.[THE ASIAN AGE]

Gang wanted in theft of transformers busted

The Kapurthala police busted a gang involved in thefts of power transformers in the region. Four members of the gang, including a junk dealer, who was purchasing the stolen material from thieves, was arrested by the police.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Kapurthala, Rajinder Singh, said, the CIA wing of the Kapurthala police received a tip off that the gang wanted in the theft of the 10 power transformers was roaming in the region and was looking for a customer to sell the stolen material. Sources also informed the police that apart from selling material of stolen transformers, the accused were also involved in selling drugs.
The police arrested Pooran Singh, Kala Singh and Laddo, all residents of Bootan village in Kapurthala. One junk dealer, identified as Tarsem Lal alias Soma, resident of Mehtabhgarh village in Kapurthala, to whom the gang members used to sell the stolen material, was also nabbed by the police.
Acting on a tip off, the CIA personnel laid a naka at Dhariwal Dona village railway crossing. Policemen intercepted and nabbed the three accused with stolen copper and silver cables. The police also recovered 150 intoxicant tablets from the accused while searching their belongings.
During preliminary questioning, the accused confessed to the police that they had stolen a power transformer from the Dhapai area recently and were on their way to sell the material to a junk dealer. Police officials said the accused had stolen around 10 power transformers from the Adi Khui area and sold extracted copper and silver material to junk dealer Tarsem at Mehtabgarh village.
The CIA in charge, Ravinder, said, so far 50 kg copper and silver cables were recovered from the accused. Remand of the accused was being sought to recover the remaining stolen copper from them, he added.[The Tribune]

Tanzania: Tanesco Loses Sh200 Million to Power Theft in Arusha

 Troubled national power utility Tanesco made a loss of over Sh200 million from January to December this year, mainly through illegal connections in Arusha Region alone, officials have said.
The revelation comes after recent reports of a Sh150 million loss Tanesco incurred in Mwanga District, Kilimanjaro Region.
At least 235 suspects have been arrested over the thefts. They are also accused of vandalism.
A Tanesco official in charge of customer care and public relations, Mr Saidi Mremi, regretted that the organisation continued to incur huge losses through illegal connections of power supply. He warned that this could lead to failure to supply power to genuine consumers because of the loss of the badly needed revenue for maintenance of the power lines and the entire infrastructure.
He revealed that a special operation to arrest the defaulters in and around Arusha was underway. However, he did not reveal when it would commence.
A security officer with the power utility Richard William said the operation would also include inspecting the electricity metres for all consumers to ensure they were in good working order and that none had been tampered with.
Acting regional manager Donasiano Shamba said due to the increasing theft or vandalism of the organisation's properties such as power cables and transformers worth millions of shillings, Tanesco would award anybody who would give information that leads to recovery of the lost property or money.
[THE CITIZEN]

Power theft-Trial held up as cop becomes a monk.

EDABAD: Legal cases often get stuck in court-related hurdles but this case of Naroda-based father and son is curiously different.

The trial of the case in which they are accused of alleged power theft is held up because its investigating officer (IO) renounced the world and became a monk.

A reply submitted before the additional sessions court judge PT Patel says that police inspector KK Rana, who was the investigating officer of the power theft case against Rama Vankar and his son Suresh, had become a monk and that this was holding up tri al of the case.

This came to light after the court, last month, summoned Rana and the police officer of Sabarmati police station which has the jurisdiction to investigate cases of Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL).

A reply submitted to the court said that Rana, the IO of the case, was not accessible as he had left his family to become a monk.
The reply also stated that even Rana's family was unaware of his whereabouts as he does not have any proper address. "Police are now investigating to find out his whereabouts," said the reply.
 

On April 3, 2007, the GUVNL had raided a crockery factory run by Rama Vankar and his son, Suresh. It was found during the raid that they had tampered with the electricity metre to get power illegally. The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited had filed an FIR against Vankar and his son in the alleged case of power theft.
 

Rana, who was made the investigating officer of the case, filed a charge sheet in 2011 arraigning Vankar and his son as accused in the case.
 

According to court procedure, the presence of the investigating officer is needed during trial. However, as Rana was absent for a long time, the court had finally issued summons.[TOI]
 

Discoms’ debt recast under UDAY to drive up state fiscal deficit

New Delhi: An ambitious government scheme to rescue power distribution companies by transferring three-fourth of their debt to state governments could drive up the combined fiscal deficit of states from the current 3% to more than 4.5% in the year to March if all states adopt the scheme, a government official said, citing internal estimates.
Under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) approved by the cabinet on 5 November, state governments willing to join the scheme can take over 50% the debt this year and 25% in the next. The balance will be borne by state electricity boards.
So far, more than 10 states have signed up for the scheme.
Under the scheme, debt taken over will not be counted to calculate states’ fiscal deficit or their borrowing limits, but their actual deficit will double to 6% or more for states like Haryana, Jharkhand, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.
Rajasthan’s fiscal deficit could triple from the current 3% to 9% if it signs up for the scheme, according to an internal estimate cited by the official, who did not want to be identified. The state’s electricity board has outstanding loan of more than Rs.75,000 crore.
The burden will be relatively lower in states like Kerala, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Gujarat, which will see only a marginal rise in fiscal deficit if they adopt the scheme.
The debt takeover was proposed as many financially weak power utilities pay interest as high as 14% compared with states, which get to borrow at about 8%.
State discoms have collectively borrowed more than Rs.4 trillion till the end of March.
Unlike the loans taken over, the interest paid on them will be counted while calculating fiscal deficit.
States would continue to enjoy their leeway in seeking relaxation in their borrowing limit, but the extra fund requirement for the loan recast could prompt them to go slow on capital spending.
The plan also includes steps to reduce power theft, collect payments more efficiently and raise tariff every quarter in line with production cost, which would lead to an estimated saving of about Rs.1.8 trillion a year.
The central government will prompt states to accept the proposals with extra incentives like low-cost power from NTPC Ltd and other utilities and priority in central funding in certain schemes.
Power sector experts are optimistic about the scheme’s success.
“If state utilities adhere to the performance milestones to be developed and incorporated in the agreement with the centre and state, the scheme could be a success. It needs involvement and support of all stakeholders. Implicit also is an assumption of improvement in ease of doing business and a pick-up in economic growth rate, which can add to states’ revenue receipts and their ability to service the taken over debt,” said Sambitosh Mohapatra, partner, energy, at PwC India, a consultancy firm.
If successfully implemented, the scheme could avert aboutRs.40,000 crore of power utility loans from turning bad this financial year and enhance discoms’ ability to source more power from producers and help boost their capacity utilization.[LIVE MINT]
 

People erect poles of their own to steal power supply

A joint team of district police and Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL) launched a massive drive to curb illegal power theft in posh colony of the town which hosts residences of state revenue minister, Amar Bauri, JMM, supremo, Shibu Soren and many officers of the police service, Jharkhand Administrative Services, CISF, CRPF, Income Tax and BSL in Sector-1 here on Friday.

The power theft was being done by squatters living in outskirts of the posh area over the past several years causing huge revenue loss and voltage problems to the genuine consumers. "The police personnel charged few rounds of tear gas to disperse the mob after agitators pelted stones on them in protest against the drive near Bokaro Niwas. Few policemen and BSL guards sustained light injuries," said Arvind Kumar Sinha, DSP, Chas, who was heading the drive.

The area Sector-1 remained in darkness for past 48 hours following electricity problem caused due to illegal tapping of wires. Power theft increases load on transformers. No electricity in the houses of state minister and Soren besides SP, judicial magistrates and others officials bagged huge concern of authorities who decided to launch a drive.

Conducting the operation, the team members' unearthed more than 20 electricity poles, half a dozen feeders and thousands of meters of wire which are illegally installed for power theft by the residents living in Baharra Basti, Dhobi Mohalla and others outside Sector-1. Surprisingly about half a dozen illegal electricity polls were found erected in vicinity of SP and Shibu Soren residences through which tapping was done.

A BSL officer said, "These people were so daring that they have illegally tapped wires through the poles from which power is being distributed to the residences of SP, DSP's, commandant, SDO and Shibu Soren besides other senior officials. Despite repeated efforts, the residents of Bahrra Basti and squatters on BSL land steal electricity connecting wires illegally".

The team of DGM (Security), BSL, Ajit Kumar demolished three illegal electricity poles and seized several hundred meter wires in a farmland situated closed to Shibu Soren residence. Soren used to visit this farmland whenever he comes to Bokaro. Similarly there were illegal tapping removed from the poles in front of commandants and top state government and BSL officials.

"Majority of DSP, inspectors and others who were heading the drive lives in Sector-1 and faced power cut at their houses since past two days," said a police officer. Apart from Sector-1, the joint team also removed illegal wires in Sector-V, Sector-12, Dundibagh and other areas of BSL Township. "This was the first time when such a massive drive has been launched against illegal power theft with support of administration in town," said DGM.

SP, Bokaro, Y S Ramesh said that administration will support BSL management in conducting anti-power theft drive across the town. Cases will also be lodged in this connection with the concerned police station on complaint of BSL. "No illegal power theft will be tolerated in town. Strict legal action will be taken against them who will be caught stealing power". Acting COC of BSL, Soni Kumari said "the drive was successful with support of district administration".[TOI]

No meter? No bill in the new year!

No electricity bill will be raised in case you don't have a meter installed in the new year.
In one of its kind order, the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has ruled that consumers, ostensibly in the urban areas, not having an electricity meter will not be required to pay an electricity bill in the new year. The commission has set a deadline of December 31 for UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) to get the meters installed in the premises of consumers.

But here is catch: the extraordinary 'waiver' would be given only to those consumers who have though applied for installation of a meter but UPPCL has failed to do so.
On the contrary, in case a consumer resists installation of meter and the UPPCL slaps a notice, the tariff for that consumer will get doubled. The increased tariff will apply till the time a consumer gets a meter installed. For instance a consumer not having a meter installed has a normative bill calculated considering usage of at least 155 units. This would double to 310 units from January 1, 2016.
 

UPERC chairman, Desh Deepak Verma said that the commission is of the view that cent-per-cent metering should be in place for a proper evaluation of tariff. "This would not only check power theft but would also reflect on determination of tariff,'' Verma said, while speaking to TOI
The regulator directive comes days after it sought information from the UPPCL on the number of consumers who have been covered under the metering process. The commission had also sought the physical verification of the installation of meter in the premises of consumers in the urban areas. The corporation in its report sent to the commission earlier this month had claimed of a substantial rise in the number of meters that got installed between June and December.
 

According to the report, in June the number of unmetered power consumers in urban areas was 3,76,909, which came down to just 5,000 in November. In five months, UPPCL claimed to have covered 3,71,909 consumers. Verma said that the commission was also planning to apply the same rule to the rural areas in the later stages. "The idea is to do away with the unmetered consumers in the state,'' he said.
Earlier, while the Madhyanchal distribution company had submitted that it is facing problem in tracing the connections, Poorvanchal discom said that it is facing stiff resistance from some of the consumers. The Kanpur Electricity Supply Company (KESCo) also submitted that it requires time for data cleaning and validation.[TOI]

34 booked for power theft in UP

Thirty four persons have been booked for alleged electricity theft in the city. 

Cases were registered against 34 persons here yesterday for illegal consumption of electricity, Sub divisional officer G D Bhaskar said. 

The defaulters were found to be using power without any electric metres, he said. 

It was also found that the power connections of all the accused, were cut due to non-payment of bills, the official added.[Business Standard]

Power theft--Four customers fined GHC 12,000 over illegal connection

Four customers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) who did self-reconnection after they have been disconnected for non-payment of bill have been convicted by a Kumasi Circuit Court.
The four who pleaded guilty to one count of obtaining electricity supply in an illegal manner contrary to rule 5 and 41 (2) (b) of the Legislative Instrument 1816 (2005) were convicted on their own plea.
They were fined GhȻ 3000 each or in default, one year imprisonment in hard labour.
Fines
In all, the court presided over by Mrs Vivian Ellen Amoah fined them a total sum of GhȻ12 000 or 250 penalty units each.
The convicts were Kwasi Prempeh, a trader; Asantewaa Manu More, a student; Bruce Antinicious, IT Specialist and Edward Owusu, a driver.
The four were part of a group of 34 customers who were arrested on December 2, 2016 by the company during a revenue mobilization exercise.
Facts
Led by the Manager of Prosecutions at the ECG, Mr Paul Assibi Abariga, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mrs Doris A. Amewu, told the court that on December 2, 2015 the revenue mobilization team of the company together with the police, went on a disconnection exercise in and around the Kumasi metropolis.
She said during the exercise, the convicts were found to have illegally connected power to their residences and were using it.
She said the convicts had earlier been disconnected for non-payment of bills and had reconnected the power without paying for their outstanding bills.
Mrs Amewu said the exercise took place around Ahenema Kokoben, Afrancho, Atonsu, Kaase and their environs.
Meanwhile, she said the convicts have since paid their bills and their reconnection fees.
[pulse.co.gh]

Pastor, tenant in court over power theft

A pastor of the New Life Baptist Rock Assemblies at North Legon in Accra, Kwame Boateng and his tenant, Kwame Amoako were last Saturday arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court for illegal power connection and theft of power.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges and were each granted bail in the sum of GH₵10,000 with two sureties to re-appear on January 9, 2016.
 
Briefing the court, Inspector Justice Dogbatse of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) investigations unit said on November 8, 2015 a team of ECG staff went on a monitoring exercise at East Legon and went to the house of the accused.
There, he said it was detected that seven rooms and four shops on the first floor of the three storey building had been connected directly while two meters in the facility had also been bypassed.
The two were subsequently arrested and in their caution statements, they admitted the offence.
A total bill of GH₵19,162.62 was given to Kwame Boateng and he has since paid GH₵11,140.00.
No mercy for power thieves
In an interview with the Daily Graphic after the court proceedings, the manager in charge of prosecutions at the ECG, Mr Paul Assibi Abariga who represented the state, said the ECG was committed to ridding the nation of people who had made it their business to cheat the taxpayer by illegally connecting power.
He warned that the exercise, which is national in character, would not spare anyone found anyone caught for power theft.
“It is unfair that while a good number of Ghanaians are faithfully paying for what they consume, others decide to cheat the system. That is unpatriotism. The right action would be taken in ensuring that the right things are done in order to safeguard power efficiency for all,” he said.
Special national exercise
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in collaboration with the security agencies, commenced a special national exercise from Saturday, August 1, 2015, aimed at clamping down on persons who had connected power illegally.
The exercise involved visits to all customers of the company to ascertain the nature of their electricity connection and the state of electricity metres.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Robert Dwamena had said that the move had been occasioned by wanton theft of power on the part of some unscrupulous elements that undermined the revenue drive of the company.
He said in spite of existence of loss control outfits in the company, the theft of power was now becoming “overwhelmingly high”.
In another development an electrician, Albert Mensah who stole an Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) master card with an infinite amount of credit on it and was moving round selling ECG credit to customers illegally has been fined 100 penalty units or in default serve three months in prison.[Mataharimall.com]

Odisha power consumers’ body opposes tariff hike move

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Rajya Bidyut Upabhokta Mahasangha has decided to organise a public hearing opposing power tariff hike before OERC (Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission) to oppose the application of Discoms like CESU, WESCO, NESCO, SOUTHCO and GRIDCO that have made an application for power tariff hike of 73 paisa per unit of electricity for the financial year 2016-17.

At a press conference held here today, Chairman of the Mahasangha Panchanan Kanungo said that Odisha was the first State to go for electricity reform in the country. The State government assured the people that they will avail qualitative power at cheaper rate uninterruptedly when the reform took place in the 1990s. But instead even in the Capital city we confront power cut every day for hours together, he added.
Joining the press meet advisor of the Mahasangha Rabi Das said before increasing the power tariff OERC must go for directing the Discoms to furnish there profit and loss report before the CAG or else OERC should not go for increasing the power tariff which will bring further burden to the common people.
Rabi Behera, president of Odisha unit of Samajwadi Party convenor of the Mahasangha alleged that financial loss of the Discoms due to theft and ATC loss should not be passed on to the honest consumers.
Though OERC has directed the Discoms to reduce transmission loss and to check power theft it is still 39% which is higher than the national average of 17%. By reducing 1% loss the state can save more than Rs.80 crores from its treasury and due to 39% loss we are spending Rs. 3420 crores more and the consumers are paying for it which is an anti-people measure of the Discoms, Behera said.
The common people will not tolerate such loot of the Discoms for the coming days, warned Behera.
The Mahasangha has called upon the people of Odisha to resist power tariff hike, undeclared power cut and such other anti people move of the distribution companies.
The organization demanded CAG audit for Discoms, free electricity to the farmers, to drive out private companies from billing and meter reading.
Keeping the global warming in view the State government must go for clean energy which will be environment friendly and cheaper to the consumers, demanded the Mahasangha.
They said government must go for hydropower, solar energy, wind energy and electricity from bio fertilizers which can be easily available to the consumers.
[ODISHA CHANNEL]

Theft of power transformers continues despite police drive

Though the district police have launched a special drive to nab thieves of electricity transformers of framers from fields, yet incidents of theft of transformers continue to occur regularly across the district.
According to information, more than 200 transformers were stolen from the fields of various farmers in the district during the past six months.
Thieves stole two transformers in Baghapurana and Nihal Singh Wala subdivisions of the district on Saturday late night and nine transformers from Kot-Ise-Khan, Salina, Khosa Pando, Mundi Jamal and Badduwal villages on Friday.
Bhupinder Singh, sub-divisional officer of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) of Bilaspur subdivision, also reported to the police that a 16kv transformer was stolen from fields of Balwinder Singh of Baude village.
Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Balwinder Singh of Badhni Kalan police station said that a case has been registered against unidentified people under section 379 of the Indian Penal Code.
Gurpal Singh, Manjinder Singh and Balwinder Singh, residents of Bhalur village, have also reported the theft of their transformers from their fields.
Satnam Singh, ASI of the Baghapurana police, said different cases have been registered in theft incidents.
The Dharamkot police have also busted a gang allegedly involved in the theft of as many as 30 transformers in Dharamkot subdivision and arrested three of its members, including a scrap dealer of Fathegarh Panjtoor.
Rashminder Singh, station house officer (SHO) of Dharamkot police station, said that the police have recovered 12 transformers, a huge quantity of the copper, oil and a Tata Ace vehicle used for stealing transformers from Mehna, Badduwal, Fatehgarh and some other villages.
The police said that they have started inspecting the record of all scrap dealers of Kot-Ise-Khan, Fatehgarh Panjtoor, Bhinder Kalan, Dharamkot, Moga and Kishanpura areas to get a clue that where thieves sold copper and oil of stolen transformers. “The accused have confessed that they were involved in theft of more than 30 transformers in these areas. Further investigation is underway at the moment,” said the police.
[HT]

Electricity leakages and theft cost Kenya Power Sh17bn in sales

Kenya Power is losing Sh17.5 billion annually through electricity thefts and leakages from an ageing transmission network, translating to lost earnings to shareholders of the listed utility.
Kenya Power managing director Ben Chumo on Thursday said the firm had channelled Sh10 billion in the current financial year towards strengthening transmission to cut the losses from 17.5 per cent to below 10 per cent.
“We are working to reduce the losses to single percentage digits,” said Dr Chumo, adding that one percentage point in system losses is equivalent to sales of Sh1 billion. This translates to lost revenues for Kenya Power shareholders given the firm had a target of keeping the transmission losses below 15 per cent.
The combination of power theft and leakages from the ageing transmission grid, which stems from the long period of under-investment, has continued to keep the system beyond the set targets.
“We are working to reduce the losses to single percentage digits,” Dr Chumo said during the signing of contracts with nine firms to install additional transformers and power lines closer to unconnected homes under the Last Mile Connectivity Project (LMCP).
Kenya Power recorded a six per cent growth in net profit to Sh7.43 billion for the year ended June 30. This means that system losses of Sh17.5 billion is more than twice Kenya Power’s annual profits and equivalent to 22.4 per cent of its Sh77.8 billion sales.
The inefficiency in the power flow system happens in high voltage wires, substations as well as low voltage lines connecting households and businesses.
High voltage wires, above 132 kilovolts (kV), are managed by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) with Kenya Power handling lower voltage lines.
Meter tampering or outright theft of electricity have also dogged Kenya Power, which is also hurting from vandalism of lines and transformers.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm is racing to expand its electricity distribution network to keep up with growing demand, including setting up new substations.
The utility has had to contend with increasing customer connections, particularly in rural areas, pushing homes and businesses connected to the grid to 4.1 million users, up from one million in 2010.
This has put pressure on the distribution grid. The number is set to grow even further with the rollout of the last mile connectivity project where homes will be connected to the national grid at Sh15,000 down from Sh35,000.
Kenya plans to add 5,000 MW of power supply capacity to the existing 1,664 MW by 2017 to accelerate economic growth.
Ketraco is spending billions of shillings in high voltage lines to move power from the generation plants to Kenya Power for onward distribution to users.
But a cut in system losses has the potential to create additional power, reducing the need to spend billions of dollars building new power plants.
Source: Business Daily
 
 

Power theft case registered against PHE contractor

Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Limited (CSPDCL) acting stern on case of power theft has filed an offence under the Electricity Act against one of the leading Public Health Engineering contractor firm Manish Pipe Private Limited, Raipur.
The contractor firm under Executive Engineer Public Works Engineering Department Project blocks Bemetara is working on Saja block pipeline expansion and water tank construction which is in progress in different villages.
The team of CSPDCL was inspecting the construction sites and found case of power theft. They then filed the complaint letter with Saja police station for filing FIR against the firm.
As per documents obtained through RTI, CGSPDCL Saja junior engineer and assistant engineer had visited the village Dhaurbhata under construction water tank. The firm had been involved in drawing power from the Low Tension Line using 1610 Watt LTL line to draw the current. On the spot inspection report along with map of power theft was made. After which, complaint was lodged against Messers Manish Pipe Pvt. Limited, B—13, Rawanbhata Industrial Area, Raipur C/o Executive Engineer, PHE Project, Bemetara.
Through hooking mode the power theft has been reported and as per rules the action would be taken after the FIR is lodged. A letter for filing FIR has been written to Station incharge Saja said, Manish Agrawal, Junior Engineer, CSPDCL, Saja, district Bemetara. Krishna Murari Mishra, Station incharge Saja, district Bemetara said that the letter has been received. The probe would be done[clipper 28]

In a first, MSEDCL detects power thefts by using remote device to rig meters

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has detected power thefts to the tune of Rs 3.19 crore just in the past two months in Pune and says some companies, including BPOs, have been found to be using a remote-controlled device to tamper with meters.
According to the MSEDCL, they have found at least four instances of the device being used to tamper the energy meter operated by current transformer (CT).
In the past two months, the state power utility has registered 121 criminal cases involving theft of 21.27 lakh units of power, Ramrao Munde, chief engineer of the Pune zone of MSEDCL, told Newsline. He said this was the first time they had detected how technology was cleverly misused to stop meter reading for certain durations to reflect less power consumption in the electricity bills.
Nishikant Raut, publicity officer with Pune zone of MSEDCL, said the electronic circuit in the CT operated energy meter was tampered with by errant companies.
An MSEDCL team grew suspicious when they stumbled upon a remote-controlled device placed discreetly near the CT operated energy meter at an ice factory at Nanded. This, Munde said, prompted them to start detecting other such cases. Munde said the drive would be intensified.
The IT section at MSEDCL also picked up the variations in power consumption of companies after which it conducted a data analysis of the consumption pattern per hour . “We realised there were problems when the analysis showed more than 30 per cent variation in the power consumption,” Munde said. “For instance, at Vimannagar, one BPO was detected with a power theft of Rs 37.81 lakh” he said.
Some industries at MIDCs at Chakan and Bhosari also allegedly indulged in similar power thefts.
Meanwhile, on the National Energy Conservation Day, which is celebrated every year on December 14, a pledge was taken at the Pune zone of MSEDCL to minimize energy consumption and save energy resources.
[Indian Express]

In 10 Months, BESCOM Loses Rs 10 Crore to Power Thieves

BENGALURU: In the last 10 months, the vigilance team of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) has registered close to 2,000 cases for the theft of more than 80 units of power in the BESCOM region, including Bengaluru.
One unit is equal to 1 kilowatt hour (kWh). The vigilance team has registered 3,193 cases, including 1,908 cognizable ones, since January. Under the cognizable cases, 80.24 units of power were stolen, causing the power utility a loss of `10.33 crore. Under 1,285 non-cognizable offences, 2,271.4 units worth `28.03 crore were stolen.
BESCOM supplies electricity in eight districts, including Bengaluru Urban, Chikballapur and Kolar.
According to A N Prakash Gowda, SP, BESCOM Vigilance, power theft is rampant in residential areas. “Now, power theft in industrial areas has come down. We have teams that conduct an energy audit. We can check
supply and distribution. In some places, if there is more distribution but little collected as electricity tariff, we send our technical team for a survey. It will be done individually and (theft) can be easily detected,” he said.
When asked about staff shortage, Prakash dismissed the notion saying the unit has 11 stations. Each station has six police constables, two head constables, one police inspector, one sub-inspector and an assistant executive engineer for technical assistance.
Cases since Jan, 2015
·         1,908 cognizable cases
·          80.24 units stolen
·         Rs 10.33 crore loss
·         1,285 non-cognizable cases
·         2,271.4 units stolen
·         Rs 28.03 crore loss
A senior BESCOM official, who did not wish to be identified, said under non-cognizable cases, offenders use the meters provided by BESCOM for other purposes. “For instance, some may be using a commercial connection with a domestic meter. This is also a form of cheating. We levy double the amount as fine then,” he said.
Dealing with power theft
Those who steal/damage power meters are booked under Section 135 of the Electricity Act, 2003. After the theft is detected, the power is disconnection immediately. The provisional assessment and compounding charge, which will be double the usage rate, is calculated by an authorised officer.
If the consumer fails to pay the charge, a criminal complaint is lodged with the Police Department (the BESCOM Vigilance Cell in this case) within 24 hours. If the consumer pays the provisional assessment amount, the supply will be restored within 48 hours. Congnizable cases are theft cases, while non-cognizable ones are against offenders who don’t use the power they draw for the purpose officially stated.[The New Indian Express]

 

 

Power theft cases: MSEDCL confiscates appliances

THANE: The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has come down heavily on those stealing electricity. Apart from fining the culprits they have also started confiscating the equipments running on illegal power. 

In the last three days, the MSEDCL squad conducted raids at 32 places across Thane and two in Kausa. The thefts if continued would have been worth Rs 16 lakh in total. 

A raid at a country liquor bar in Mahatma Phule Nagar revealed that a consumer was drawing electricity directly from a pole without any metering. The power supply was used to run a deep freezer inside the shop

After it was confirmed that the consumer was using the stolen power to run his deep freezer and had already stolen around 11,000 units of electricity worth Rs 3 lakhs, we confiscated his deep freezer,'' an official told TOI. 

Two other consumers Babulal Jain and Heena Ranka, were fined for stealing electricity worth Rs 8 lakh. Jain, has a shop at Ram Maruti road and was consuming illegal electricity with the help of remote control.He had tampered the electric meter by using a remote and stolen power worth Rs. 60,000. 

Similarly , Heena Ranka, a resident of Kharkharali, was caught stealing power for her residence and had consumed electricity worth Rs. 2lakh. 

Mohammad Iqbal a resident of Kausa stole 3,000 units which costs around Rs. 1 lakh and one Asgar Surme, stole 19,000 units worth Rs 3 lakh. 

"Cops have been informed about the repeated offenders and we have requested them to cancel their passports and also to extern them," said an officer. [TOI]

Despite no power, Chhattisgarh tribals pay fat electricity bills

The Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) has been dispatching electricity bills to the primitive Pahadi Korwa tribals of Jashpur district since April 2014. About two dozen households even settled their dues late last year for fear of being penalised. The only catch in this transaction was that these hamlets are yet to be electrified.
Over 100 households in the hamlet clusters of Kardanpath, Harrapath and Giddha in Jashpur district, about 300 km north-east of capital Raipur, do not have domestic power connections, but all have them were slapped with “outstanding dues” and warned by a CSEB official that they would end up in jail if they failed to pay up.
Initially, the villagers were surprised to receive the power bills, but chose to ignore it. “Some of them paid up after six months or so, but the unpaid dues gradually swelled to roughly Rs 1,500 per household. And to top it all was the jail warning from some CSEB staff. The tribals then approached us. We have lodged our protest with the administration. We plan to go to court if remedial measures are not taken,” says social activist Satyendra Pathak
Villagers said electrification work has been going on for some years now. They were asked to fill up domestic connection forms by contractors erecting electric poles. The CSEB apparently sent the bills on the basis of these forms, even before the households got any power connection. Power department officials, however, refute the villagers’ claims.
“They were slapped with penalty by our team and no electricity bills were issued. They were engaged in power theft. As they were BPL families, we acted leniently in penalty amount too,” says CSEB spokesperson Vijay Mishra.
Aitwa Ram, a Pahadi Korwa tribal, said he got the actual bills and was not informed about any penalty. “We are poor but not thieves. The cables are insulated so you cannot use hooks to steal. I have no capacity to pay this bill of Rs 1,462,” he adds.
CSEB executive engineer SK Khakha under whose tenure the lapses occurred refused to speak. “I am now transferred to another district,” was his reply.[HT]
 

Power thefts shoot up in city, RTI shows 9% of supply stolen

GURGAON: As the city readies to host India's first zero-outage grid, it must first take care of an immediate concern: power theft.

Power thefts have witnessed a more than 200% jump in Gurgaon between April and October this year. The total number of power thefts recorded for the period was 908 this year as opposed to 275 in the corresponding period of 2014.

Total penalties imposed also went up from Rs 276 lakh in 2014 to Rs 335 lakh. According to Section 150 of the Electricity Act 2003, power theft is a crime punishable with three years' jail. When contacted, an official of power discom DHBVN said electricity theft was a major cause for concern for the department and it has started cracking the whip in that regard. Officials said the increase in the number of inspections and the FIRs lodged validated their point.
There are different kinds of thefts and we are doing various things to prevent them such as installing insulated cables. The major issue, however, remains lack of public awareness and we are also working on that area by educating people on the extent of penalty including jail that they are liable for by committing theft," a senior DHBVN official said.

The total number of connections checked for power theft has also gone up from 2,108 in 2014 to 2,488 in 2015. And the number of FIRs lodged in connection with power theft have also gone up from 143 in 2014 to 397 in 2015. All the cases are filed with a police station in Sushant Lok which is dedicated to dealing with power theft cases. In response to an RTI query by activist Aseem Takyar, approximately 9% of the total units of power received by DHBVN were lost in Gurgaon circle for the whole of 2014.[TOI]

Cams to watch power theft, traffic

GURGAON: In a bid to curb power theft and help police monitor and regulate traffic, the city's power discom has decided to install over 600 high-definition CCTV cameras across Gurgaon in the next one year, at a cost of nearly Rs 134 crore. Checking power pilferage will help streamline the electricity supply, a big step that is also aimed at ensuring round-the-clock supply in the Millennium City, say officials.

Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN)'s managing director Arun Kumar told TOI on Saturday that the cameras would be installed to not only keep a tab on power pilferage, but it will also be used for traffic management.

"Power officials and policemen will both have access to the control room of the cameras that will be installed at strategic locations and busy intersections," he said.
he company, which will install the cameras, will also look after the maintenance for six years.

Kumar said the city has more than 4.5 lakh consumers and power theft is one of the major challenges for the electricity department. "By installing high resolution cameras in every division, electricity department will be able to curb power theft and thus save power," he said.

Officials said under the smart grid project, all overhead power cable will be put underground to minimise the chances of damage caused to humans and animals due to high-voltage power cables. But underground power cable also causes difficulty in restoring power supply in case of fault, so the department is going to lay optical fibre for its monitoring cameras, they said.

These CCTV cameras will be installed in addition to 61 cameras that are to be stationed at 13 locations by the MCG for 24X7 surveillance.

MCG officials claim at least 48 cameras, which will be installed by them, will be made operational at 10 locations within the next two months, while the remaining ones will be installed at Rajiv Chowk, IFFCO Chowk and Signature Towers crossing - the city's three busiest intersections - only after the construction work of the underpass is completed, which could take another two years.[TOI]

Power bill payment alarmingly low in UP small towns

LUCKNOW: In yet another indication of brazen power theft in UP, some of the smaller towns in the state have recorded revenue recovery rate of barely Rs 0.40 per unit as against the required average Rs 4.5 per unit, suggesting that only one-tenth of the consumers paid their electricity bills.

The damning reality came up after UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) sought reports from various power distribution companies vis-a-vis revenue recovery. The compilation of all reports, (TOI has a copy of it) shows that in June earlier this year, consumers in Mauranipur town in Jhansi district paid at an average rate (through rate) of barely Rs 0.40 per unit. Similar was the case with Konch (in Jhansi) where the average rate has turned out to be Rs 0.67 per unit.

The report shows that the menace was equally rampant in towns like Sahaswan and Tilhar where the average rate was only Rs 0.60 per unit. Even in Mainpuri, the home district of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, the average through rate was Rs 2.59 per unit. Data show that it increased to Rs 3.57 per unit in September but again dropped to Rs 3.41 per unit.

Similarly, Kannauj, the parliamentary constituency of Dimple Yadav, had a through rate of only Rs 0.79 per unit in June. Here too, the recovery rate increased to Rs 2.69 per unit in September but it again came down to Rs 2.22 per unit in October.

A couple of town areas within Lucknow zone too registered a very low through rate indicating high power pilferage. Biswan (in Sitapur district), for instance, had a through rate of only Rs 1.85 per unit. Khairabad was even worse with consumers here paying at an average of Rs 0.90 per unit.

In all, there are 49 such towns in the state where the through rate is much lower than what is desired. When contacted, UPPCL managing director, AP Mishra said that the respective engineers in the districts have been summoned and asked to give an explanation. "If the situation does not improve by the end of this year, they would be given adverse entries in their annual confidential reports (ACRs)," [ TOI.]

Mega Power theft in city’s Nirmal Nagari Township echoes in Assembly

Nagpur: The contentious issue of large-scale power theft in the newly constructed Nirmal Nagari Township echoed in the Assembly on Day-3 of Winter Session of Maharashtra Legislature being held in the city. BJP’s Sardar Tarasingh and Sharad Dada Sonavane raised the issue of power theft by more than 900 flats and 150 shops in the Nirmal Nagari Township and wanted to know what action was initiated against the builder of the township.

In a terse written reply, Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said that the power theft was investigated and action was initiated against the guilty.

It is pertinent to recall that Nagpur Today was the only newspaper that had reported the massive power theft in Nirmal Nagari extensively. Nagpur Today had reported that a recent raid on Nirmal Nagari Township by Spanco Nagpur Discom Limited (SNDL) had not only exposed a mega power theft but also opened a can of worms, pertaining to serious irregularities in the township. Sources revealed that a whopping amount of Rs 82,000 has been recovered from each of the shopkeepers who were provided 2-phase meter customers. Even those owning duplex and bungalows were made to pay much more than the cost of their 3-phase meters. Following SNDL’s action the authorities at Nirmal Nagari had cordoned off the security cover so as to prevent from any further expose. Almost every vehicle and occupants of the vehicle (if not a resident) is checked and asked to enter his name and purpose of visit etc.

 

In another report by Nagpur Today headlined “Nirmal Nagari builder has to pay double charges as penalty for power theft, reveals expert” it had stated that an Electrical Engineer, a Power Expert, the Energy Forum Chairman of VIA and one of the Directors of MSEB Holding Company R B Goenka had revealed that the offence pertaining to mega power theft as committed by the builder of Nirmal Nagari attracts a penalty of twice the charges to be recovered from the year the power connection was provided to the Builder. He said that the offender is given time to pay the assessed amount or to appeal against the assessed charges. While speaking with Nagpur Today Goenka however said that he was yet to go through the assessment of Nirmal Nagari. Only then could he actually comment on the case, he added. However, in normal circumstances, if the defaulter commits an offence of violating Section 126 of Electricity Act, there is no need to file an FIR, but only a panchanama is conducted. He claimed the Assessment Officer who can be Chief Executive Officer of SNDL has full rights to waive off the offence or to penalize the offender after assessing the gravity of offence committed.

 

Bawankule assures action against Nirmal Nagari builder

Another report by Nagpur Today had stated that the Energy Ministry Chandrashekhar Bawankule surprisingly was not aware of the uncanny affairs of the builders of Nirmal Nagari. While speaking exclusively to Nagpur Today, Bawankule had said he was taken aback by the revelation of Nirmal Nagari’s misdeeds. He had immediately called his staff and asked him to convene a meeting of SNDL officials to look into the matter of builder of Nirmal Nagari. He also directed him to meanwhile find out why an FIR is not registered against the builder. It could be mentioned here that acting on tip-off, the team from SNDL swooped at Nirmal Nagari only to be shocked and flabbergasted at what they unearthed. They found that the entire project which contains around 700-900 flats, 40 bungalows and150 shops were stealing power. Sources informed that a Power sub-station with capacity of 33 KV was installed at the township to ensure a smooth power supply to the residents of Nirmal Nagari. However, the builder had circumvented the Electricity Laws and had directly provided power from the Distribution Point (DP) without any billing. To add to one crime of drawing power illegally, the builder had himself installed his own meters at the bungalows and was generating own power bills for the residents, which is considered as a forgery since only the MSEDCL authorities or its franchise can generate the bills.[NAGPUR TODAY]

3,900 electricity theft cases recorded so far this year — commission

AMMAN — The Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC) on Saturday launched a campaign in the southern governorates to educate the public on the dangers and consequences of electricity theft.
Under the campaign, which covers the governorates of Tafileh, Maan and Karak, more than 25,000 brochures are being distributed to raise awareness on the need to combat the phenomenon, which is estimated to cost the country about JD60 million annually, EMRC Chief Commissioner Farouq Hiari told The Jordan Times.
In Aqaba, some 330km south of Amman, more than 7,000 brochures were distributed to raise awareness among the public on the dangers of electricity theft. In addition, a performance was held highlighting the risks and penalties in cases of electricity theft.
“Such awareness campaigns play a key role in fighting this phenomenon, which has been on the decline lately due to enforcement of the law and monitoring of violations,” Hiari said.
Raids carried out by the commission in cooperation with power companies detected 3,900 cases of electricity theft across the country since the beginning of this year, he added.
More than 50 per cent of those cases were referred to court, Hiari noted, stressing that the commission will continue its efforts to combat electricity theft in cooperation with involved partners.
He pointed out that electricity theft causes power cuts for a large number of subscribers as it increases the load on the national grid.
Hiari underscored the key role citizens play in combating this phenomenon by reporting any violations to power companies.
Current laws stipulate that any persons involved in stealing electricity face between six months and two years in prison and a fine of no less than JD2,000 and no more than JD10,000, or both penalties. [JORDAN TIMES]

Cops checking power theft attacked

DELHI
INDIA
Three Delhi Police personnel, including an assistant sub-inspector and a BSES official, were injured due to stone pelting during a raid against electricity theft in a village near south-west Delhi’s Najafgarh on Saturday. 

A BSES vehicle was also damaged. None of the injuries were serious, police said.

“The BSES received several complaints of electricity being illegally drawn by locals at Bakkarwala village. On Saturday, they sought help from police to conduct a raid and were provided with some personnel,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South West) R A Sanjeev.

A BSES official told Deccan Herald that the raid was conducted as some pockets in south-west Delhi have been reporting high incidents of power theft. The policemen and the electricity officials reached Bakkarwala village at 1 pm. As they were getting off their vehicles, they were attacked for no apparent reason. 

“Some youths from the village began pelting stones, perhaps with an intention to force the teams to leave. They also hurled abuses,” Sanjeev said.

The police team called for reinforcement, following which the assailants fled from the spot. However, the raid was called off, while the injured were taken to Rao Tula Ram Hospital.[DH]

Telangana govt mulling introducing prepaid electricity meters

HYDERABAD: In a novel move, the Telangana power discoms are planning to introduce rechargeable prepaid electricity meters in the state soon. 

Officials said the prepaid electricity meters are useful for both consumers and also the power distribution companies. The discoms hope that with the onset of prepaid meters, the problem of power pilferage and huge power dues can also be controlled. 

Many states like Maharastra, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Karnataka have introduced prepaid meters in their respective states and the experiment has been giving good results. 

Telangana State Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (TSSPDCL) officials said some of the manufacturers of prepaid meters approached the state government who in turn asked authorities to see the demonstration a couple of days ago. The discom authorities are also planning to visit some states where the prepaid meters are fixed. 

Before installing the meters, the state government has to seek the approval of the Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission (TSERC). 

"Initially, the TSSPDCL wants to install meters in some of the state government offices on experiment basis. Then they would be extended to other areas where power theft problem is more. The prepaid meters would be fixed for domestic and non-domestic categories - both single and three phase users," TSSPDCL director (operations) J Srinivas Reddy told TOI on Friday. 

Officials said though a number of prepaid meters are available in the market, the discom is considering cost-effective options. The state government would also take a policy decision on who should bear the cost of the prepaid meter after getting approval from the regulatory commission. 

The prepaid meters would also control overload problem in the city. The meter disconnects supply as soon as load exceeds the sanctioned limit and resumes supply only after the load gets regularised. This ensures that there is no penalty slapped on consumers using excess load. 

Sources in energy department said the proposal of prepaid meters came up few years ago, but the state government pushed it into cold storage as the cost of the meters was estimated at Rs 6,000 to Rs 12,000 for single phase and three phases. 

But now the prices have come down. The discoms have been spending huge money for taking meter readings by engaging agencies, experiencing huge losses due to power theft and distribution losses. Moreover, under the existing system, bills are being collected after a month of the power utilisation. [TOI]

UPPCL urges engineers to curb power theft by year-end

LUCKNOW: The UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) management on Friday warned the engineers to curb power theft and improve the revenue recovery by December 31.

At a video conferencing with various chief engineers of distribution companies, UPPCL chairman and Principal secretary (energy), Sanjay Agarwal said that in some of the districts revenue recovery did not matched the desired rate. The districts which came in the radar of the UPPCL included Faizabad, Gonda, Allahabad, Basti and Saharanpur. In fact, these districts reported an increase in power theft as compared to 2014.

UPPCL managing director, AP Mishra said that the MDs of the respective distribution companies have been asked to summon the engineers and hold them responsible. He claimed of taking strict action against the engineers in case situation did not improve in the days to come.[TOI]

Power Theft may hamper UDAY

National Award winning documentary ‘Katiyabaaz’, based on power theft in the bustling industrial town of Kanpur started a conversation on the crumbling power distribution in the country, last year, the same year when NDA government came to power promising ‘24X7 Power for All’.

A 'katiya' or 'kanta' or ‘kundi’ – as it is known in different parts of the country is not just a fatal attempt to get free access to power; it’s mockery of our power sector.

This business of power theft, of politicians promising free power, and of local authorities turning a blind eye to it could impede the success of the ambitious UDAY scheme of the NDA government aimed at providing 24X7 power to all.

Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) is indeed an all-encompassing scheme for reforming the power distribution sector. It has a clear focus on technological improvement, urges states to be accountable for losses and inefficiency of their distribution companies (discoms), and suggests measures for operational improvement.

The scheme was announced in the wake of state-owned discoms defaulting on their loans for years, leaving the banking sector exposed debt of as much as Rs 3.5 lakh crore.

The first step the scheme suggests is the taking over of discoms' debt by the state government and sold as bonds in the market. This will clear the books of the discoms at least for the short term and bail out the banks. (This is not the first attempt to restructure discoms in the country; previous attempts have failed miserably with states defaulting on the measures suggested by the Centre)


The reason I use the word ‘suggest’ is because electricity is a state subject and the Centre can only be guiding authority. Of the three components of the power sector, generation and transmission are easier to turn around as these are with the Centre. However, distribution, which is with the states, is usually the broken link in the whole connection.

Power supply is not governed by the electricity regulator in this country, but by the people in power; be it chief ministers promising free power, local thugs thrashing power company executives asking for payment, or MLAs promising farmers subsidised or free electricity, to name just a few.

“People want free electricity because subsidy is ingrained in us just like corruption is. Sab politics hai free power ki, economics aati nahi hai inn netaon ko (this is all politics of free power, these politicians don't understand economics),” a political analyst in Kanpur told me when a private company hired to reform the discom was pushed out of the city by local politicians.

An editor in Delhi once rued the fact that electricity could never come to his village in Bihar as when infrastructure was built, there was not enough power supply. But Bihar has improved power supply lately, I told him. He grinned and said: “People had sold the poles and power lines by then.”

On top of it, electricity department officials were beaten up when they told the villagers had to pay for power supply.

But urban areas are not better off. In several satellite areas in Delhi, the power supply companies have not received a single penny of payment for past many years.

“Madam hamare neta ne kaha ki ek paisa mat dena inn bijli waalon ko. Tum sab ko bijli free hai ((Our leader has asked us not to pay our electricity bills as power is free for us),” a cab driver, resident of Najafgarh who was complaining of power cuts told me. And by neta, he didn’t even mean the MLA, who is the elected representative.

Uttar Pradesh one of the states at the forefront to accept UDAY reform plan. UP is election bound in 2017. Economics might lose to politics again.

The policy clearly states that reform needs to percolate till the level of the last lineman. I faintly recall a dialogue by Loha Singh, the protagonist in Katiyabaaz, “Hum hi lineman, hum hi engineer, Kanpur ki bijli ka raaz, katiyabaaz (I am the lineman, I am the engineer. The secret of electricity in Kanpur is Katiyabaaz).”

The reforms will have to fight such katiyabaazs at all levels. The Gujarat state government has asked the police force to join hands with the energy department to ensure ‘nuisance-free’ bill collection and metering.
Coordinated efforts need an iron political will, a whip-cracking authority, and consumer awareness[Business Standard]

Push to solar power with more sops

GURGAON: The power discom has introduced a rash of incentives to encourage people to install solar power panels for generating electricity in their homes. Under the initiative, the electricity board will buy the excess power generated by solar power units at homes and adjust it in monthly power bills.

Late last year, the Haryana government had made an announcement in which it declared solar power plants mandatory in all commercial and residential properties exceeding a plot area of 500 square yards. But Huda, the agency appointed for its implementation, on Monday acknowledged it had not followed up on the order.

This scheme could, however, be just the shot in the arm that initiative needs. According to the scheme, if a consumer uses 1,000 units a month, of which 600 units are generated by a personal solar plant, then the power bill will be only for 400 units. But if units of power generated by the solar plant exceed the consumer's total monthly consumption, the extra units will be transferred to the discom and adjusted in next month's bill to ensure the power generated doesn't go waste. The benefits are over and above the subsidy provided on solar power panels.A consumer now has to file an application with the electricity department that he is about to install a solar power plant. Following this, the department will install a 'net meter', which will be connected to, and record power consumption from, both the solar plant and the electricity provided by the board.

The scheme is expected to most benefit working people, as the solar plant in their homes will generate power all day when they are in office and not consuming power.

This power will thus be entirely sold to the grid. Chopra said given the acute power shortage Gurgaon faces, high consumer participation in such initiatives will help the city tackle power cuts.

Residents welcomed the initiative, as it will not only help the discom, but also benefit them. Surender, representing the Sector 45 RWA, said, "It's a great start. If we generate power ourselves, not only do we save money on units consumed, we'll also save on transmission losses and power theft." He suggested the subsidy on solar power generation be directly transferred to a consumer's bank account, as is the case with LPG subsidy.[TOI]

Power theft and electricity tariff-Ghana Experience

President John Mahama has blamed the high cost of electricity tariffs in Ghana on power theft.

According to him, until Ghanaians are bold enough to report citizens involved in the malpractice, tariffs will continue to surge.

Power theft is the criminal practice of stealing electrical power. It is punishable by fines and incarceration in most countries.

According to a study by the Emerging Markets Smart Grid, the world loses US$89.3 billion annually to electricity theft.

Speaking at the launch of a new metering system, 'Smart Meters', in Accra, Mahama said Ghana appears not to be progressing because citizens shy away from reporting wrongdoers.

“For every person who steals power, he makes power more expensive for those of us paying. And that is why our tariffs are high.

“If your neighbour is stealing power, know that he is responsible for the higher tariffs you are paying. Sometimes we see it but in Ghana we have this unhelpful tradition that we call “Konkonsa”; if you go and say it, they say you are “Konkonsa” (gossip), and so we watch on for people to sabotage the country and that is why the country is not progressing,” he lamented.[Ghanaweb]

Can UDAY succeed in reviving cash-starved discoms?

The government last week tried to usher in a Diwali for the power sector by announcing a scheme called Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY, which seeks to improve the finances of the loss making power distribution companies (Discoms). However, is UDAY a fool proof plan to control discom losses for is the big question and to get an answer to this question CNBC-TV18’s Latha Venkatesh caught up with two former power secretaries, R V Shahi and P Umashankar. She also spoke to Ajay Jain, energy secretary for the state of Andhra Pradesh and Sanjay Sagar, Joint- MD & CEO, JSW Energy. According to experts the plans needs constant monitoring and one can not expect the scheme to succeed just because the plan is in place. They also think there is no way that the centre can ensure AT&C losses or the power theft will come down because it is still dependent on the discoms and the state governments implementing it in good faith. Experts believe quarterly revision of tariffs must be ensured, so that the tariff revisions don't become big. If they are quarterly the revisions are likely to be small. There is no clout with the centre to ensure that this process is not politicised. Banks can be are a very powerful way to ensure that this quarterly revisions take place, say experts More importantly, Coal India should ensure that it provides the coal at a cheaper price because currently, its RoE is much higher than the RoE of power distribution companies, which the centre needs to think carefully about. Background It is for the third time in the last 12 years that the government is making an attempt to improve the state of distribution companies.  India's power distribution companies or discoms have accumulated losses of Rs 3.8 lakh crore today and the banking sector's exposure to them stands at Rs 4.3 lakh crore. They had financial recasts in 2003 and in 2013 but slipped back into losses, one mainly because of huge transmission losses due to power theft and two, because the state governments refused to let them raise power tariffs. However, the Central Government is now trying to plug all these holes with its latest UDAY scheme. Main features of the scheme are as follows 1. State Government will take over 75 percent of the discom debt and the balance 25 percent will be converted to discom bonds, which aims at bringing down the discoms interest costs. 2. States have to commit to smart metering to reduce the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses from 22 percent to 15 percent. 3. Starting FY18, state governments will have to take over discom losses as part of their deficit. 5 percent of the losses will be part of their deficit in 2018, 10 percent in 2019, 25 percent in 2020 and 50 percent in 2021. 4. Finally, banks have been told not to fund discom losses. According to a Crisil report if the scheme is implemented for the 8 financial restructuring plan (FRP) states, it has the potential to wipe out losses of discoms in Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana by FY18. For discoms in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, losses will reduce but total elimination can happen only by achieving milestones on operational efficiencies lest they regress into the debt trap, it said[www.money control.com]

In 10 Months, BESCOM Loses Rs 10 Crore to Power Thieves

BENGALURU: In the last 10 months, the vigilance team of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) has registered close to 2,000 cases for the theft of more than 80 units of power in the BESCOM region, including Bengaluru.

One unit is equal to 1 kilowatt hour (kWh). The vigilance team has registered 3,193 cases, including 1,908 cognizable ones, since January. Under the cognizable cases, 80.24 units of power were stolen, causing the power utility a loss of `10.33 crore. Under 1,285 non-cognizable offences, 2,271.4 units worth `28.03 crore were stolen.

BESCOM supplies electricity in eight districts, including Bengaluru Urban, Chikballapur and Kolar.

According to A N Prakash Gowda, SP, BESCOM Vigilance, power theft is rampant in residential areas. “Now, power theft in industrial areas has come down. We have teams that conduct an energy audit. We can check

supply and distribution. In some places, if there is more distribution but little collected as electricity tariff, we send our technical team for a survey. It will be done individually and (theft) can be easily detected,” he said.

When asked about staff shortage, Prakash dismissed the notion saying the unit has 11 stations. Each station has six police constables, two head constables, one police inspector, one sub-inspector and an assistant executive engineer for technical assistance.[Indian Express]

Mahama laments effect of power theft

President John Dramani Mahama has called on traditional authorities - specifically those in the Greater Accra Region - to help government in exposing individuals who tap power without paying for it.

He said such people have contributed to the high cost of power in the country.

“We know those who are stealing the power and not paying. Illegal connections, we all know. It is those things that make the power expensive for us because for anybody who steals the power, we those who pay pay for it,” President Mahama stated on Tuesday, November 17 while addressing members of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs.

He met them as part of his ‘Changing Lives’ tour in the Region and took the opportunity to apprise them of Saturday’s presidential and parliamentary primaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a political party he leads.

The president, who is seeking re-election, said the primaries will be run like a district assembly election, and will see about 6,000 voting centers mounted at electoral areas.

President Mahama touched on government’s efforts to solve the energy challenges, saying the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is deploying officers to inspect and bring to book individuals and companies using power without paying for it.

“I want the judiciary to help us so that when these people are brought they will be fined heavily and when they are fined heavily they won’t go back to steal power again.”[Ghanaweb]

Gang involved in power theft busted in Gurgaon

The vigilance wing of Haryana power utilities on Wednesday claimed to have busted a gang involved in tampering with electronic meters in the city.

Raids were conducted in DLF Phase 1, 2, and 3, Sushant Lok, Sectors 14 and 17 and other posh areas as well as in old Gurgaon.

Rajvant Pal Singh, the DGP and director of vigilance, said in a release that the gang was headed by Govind, a resident of Sector 40, Gurgaon. The other members of the gang are Udaybhan, a resident of Baliya (UP) and Manjeet Singh, a resident of Daultabad, Gurgaon.

The estimated loss to the discom is about Rs 15 crore in the district of Gurgaon alone, Singh said and added that the gang was active in other districts as well. Govind lived in a luxurious house in Gurgaon and owned expensive cars, Singh said.

Penalties were also imposed on erring consumers, who indulged in electricity theft with the help of the gang, Singh added.

According to Singh, Govind had earlier floated a company in the name of M/s Hariom Carriers Ltd that entered into a contract with the discom for reading meters from 2002 to 2007.

The gang used sophisticated devices to change the supply from three phase to single phase by inserting hot needles to make pin holes and then pulling down to cut off the wires to stop the meters from recording the power consumed.

The gang was also involved in installing fake meters for consumers. They would remove the original meter after taking the reading and then reinstall it at the time of the next reading.

The company charged amounts ranging from Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000 initially followed by a monthly charge of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per consumer, depending on the quantum and mode of power theft.

Even after the contract period was over, the gang resorted to tampering with meters in the domestic and non-domestic segments, Singh said.

The gang operated with the help of discom staff as such incidents could not have happened had there been effective supervision by senior officials of the operations wing of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam, Singh said[HT]

POWER THEFT-Rewind: It’s decision time, India

A part of India wants to rewrite past history, and correct historical wrongs (with regard to the Karnataka Government’s move to celebrate Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary). A larger part wants to prepare for the future. India has to decide which route it wants to follow, and to do so fast, for global economic conditions seem to be flashing some warning signals.
Despite years of easy liquidity through cheap debt to drive up investments (to create jobs) and consumption (to drive GDP growth), global economic growth is sluggish. The US, the world’s leading economy, grew at an annual rate of 1.5 per cent in the September quarter. China’s GDP growth is slowing down, along with its demand for commodities. It was the world’s largest buyer of most of the world’s commodities, and the slowdown in its economy has driven the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), a measure of global trade in dry bulk cargo, to the low levels it had reached during the 2008 financial crisis. This is an ominous sign, for it indicates that global trade, and demand, is dropping sharply. Global trade is down 8.4 per cent this year. Japan is also not growing, despite a huge quantitative easing, and industrial production in Germany — the strongest of the European countries — has fallen. The Euro Zone continues to languish.
No complacency
In all this, India’s GDP, growing at 7.5 per cent, is a cause for joy but not of complacency — a very familiar Indian policy trait. Remember how the GDP growth of 8 per cent collapsed surprisingly fast?
I believe the Prime Minister recognises the need to put India on the right road, of developmental economics and growth. He announced, through executive action, the opening up of FDI in 15 sectors.  Modi knows, too, the urgency of creating jobs and of kick-starting the investment cycle. The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways plans to spend ₹1.5 lakh crore next year to build 15,000 km of roads; of this, 30 per cent will be in the private sector and the rest through government funding. This will provide employment, build infrastructure, and kick-start the investment cycle.
The Ministry of Power has formulated the Uday scheme, for the financially-stricken power distribution companies (discoms). Discoms are perennially loss-making, largely due to electoral promises of free electricity made by state politicians, and the inability to control power theft. The losses are held in the books of banks, as non-performing assets. For example, 6.8 per cent of Central Bank’s loan book consists of restructured loans (a polite word for unrecoverable loans) extended to discoms. Under Uday, State Governments would assume the liabilities of discoms gradually, and issue bonds to banks to make their balance sheets healthier. However, steps must be taken to stop theft of power, and to stop state politicians from promising free power to solve the problem at the root.
Banks, especially public sector ones that have been arm-twisted to lend to discoms, would benefit from the Uday angioplasty to their balance sheets. India’s large domestic economy and huge population are, for sure, attracting attention. It attracted the highest FDI, of all countries in the first half of the year. Its current account deficit has fallen from 4.5 per cent of GDP to 1.3 per cent, thanks largely to a fall in the price of crude oil and gold.
The new sovereign bond scheme would help reduce gold imports and strengthen the rupee. The switch from physical to paper asset would be fortified if investors feel protected. So, it is a good sign that the Maharashtra Government has taken the matter of investor protection seriously and appointed authorities to liquidate seized assets of scamsters and repay investors.
Last week the sensex fell 256 points to close at 25,610.
Narendra Modi is on a state visit to Britain, India’s biggest FDI investor. But he has to indicate that, in the driver’s seat, his vision is forward looking through the windshield, and not backward looking through the rear view mirror. As a nation we have to take a call which road we wish to take. The one going forward, or the one trying to resurrect history. The market would move accordingly
[BUSINESS LINE

power theft

HA NOI (VNS) — More than 14,000 cases of electricity theft were reported during the first nine months of the year, resulting in the loss of at least 11 million kWh from the country's electricity network. The authority also collected over VND60 billion (US$2.7 million) in fines, according to a report by Electricity Viet Nam (EVN).

While the number of cases was lower compared to the same period last year, more sophisticated methods were used in stealing electricity, including the use of powerful magnets to slow down electric counters, tweaking the inside of counters or, in some cases, completely bypassing them by setting up a different line.

In addition, EVN reported thousands of violations of safety perimeters along power lines. In the majority of cases, man-made structures, advertising panels and construction machineries were involved.

Electricity theft and safety perimeter violations contributed to hundreds of technical failures and accidents across the network, which in turn resulted in large social costs for consumers and businesses. Problems have persisted despite recent efforts to discourage residents from stealing electricity, including disseminating information on electrical safety regulations and conducting regular inspections of electric counters and power lines.

Electricity theft has not only caused the loss of hundreds of billions of dong every year, but it has also forced EVN to spend an increasing amount of funds on anti-theft devices and measures, according to Tran Viet Nguyen, deputy head of EVN's sales department.

He noted that attempting to steal electricity from the network is a dangerous endeavor that puts the thieves and innocent bystanders in danger.

Meanwhile, the country's current anti-theft regulation has been an ineffective deterrent. Legal experts pointed out that while common thieves who steal items worth more than VND2 million ($90) face criminal responsibility, electricity thieves who may steal up to thousands of dollars worth of electricity only face administrative fines.

According to the latest anti-electricity thieving Government decree, thieves who steal more than 20,000 kWh will face criminal responsibility in a court of law beginning December 1. Experts, however, said that the authority will face numerous challenges in collecting the required evidence due to the intangible nature of electricity. [VIETNAM NEWS]

 

States Need to Accept Revival Plan for Distribution Firms: India Ratings

New Delhi: There is a need to take up the scheme to revive debt-ridden distribution companies by state governments which in turn would result in an annual interest saving to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore, India Ratings said on Tuesday.

In a bid to rescue almost-bankrupt state utilities, the Cabinet had earlier approved a scheme to recast their Rs 4.3 lakh crore of debt, besides steps to cut power theft and align consumer tariff with cost of generating electricity.

"The state governments of stressed electricity distribution companies need to come forward to accept the revival plan under Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY)," India Ratings and Research said in a statement.

"Ind-Ra estimates the annual interest saving of Rs 25,000 crore by discoms, assuming 50 per cent of the Rs 4.3 lakh crore debt is restructured under this scheme," it said.

Additionally, discontinuing funding of the distribution companies' operating losses by the banking system will help avoid the debt trap, it had said.

The Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had last week approved a scheme to ease the financial crunch of power distribution firms which has impaired their ability to buy electricity.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said state governments, which own the distribution companies, can take over 75 per cent of their debt as of September 30 and pay back lenders by selling bonds.

For the remaining 25 per cent, distribution firms will issue bonds. The central government will ease rules to allow the states participating in the scheme to borrow more and help ease the additional burden.

Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna, or UDAY, provides "a permanent resolution of past as well as potential future issues of the sector" and empowers the utilities to break-even in next 2-3 years, he had said.

According to India Ratings, the participation in the UDAY scheme is optional and state governments have not yet indicated their stance since it would lead to the states assuming significant liabilities.

"This scheme offers the discoms a chance to break out of the decade-old vicious cycle of operational losses being funded by bank debt by transferring debt to state governments, reducing aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses and lowering of the gap between average cost of supply and average revenue per unit," the agency said said.

"Thus, the focus of the mission is on improving internal efficiencies of the discoms instead of passing on the inefficiencies to consumers by tariff hikes."

Mr Goyal had on Monday said the implementation of the revival package of the state-run distribution firms will result in total savings of nearly $30 billion by 2018-19.[NDTV]

Those stealing power could face externment, passport cancellation –

Looking  to crack down on rampant power theft, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (Mahadiscom) has written to the police asking that serial offenders be punished with externment, and their passports be cancelled as well.
On Monday, the Bhandup division of Mahadiscom wrote to Thane Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh asking him to extern people who had been charged with stealing electricity. “The transmission and distribution loss in areas near Mumbra and Diva is about 50 per cent. We have around 1.10 lakh customers in Bhandup division, and we supply around 35 million units of electricity. But, we only receive payment for around 18 million units, the rest of it is a loss. We want to reduce these losses and have been carrying various drives with the vigilance squads. Till date, we have booked 1,177 violators,” said Satish Karpe, chief engineer of the division. This causes a loss of nearly Rs 6 crore a month in the Bhandup division alone, which covers the Eastern suburbs from Powai and Kanjurmarg to Panvel and Kopar. The major loss comes from Mumbra and Diva areas, said the officer. “We have given the names of 12 people in the belt of Mumbra, Diva, Kopar and Shilphata area who are serial offenders. We have requested the commissioner of Thane Police to extern these people, so that cases of electricity theft are reduced,” said Karpe. Mahadiscom officers have also requested the police to cancel the passports of people booked under Sections 126 (assessment of charges for unauthorised electricity) and 135 (theft of electricity) of the Electricity Act, 2003. “Many of the offenders often visit foreign countries. If their passports are cancelled, they will not be able to travel abroad,” said Karpe. Power theft is rampant across the state, where Mahadiscom suffers an average loss of distribution of 13 per cent. Before January 2014, this figure was slightly higher, at 14 per cent. The power company will now study how effective its move is to curb theft in the Bhandup division, following which officials might write to police chiefs across the state with the same plan. – [MID DAY]

India’s power utilities owe banks $90 billion (enough to wipe clean the fiscal deficit)

India’s state electricity utilities collectively owe Indian banks Rs 545,922 crore (or $90.5 billion), according to the Power Finance Corporation’s latest report.

This is a sum equivalent to two-and-a-half times the defence budget; roughly six times the amount that will be spent this financial year on building roads; and enough to wipe out India’s fiscal deficit.

The data reveal the urgent need for electricity reforms and the amount of money being wasted at a time when India is cutting back on health and social-sector spending.

Electricity utilities incurred a net loss of Rs 62,154 crore during the financial year 2013-14. This is not a one-off: losses have been in this range for the past several years in a row.

The annual loss of state utilities is more than twice the total allocation to Department of Health and Family Welfare and 10 times the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. This money is enough to pay for 300 light combat aircraft Tejas – sufficient to meet Indian Air Force’s need for new squadrons.

If supplying electricity were an actual business – as it is in many countries – it would have been bankrupt, with lenders worrying about recovering their money.

As it happens, since the borrowers are owned by the state governments, they continue to be shown as viable, as are their standard assets.[scroll.in]
 

Maharashtra government plans amnesty scheme for disconnected power consumers

To recover a portion of Rs23,000-crore worth dues pending with consumers of the cash-strapped state electricity distribution utility, the Maharashtra government is working on an amnesty scheme for users whose power connections have been snapped permanently for non-payment of bills.
These consumers, who number around four lakh and comprise users from across categories like domestic and commercial (except agricultural users), owe around Rs5,000 crore to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MahaVitaran).
"We are planning a scheme... to reconnect the permanently disconnected consumers," said energy minister Chandrashekhar Bavankule, adding that in the absence of a legitimate power connection, these users may be stealing power.
Bavankule said consumers owed Rs23,000 crore worth dues to MahaVitaran, including agriculturists (Rs12,000 crore), Mula Pravara society (Rs2,000 crore), permanently disconnected consumers (Rs5,000 crore), drinking water schemes (Rs1,000 crore) and consumers whose recovery was under process (Rs2,000 crore). He noted that the power tariffs were related to this (high amount of dues).
"Some of these permanently disconnected consumers are part of our legacy transfers, as they were transferred to MahaVitaran by the erstwhile Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) in 2005 when four companies — one holding company and one each for generation, transmission, distribution — were carved out from it," noted a senior MahaVitaran official.
Bavankule said he would request chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to allow cases of power theft to be registered in all police stations across Maharashtra as against the present mechanism where MahaVitaran has only six police stations to handle these crimes. These police stations are located at Kalyan, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Jalna and Latur to investigate and detect power thefts and pilferage.
The state cabinet on Wednesday also decided to extend the 'Krishi Sanjeevani Yojana-2014,' an amnesty scheme for farmers who have not paid their bills, to March 31, 2016. Under this scheme, agriculturists can pay 50% of their original pending bills till March 31, 2014, in one go or in three monthly instalments. The government in turn, will pay the remaining 50% to MahaVitaran as grants. The interest on the pending bills and the penalty will be waived off by the utility.
By March 31, 2015, a total of 6.67 lakh agricultural pump owners have taken benefit of the scheme and an amount of Rs349 crore has been recovered from them. Officials said the rate of recovery from agricultural users was at a low 30% last year.
The cabinet also approved a similar Sanjeevani scheme for the drinking water schemes whose power dues are pending. Maharashtra has around 16,235 schemes which are closed due to non-payment of bills. The scheme will be rolled out in two phases, with the first covering local bodies in the drought-affected areas.
Bavankule, who visited the UK recently, said that on lines of the system in that country, they were also looking at launching a pilot project where radio-frequency based metering, meter reading, billing and recovery would be introduced.
To prevent instances where temporary electricity connection holders, some of them who are builders make off without paying their dues, the utility is also planning to make it compulsory for them to go in for pre-paid metering.
Maharashtra, which has distribution and commercial losses of around 18%, is continuing with load shedding in areas where the recovery is less than 40%.[dna]

Less line loss to mean more power

LUCKNOW: Soon, living in a VIP city like Lucknow, Noida, Varanasi or Agra may not be enough for power consumers to get round the clock electricity supply. The state government is planning to put in a mechanism whereby different feeders of a city will get power supply according to the percentage of line losses (read power theft).

Feeders, a power distribution loop connecting a set of consumers in a locality, which register less of power theft will receive more power supply in comparison to the ones which register higher line losses.

UP chief secretary Alok Ranjan told TOI the idea is to isolate localities where power theft is more rampant. "The better performing localities within a city would not only be provided more power but would also be projected through advertisements," he said. Ranjan said the UP Power Corporation (UPPCL) has been asked to come out with an exhaustive plan demarcating feeders based on instances of power theft. "Accordingly, responsibility will be fixed on respective engineers as well," he said. Ranjan said the benchmark for aggregate transmission and commercial losses has been fixed at 15%. "The localities meeting the standard will accordingly get better power supply," he said.


The fresh power distribution plan, wherein power supply would be inversely proportionate to theft within cities, comes close on the heels of the state government's promise to provide 16 hours and 24 hours of power supply to the rural and urban areas respectively by next year. Well-placed sources in the state government said the duration of power supply will subsequently be fixed feeder wise.

In June earlier this year, the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) had asked UPPCL to provide more power to the distribution companies which have better revenue recovery. The regulator also lowered the electricity surcharge as punishment for distribution companies which have higher instances of power theft. The corporation, however, bought time till October citing high demand for power. UPPCL sources said a decision to segregate the power supply in different districts may not be possible until there is uniformity in revenue recovery within a district.

The government had earlier decided to execute a joint campaign by UPPCL engineers and district magistrates in various districts in a bid to bring down line losses to 15% and regularize power connections along with installing electricity meters to augment the revenue recovery. The DMs had also been asked to provide comprehensive security during the campaign in the sensitive areas.[TOI]

Thousands of disputed bills settled

NEW DELHI: Delhi's power utilities have gone on an overdrive for settling disputed electricity bills as per the amnesty scheme announced by the government. Tata Power Delhi has settled 13,721 cases under the scheme so far, while the BSES discoms have settled 22,410 cases.

The amnesty scheme was announced by the government a few weeks ago and was aimed at helping residents of JJ clusters.

"The biggest beneficiaries of the scheme, which aims to settle cases of theft of power, tampering with meters or having illegal connections, are residents of JJ clusters who account for 10,658 out of 13,721 cases settled so far. Cases of direct theft, meter tampering, unauthorized use of electricity and disconnected consumers settled so far stands at 612, 540,74 and 1,837 respectively,'' said a Tata Power Delhi spokesperson.

According to sources, the BSES discoms have managed to settle cases of over Rs 31 crore. In south Delhi areas under BRPL, 14,069 cases were settled while 8,341 cases were settled by BSES Yamuna.

While it was supposed to be one-month scheme for September, it was extended and will continue till October 31.[TOI]

India aims to reduce high electricity transmission and distribution system losses

Despite considerable improvement since the turn of the century, India has one of the highest levels of electricity transmission and distribution (T&D) losses in the world. T&D losses represent electricity that is generated but does not reach intended customers. India’s T&D losses are almost 20% of generation, more than twice the world average and nearly three times as large as T&D losses in the United States.
Image credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Image credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Electricity losses are the result of technical inefficiency and theft. Technical losses occur because of the resistance of wires and equipment as electricity passes through. Some loss is inevitable, but in places with good technical efficiency and low theft, T&D losses generally range between 6% and 8%. Most of India’s T&D losses result from theft, which occurs when consumed electricity is not accounted for. Electricity is typically stolen by bypassing or tampering with the meter, or by bribing utility meter readers or billing agents.
Over the past several years, India has made capacity additions and efficiency upgrades to its transmission grid in an attempt to lessen technical losses. In 2009, the National Load Dispatch Center began supervising regional load dispatch centers, scheduling and dispatching electricity, and monitoring operations of the national grid. By the end of 2013, each of the country’s five regional grids wasinterconnected to operate at a synchronous frequency in an effort to more efficiently transfer power from generation sources to load centers. India has also more than doubled the mileage and capacity of high-capacity, high-voltage, direct-current lines since 2002, as these lines experience fewer losses over long distances than alternating-current lines.
In 2014, the Indian government initiated the Integrated Power Development Scheme to further strengthen urban distribution networks with information technology-based systems to meter distribution transformers, feeders, and urban consumption. The National Smart Grid Mission works with state distribution companies and financing agencies to plan advanced communications grid projects.
Many of India’s utilities also lose significant electricity-related revenue because of poor collection efficiency. Commercial losses occur when utilities are unable to collect customer bills, either because customers are unable to pay or because the utility is not reimbursed for state-mandated subsidies.
The Ministry of Power launched the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programin July 2008 specifically to reduce both technical and commercial losses. Loans and grants were provided to utilities with the goal of establishing baseline data, setting up information technology-based energy accounting and auditing systems, establishing consumer service centers, and upgrading the distribution grid. Supervisory control and data acquisition systems have been installed to monitor the energy flowing through power lines and substations.
After a government financial bailout of state distribution companies in 2011, the Indian government approved a utility restructuring plan and set up a $1.3 billion National Electricity Fund to promote investment in the power distribution sector. The National Electricity Fund financially rewards companies that surpass targets to reduce technical and commercial losses and that meet state regulatory goals. Additionally, many of India’s state governments have now adopted new regulations and technologies to improve tariff billing and collection practices. To help combat losses due to theft, government programs have funded the installation of information technology-based and tamper-proof energy monitoring, metering, and accounting systems and equipment.
Image credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Image credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration
While loss levels are still high, electricity losses in India are decreasing. The Indian Ministry of Power released its evaluation of 40 power distribution companies in August 2015, which reported that 21 power distribution companies showed a reduction in their technical and commercial loss levels during the 2014 fiscal year compared to the previous year’s levels.[source-EIA]

MSEDCL raps manufacturing firm for power theft of Rs 3.50L

Maharashtra Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has lodged a police complaint against a Bhosari MIDC protective coatings and floor toppings manufacturing company for stealing 30,000 units of electricity, worth over Rs 3.50 lakh, in one month. According to MSEDCL officials, action against those involved in the theft will continue and some more names are likely to come up in the next few weeks.

MSEDCL has lodged complaints against officials of Cipy Polyurethanes at the power utility's dedicated police station at Rasta Peth which tackles electricity theft. In the complaint, MSEDCL has mentioned the names of several office-bearers of the company, including director Subhash Cipy, SB Ghorpade and SB Gaikwad.

According to the complaint, the company, located at Bhosari MIDC, deliberately utilised 30,000 units of electricity illegally by tampering with the electricity meter between March 26 and April 20 this year. The total cost of the electricity comes to around Rs 3,59,220. The vigilance team discovered the theft while carrying out an inspection.

Speaking to Mirror, chief engineer Ramrao Munde said, "Our officials found that the company had tampered with the electricity meters so that the use of additional electricity was not recorded in MSEDCL records. After our officials found discrepancies in the records, the company was given the records and based on the reading, the additional amount was paid. However, since it involves tampering of the meter and theft of electricity, we had to lodge a formal complaint against company officials."

Cipy officials, however, have dismissed the allegations as baseless. Chief executive officer AK Singh said, "We are a company of repute and we would never indulge in such malpractices. The meter was faulty and after the complaint, MSEDCL staffers themselves repaired it. Now, they are falsely accusing us of electricity theft."

Meanwhile, MSEDCL officials have claimed that more such operations will be carried out across to discover electricity thefts in and around Pune city. "The concerned officials have already been given the checklist. They will be carrying out raids on commercial connections as well as residential connections," Munde said.[Pune Mirror]

Persistent Power Theft Troubles LEC

The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) says it is deeply troubled by the huge wave of Power theft that is perpetrated on the national grid, such as one that resulted in the regrettable death of Melvin Pratt of Clara Town.
The late Pratt was discovered dead on a light pole in the early hours of Sunday morning, September 27, in Clara Town.
LEC said in a release that it is saddened that a young man died in such a horrible manner. According to sources, the late Pratt was hired by an unidentified individual for U$20 to provide an illegal LEC connection, which led to his untimely death.
“It is not worth dying for U$20,” the utility provider said, calling on those involved to desist from such deadly activity. Highlighting Pratt’s death as a gripping consequence of power theft, LEC is calling on residents to condemn those who engage in power theft.
“Electricity theft is dangerous to the system, the people and to properties and as such must not be encouraged in our society,” the release said. “Power theft is not only denying the LEC its intended revenue, but it is also affecting its valued customers that are regularly paying their bills and recharging their meters. Community leaders and residents have a big role to play in helping the LEC combat this problem, the release said.
With the involvement of communities, precious lives will be safe; properties will be protected from fire outbreaks and a reduction in tariff.
“Do not allow someone to die in your community because he or she is tampering with the LEC system and do not allow you or your kid(s) to get electrocuted due to poorly connected wires,” the LEC management appealed.
.
The release urged the general public and those desirous of being connected to the LEC grid to stop dealing with unauthorized persons, but go to the LEC Commercial Office located at the LEC Head Office near Waterside to begin the process to obtain a duly registered meter.
[Daily observer]

Noida residents vexed over power theft, inflated bills

Still reeling from the acute power crisis of last week, Noida residents have now demanded that the power distribution corporation check for power theft and transmission loss, which account for nearly 10% of the total supply.
Despite the power situation being regularised in Noida, residents say curbing power pilferage and transmission losses could have eased the situation and provided some relief last week.
MLA Vimala Batham took up the matter with the state government following power cuts in the district that resulted in a public outcry.
"I had a meeting with officials of the power corporation a few days ago and I am likely to raise this issue in the assembly," Batham said.
The power crisis, which lasted for seven to eight days, was a difficult period for residents as they had to manage without electricity supply for five to six hours every day.
NP Singh, president of the federation of Noida residents' welfare association (FONRWA) said his association has raised the issue of power theft with officials of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited many times.
"The theft has to be checked at the district level. Our letters are proof that we have made many correspondences with the officials in this regard," Singh said. He said that 7-8% theft was not negligible and was, in fact, a huge margin for a powerstrapped district.
The electricity board officials admitted that theft was a big issue for them and if controlled, it can help in streamlining the electricity supply.
An official also said power theft was mainly happening in rural areas and, hence, difficult to control.
"We conduct raids from time to time and impose fines on defaulters. We have a team of officials to keep a watch on theft," a senior UPPCL official said.
On the other hand, several consumers recently complained of inflated electricity bills. "I have a commercial electricity connection and received a bill of Rs 15 lakh for June-August. Even in the rarest of cases, it has not exceeded Rs 70, 000. So it (Rs 15 lakh) is 20 times more that what the actual bill should be," Arun Kumar of Sector 18 said.
Meanwhile, a UPPCL official said, "Yes, we receive many complaints regarding wrong or inflated bills and complaints of power theft. We correct inflated bills after a thorough examination."[HT]

 

 
 
 

POWER SUPPLY TO BE AFFECTED IN GWALIOR

The Principal Secretary of Energy department, ICP Keshari said that the work of R-APDRP scheme is going on in some areas of the city for which the power supply would have to be closed, but daily cut of power for 8 to 9 hours should not take place.

“We have called detailed information about the electricity improvement and maintenance work after that we would examine the area concerned,” he said. Keshari was talking with press in SKADA building in Roshani Ghar.

He said that we have ordered to supply power to the farmers daily for 10 hours for agricultural pump consumers and 24 hours in the city, maximum recovery of revenue, checking of power theft were also discussed in the meeting. He said that he have come to Gwaliro to ensure 24 hour power supply.

On this occasion, the chairman of power company Sanjay Shukla and MD Vivek Parwal were also present. Keshari said that there is no shortage of power in MP, according to the chart of the state Government for power there is enough power upto 2020 even than we would review this in 2017. He said that in whole of India there are only three states MP, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat where 24 hours power is being supply according to Central Government ministry of power.

[Pioneer]

rampant power theft

Looking for reform success, India's Modi readies electricity rescue plan
India is preparing a rescue package for power utilities owing tens of billions of dollars, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi must first convince states to make politically hard choices as he seeks a victory for reforms needed to galvanise the economy.
Modi, who has had mixed success pushing through his reform agenda since coming to power 16 months ago, has prioritised tackling a problem that is stifling bank lending needed for a revival in Asia's third largest economy, three senior government sources with direct knowledge of the plan said.
Problematic utility debts account for a quarter of all restructured bank loans in India.
In total, utilities owe $66 billion. New Delhi has identified about 1.5 trillion rupees ($22.7 billion) of debt held by financially stretched utilities as most at risk, one of the sources said, adding to the urgency to relieve a banking system weighed down by bad loans.
Under the proposal, New Delhi wants to persuade state governments to take over some of their utilities' debt.
In return, the electricity distributors would commit to re-investing interest savings in new lines and metering, improving billing and cutting rampant power theft, the sources said, declining to be named because the plan is not public.
To make it work, the distributors are likely to come under pressure to raise electricity tariffs for consumers used to low prices.
One top power ministry official said the proposal was "very close" to being finalised and that states with the biggest problems agreed to back it.
"The states have a very clear incentive to do this. The interest cost comes down significantly," he said.
By forcing tougher action at state level to ensure electricity is paid for and supplies are reliable, Modi hopes to avoid a backlash in parliament, where the opposition has already blocked other economic reforms this year.
Fixing power would temper criticism that Modi's government is not doing enough to improve the lives of common Indians, having made election campaign promises to replicate his success in Gujarat and deliver 24/7 power across India.
As chief minister, Modi transformed Gujarat's power sector by lowering debt and clamping down on theft. Many consumers agreed to pay higher prices in return for round the clock power.
Utilities in India's other states remain largely unreformed.
CONVINCING STATES
Though New Delhi is convinced more Indians are willing to pay for electricity if offered reliable supplies, sceptics say it will be hard to force states to make people pay, when it risks alienating important vote banks, like farmers.
"Unless you make fundamental decisions in terms of running these (distributors) based on commercial decisions, you are just postponing the problem," said Arvind Mahajan, who heads KPMG's energy practice in India.
A three-year restructuring launched in 2012 offered a moratorium on capital repayment in return for reform but failed to end losses because local governments resisted hiking tariffs and cutting theft.
There may be other costs to bear, too. The government may have to relax limits on the size of states' deficits if they are to take over distributors' debts, putting pressure on India's consolidated fiscal position as New Delhi tries to improve its finances.
Modi has made devolving political power a key plank of his agenda, confident individual states will increasingly compete to reform by themselves. After failing to pass legislation to make land purchases easier, for example, central government is encouraging states to enact their own rules.
Six states have agreed in principle to take over some of their power distributors' debts, one of the government sources said. But some others are far from convinced.
The chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, a vast agricultural northern state with a population bigger than Brazil, said taking on utilities' 420 billion rupees of debt would reduce the state's interest burden by five percentage points but more than double its borrowings.
[Reuters]

Tata Power writes to govt. over power purchase cost

Delhi. With no tariff revision on the cards this year, a distribution company is now brooding about the expensive power procurement cost from Delhi’s generation companies.

In a letter written to the Delhi government, accessed by The Hindu , Tata Power (TPDDL) has stated that in the last three years, the average overall cost of power supplied from Delhi gencos has increased from Rs. 4.87 to Rs. 7.12 per unit.

“The increase in power procurement from State-owned gencos has been a whopping 46 per cent. For power supplied by Centre-owned NTPC, the cost has gone up by nearly 22 per cent from Rs. 3.94 to Rs. 4.80 per unit. For all other long-term supplies, the tariff has more or less remained at Rs. 4 per unit,” the letter said.

The discom also highlighted that the Delhi Transco Limited’s (DTL) transmission charges have gone up by nearly 71 per cent in the past three years. Besides, it blamed the DTL for failing to commission as many as eight projects which it claimed was hampering the power supply to the households.

One of the biggest challenges for us is to curb theft of electricity and reduce AT&C losses. Since the withdrawal of the CISF in 2010, we have been continuously taking up with the Delhi government that it should arrange to get adequate number of Delhi Police/CISF personnel to support us in preventing theft of electricity and reduce AT&C losses,” stated the letter addressed to Power Minister Satyendra Jain.

The letter goes on to blame the Public Works Department (PWD) and the Municipal Corporations for delaying in providing the right of way approval for its infrastructure activities. “For carrying out various activities, including new connections, load enhancement, repair and maintenance, we need to take up works in our network. To take up these works we need to get necessary approval to cut the roads from agencies like PWD and MCDs. Typically, we find that it takes about three to six months for obtaining road cutting permission and also no permission is provided during the monsoon from May to September,” it read.[The Hindu]

 

CHECKING POWER THEFT CRUCIAL TO INDIA’S GROWTH

Despite availing a Centre-sponsored Rs1.93 lakh crore bailout package three years ago, the power distribution sector is now again showing signs of financial stress, bringing to the fore the harsh reality that  electricity tariff reform remains a non-starter.

The moot question is whether States alone are to be blamed for this messy situation or there is flaw in reform strategy, too?

We all know a fifth of power generated in the country is lost to theft and does not generate any revenue for power distribution companies (discoms). If utilities want to recover cost-reflective price for electricity supply, they will have to make up for lost revenues by charging extra from consumers, a move that would lead to an inflated tariff.  That is exactly the dilemma that most of utilities face when seeking tariff revision.

No wonder, despite repeated attempts by the Centre to persuade States to expedite electricity reforms,   not much has happened on this account and power distribution utilities continue to reel under heavy losses due to the wide revenue-expenditure gap.  Plugging the financial hole would also help narrow the gap for utilities and ease upward pressure on tariff hike.

Moreover, electricity generation being a highly capital-intensive business (at least Rs5-6 crore needed for putting up 1 mw capacity),  India  would make huge savings if it could plug  the leakage.

Checking the leakage is also critical to realising the Narendra Modi Government’s goal of 24X7 power supply for all by 2018-19. The power distribution sector’s aggregated technical and commercial (AT&C) losses are currently estimated at 27 per cent. However, the blueprint prepared by the Centre for universal and uninterrupted power supply assumes commercial losses at the much lower level of 17.5 per cent. That means overall power sector losses must be brought down by about 10 per cent to realise the dream of uninterrupted power supply even if envisaged capacity target is fully achieved.

Significantly, the Modi Government is pursuing legislative changes to pave the way for separation of power supply and

wire ownership business in a bid to implement open access provisions

of the Electricity Act 2003 in letter and spirit.

The idea is to encourage competition in the market through entry of multiple suppliers and enable consumers to source their electricity supply from wherever they want.

The failure of the Financial Restructuring Plan (bail-out package) should send alarm bells ringing among policy makers.  Just three years after the package was announced by the Centre, power distribution sector is again showing signs of financial stress, forcing the Reserve Bank of India to raise fear that loans of Rs53,000 crore advanced by banks to power distribution companies could become non-performing assets.

 After enhanced devolution of divisible pool of taxes to states following the 14th Finance Commission’s recommendations, the fiscal space has considerably shrunk for the Centre. So if the power sector faces financial crisis again similar to the one it encountered in 2012, the Centre may not have the necessary resources to bail it out. Under the prevailing scenario, States will have to accept financial accountability for their power sector.

Power sector losses in developed countries are less than 10 per cent. In contrast, AT& C losses in India are estimated at the staggering level of 27 per cent, a national average, due to widespread power theft. So there is a huge scope for making savings by cutting losses.

The rot runs deep as most of power theft cases happen in connivance with utility staff. So there is a need to build a strong political consensus at the national level to fight the deep-entrenched culture of power theft. Stamping out power

pilferage is also a moral imperative as it is honest consumers who

have to pay for illicitly consumed electricity.

The importance of fighting power theft from the perspective of systemic stability cannot be overstated. As we all know, power distribution is the only point where revenue is generated for the entire industry. If distribution reforms are not implemented on an urgent basis, investments into generation and transmission could also dry up creating power shortages that would choke our economic growth.

Under the Restructure Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme, or R-APDRP, the Centre is offering incentives to States to cut their AT&C losses. In addition, States have set up special courts to try cases of power theft.  Now the time has come these efforts are complemented with a political push.

The national leadership should take initiatives to build a political consensus over the urgency to control power theft and bring down AT&C losses to reasonable levels. Prime Minister Modi can call a meeting of Chief Ministers to build a consensus over power reform agenda.

The Centre will have to follow a carrot-and-stick policy to prod States to fight power theft which threatens to nullify all efforts to reform the power distribution business.[Pioneer]

Ahead of Ganpati festival, electricity board decides to crack down power theft in Nashik

The Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) has decided to conduct a special program in Nashik, ahead of Ganpati Festival.

MSEB has formed ‘Damini Pathak’ with a view to check illegal usage of electricity during this festival. The board believes that during such festivals, electricity is misused by several miscreants in certain areas.

To achieve this, two lady officers along with security personnel will be inspecting Ganpati pandals during the festival. The electricity connection will be checked and defaulters will be slapped a fine.

It is believed that over 500 mandals in Nashik area utilise a large amount of electricity for decorations, sound systems, etc. Mandal organisers need to seek permission from the board before taking the electricity connection. Ramdas Chavan, chief engineer, MSEB, Nashik Division, said, “The idea was to cater to the complaints against miscreants using electricity supply, illegally. Our officers will work in rotation shifts and keep s strict vigil on every pandal in Nashik.”[DNA]

Power dept chalks out plan to control losses and thefts in district

NOIDA: The power department has chalked out a plan to check line losses and power thefts in Gautam Budh Nagar.

Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) superintending engineer Mukul Singhal told TOI that a threefold plan has been drafted to curb power thefts and increase revenue. An inspection drive, especially in the rural areas of the district, such as Jewar tehsil, Dadri, Dankaur, Raghupura, Mandi Shyampura, and the like, will be carried out. "In Noida, we will be focusing on villages like Mamura, Harola, Barola, Morna, etc., because unmetered and illegal connections are major cause of power thefts here," he said.

The drive will focus on tampered meters that do not display the readings. "We've discovered that some power connections have meters that have been tampered with. The display is not available and the actual reading isn't seen. The cost therefore, was being calculated on an average monthly consumption, when the actual consumption was much more," Singhal said.

"We sent the tampered meters to the manufacturers and took readings from the meters' memory. We found out that a consumer had been paying for a mere 200-300Kw consumption, when his actual consumption was around 1000Kw," Singhal, who has already initiated action on two such cases in Sector 16, said.

The department is also contemplating FIRs in cases where recovery is difficult. "While the meter drive will continue on a regular basis, I will be taking action in terms of lodging police complaints, wherever recovery is difficult," said Singhal. He said the drive is bound to bring down power theft considerably.

The drive is undertaken on the directive of the Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) that has set out the target of providing 16-hour power supply to rural areas and 22 to 24-hour supply in urban areas by 2016[TOI]

Amnesty scheme for power consumers

The Delhi government will launch its flagship one-time amnesty scheme for power consumers on Sunday. The first camp for the same will be organised at Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s Patparganj constituency and will be flagged of by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Delhi’s Power Minister Satyendra Jain told The Hindu that the scheme is likely to benefit around 1.4 lakh consumers.

“The consumers must keep in mind that it is a one-time settlement scheme and no case would be considered after September 30 which is its last date. The first camp will be held at Badrinath Park in West Vinod Nagar on August 31,” he said.

On the directions of the Delhi government, the three power distribution companies have even opened helpline numbers which is 39999707 for BSES Rajdhani (BRPL) consumers, 39999808 for BSES Yamuna (BYPL) and 66404040 for Tata Power (TPDDL) consumers.

Approved by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), the city’s power regulator, the scheme is for those accused of stealing power, tampering with meters or having illegal connections.

All criminal or civil proceedings will be withdrawn against those who voluntarily disclose that they had tampered with meters.

Residents of JJ clusters, the key vote bank of Aam Aadmi Party led government, will have to pay Rs 250 per month for the period they have not paid their power dues.

The late-payment surcharge has been waived off. They can pay their dues in instalment over six months.

Power theft cases will have a “Direct Theft Bill settlement procedure.”

For domestic consumers with an approved load of up to 11 kiloVolt (kV) who have been booked for thefts, the late-payment surcharge has been waived off.

Two-third of the dues will be waived if the accused settles the amount in one go. Sixty per cent of the dues will be waived if payment is made in installments.

For Meter tampering cases, the terms of waiver will be same as those extended to consumers accused of power theft.

Those indulging in unauthorised use of electricity will not have to pay the late-payment surcharge.

Besides, 50 per cent of billed amount will be converted into the correct category or separate meter will be provided for non-domestic use.

For consumers who fall under the category of “disconnected users” with outstanding dues, consumers who want a new connection or those who want to clear outstanding dues, the late-payment surcharge has been waived.

They can pay their bill in four installments. Meter will be installed on payment of first installment.[The Hindu]

Is Kejriwal cheating Delhi with power waiver ?

Amidst the exhilaration and excitement in the country due to Modi's successive speeches at the Red Fort and in Dubai, many of us missed an important announcement, which should have ideally, got more attention. In a highly controversial move, the AAP government had decided to waive off all complaints related to electricity bill payments and withdraw criminal cases.
The plaints regarding alleged inflated bills, defective metres, penalties imposed and theft cases will be resolved soon and all criminal and civil proceedings related to electricity disputes withdrawn. The government would launch a one-time settlement scheme to provide relief to the consumers, according to a report by Financial Express.
The domestic consumers, with load up to 11KW, who are booked for direct theft of electricity, will have two-thirds of outstanding amount waived off and late payment surcharge will also be waived off when they come to settle their dues. In the case of metre tampering, the small and medium domestic commercial consumers booked, will be allowed a wavier of 100 percent in the late payment surcharge and two-thirds of their outstanding dues during their final settlement with power companies.
AAP's victory in Delhi has been attributed to the class divide. 60 per cent of Delhi's population earns less than Rs 13,500 per month. While Delhi's economic indicators are some of the best in the country, the rising disenchantment of the vast underclass struck a chord with Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) image and voted for them.
The several election promises made by AAP were extremely populist in nature and primarily directed towards the lower stratum of the society.
However,this decision appears more like a cover up to please the public and compensate for the recent failures of his government, such as the inability to clear tonnes of garbage on streets, failure to ensure 700 litres of water daily in colonies, constant tussles with the Centre over administration issues, et al.
Here are three reasons why the decision to waive off electricity bills and withdraw criminal complaints is grossly unjustified:
1. Injustice to honest customers: It is unjustified to many consumers who have always paid electricity bills in a timely manner without defaulting ever. Being a youngster, several people who live on meagre salaries have always paid the bills on time. Additionally, this decision proves that Kejriwal can go to any extent to please his vote banks, something he always accuses other parties of doing.
2. Promoting power theft: Withdrawal of criminal cases against defaulters is a big blunder, which will set a dangerous precedent as it will boost the morale of defaulters and further give them enthuse them to not pay bills on time, which will be detrimental in the long run.
3. Misuse of public money: The pending dues will obviously be adjusted from taxpayers' money - a blatant misuse of an average honest aam aadmi, who pays taxes and bills on time. In simpler words, Kejriwal is using taxpayers' money to justify corruption. Holding a referendum for public related decisions is Kejriwal's creation, and should have been used in this matter as well.

Ironically, the decision goes against the philosophy of Kejriwal's fight against the power companies and accusing them of corruption, the only difference here being power thieves and dishonest citizens are using honest taxpayers' money to enjoy free power.
The recent CAG audit report (which was a pet promise of AAP) which revealed that power companies in Delhi inflated dues by almost Rs 8,000 crore is expected to go in Kejriwal's favour. If he does decide to take the report to its logical end, which is not likely given his fickleness, then there might be two options - one, either lower tariffs further using the recovery money (if recovered, depends on legal proceedings) to subsidise further and two, keep tariffs the same and use money from discoms to manage their yearly electricity subsidy of Rs 1,427 crore.
An analysis done by data journalism portal IndiaSpend showed that post subsidy, power in Delhi is already the cheapest among all metros in Delhi.
A couple of years back, during his anti-corruption campaign against the Congress, Kejriwal asking customers not to pay bills claiming they were inflated (proved true by the CAG report) created a furore. While one can argue that power companies indeed cheated customers and charged more, going against the law and indulging in unlawful activities is wrong.
It can be compared to justifying not paying taxes because a minister has been accused of corruption or convicted in a scam. Fundamental rights and duties go hand in hand.
If we are indeed concerned about scams and corruption, we must take the legal route and fight for justice as many activists do - as did Kejriwal. However, waiving off defaulters' bills and pardoning power thieves will only promote vigilantism and boost their morale. This will further alienate the middle and upper classes, who were always skeptical of Kejriwal as very few of his election promises catered to them, and widen the class divide in Delhi.
One can definitely be sympathetic to the city's lower class, who toil hard to earn their livelihoods. However, using my hard earned money to pay someone else's electricity bill is something that should be strongly protested against.[source Daily O]
 
 

Is Kejriwal cheating Delhi with power waiver ?

Amidst the exhilaration and excitement in the country due to Modi's successive speeches at the Red Fort and in Dubai, many of us missed an important announcement, which should have ideally, got more attention. In a highly controversial move, the AAP government had decided to waive off all complaints related to electricity bill payments and withdraw criminal cases.
The plaints regarding alleged inflated bills, defective metres, penalties imposed and theft cases will be resolved soon and all criminal and civil proceedings related to electricity disputes withdrawn. The government would launch a one-time settlement scheme to provide relief to the consumers, according to a report by Financial Express.
The domestic consumers, with load up to 11KW, who are booked for direct theft of electricity, will have two-thirds of outstanding amount waived off and late payment surcharge will also be waived off when they come to settle their dues. In the case of metre tampering, the small and medium domestic commercial consumers booked, will be allowed a wavier of 100 percent in the late payment surcharge and two-thirds of their outstanding dues during their final settlement with power companies.
AAP's victory in Delhi has been attributed to the class divide. 60 per cent of Delhi's population earns less than Rs 13,500 per month. While Delhi's economic indicators are some of the best in the country, the rising disenchantment of the vast underclass struck a chord with Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) image and voted for them.
The several election promises made by AAP were extremely populist in nature and primarily directed towards the lower stratum of the society.
However,this decision appears more like a cover up to please the public and compensate for the recent failures of his government, such as the inability to clear tonnes of garbage on streets, failure to ensure 700 litres of water daily in colonies, constant tussles with the Centre over administration issues, et al.
Here are three reasons why the decision to waive off electricity bills and withdraw criminal complaints is grossly unjustified:
1. Injustice to honest customers: It is unjustified to many consumers who have always paid electricity bills in a timely manner without defaulting ever. Being a youngster, several people who live on meagre salaries have always paid the bills on time. Additionally, this decision proves that Kejriwal can go to any extent to please his vote banks, something he always accuses other parties of doing.
2. Promoting power theft: Withdrawal of criminal cases against defaulters is a big blunder, which will set a dangerous precedent as it will boost the morale of defaulters and further give them enthuse them to not pay bills on time, which will be detrimental in the long run.
3. Misuse of public money: The pending dues will obviously be adjusted from taxpayers' money - a blatant misuse of an average honest aam aadmi, who pays taxes and bills on time. In simpler words, Kejriwal is using taxpayers' money to justify corruption. Holding a referendum for public related decisions is Kejriwal's creation, and should have been used in this matter as well.

Ironically, the decision goes against the philosophy of Kejriwal's fight against the power companies and accusing them of corruption, the only difference here being power thieves and dishonest citizens are using honest taxpayers' money to enjoy free power.
The recent CAG audit report (which was a pet promise of AAP) which revealed that power companies in Delhi inflated dues by almost Rs 8,000 crore is expected to go in Kejriwal's favour. If he does decide to take the report to its logical end, which is not likely given his fickleness, then there might be two options - one, either lower tariffs further using the recovery money (if recovered, depends on legal proceedings) to subsidise further and two, keep tariffs the same and use money from discoms to manage their yearly electricity subsidy of Rs 1,427 crore.
An analysis done by data journalism portal IndiaSpend showed that post subsidy, power in Delhi is already the cheapest among all metros in Delhi.
A couple of years back, during his anti-corruption campaign against the Congress, Kejriwal asking customers not to pay bills claiming they were inflated (proved true by the CAG report) created a furore. While one can argue that power companies indeed cheated customers and charged more, going against the law and indulging in unlawful activities is wrong.
It can be compared to justifying not paying taxes because a minister has been accused of corruption or convicted in a scam. Fundamental rights and duties go hand in hand.
If we are indeed concerned about scams and corruption, we must take the legal route and fight for justice as many activists do - as did Kejriwal. However, waiving off defaulters' bills and pardoning power thieves will only promote vigilantism and boost their morale. This will further alienate the middle and upper classes, who were always skeptical of Kejriwal as very few of his election promises catered to them, and widen the class divide in Delhi.
One can definitely be sympathetic to the city's lower class, who toil hard to earn their livelihoods. However, using my hard earned money to pay someone else's electricity bill is something that should be strongly protested against.[source Daily O]
 
 

Discom CMDs to be penalised for Power theft

LUCKNOW: In what may rattle top brass of the energy department, UP electricity regulatory commission (UPERC) is considering to impose penalty on managing directors and chief engineers of distribution companies for failing to check incidence of power theft and recurrent line losses.

The electricity regulator's move comes a day after the CAG report projected losses of around Rs 1,500 crore to the state exchequer because of line losses between 2009 and 2014. UPERC chairman Desh Deepak Verma confirmed that the commission would be imposing fine on MDs and chief engineers of distribution companies which have registered high line losses.

"The penalty will be in proportion to the percentage of line losses in their respective area of jurisdiction," he told TOI. Verma said the provisions would also affect future promotion chances of the officials.

The commission has already collected distribution companies' data pertaining to power theft and line losses. "The officials would now be called on different dates and questioned for measures they took to stop incidence of power theft," Verma said and added that the officials would subsequently be penalised.

"The idea is to fix personal responsibility on senior officials. Their being penalised would subsequently send a strong message down the line," a senior UPERC official said.

The commission has already slapped notices on managing director of Madhyanchal Electricity Distribution Company and chief engineers of Lucknow, Bareilly and Faizabad zones which have been registering high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses. Bareilly and Shahjahanpur registered line losses of around 40% in 2014-15, while Faizabad zone saw line losses to the tune of 37%. The Lucknow zone under the Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (Lesa) witnessed a high rate of AT&C losses of over 38%.

Sources said the commission may necessitate action against officials under 142 of the state electricity act. It may be recalled that based on the performance in reduction of AT&C losses, UPERC had reduced the burden of regulatory surcharge on consumers through its April 22 order.[TOI]

Gang of 6 kills friend over power theft

MUMBAI
INDIA
Six men killed their friend in his shop on Saturday night, for his alleged involvement in electricity theft. Witnesses informed the police regarding the incident and on Sunday crime branch officials arrested three of the accused related to the case.
The incident happened near Padma Nagar, Chikhalwadi Baigan Wadi. Witnesses told police that six men entered the shop of Rakesh Chaudhari and killed him. Chaudhari lived in the same area and was allegedly involved in electricity theft. Chaudhari’s older brother Rajesh used to handle his business before. After the Shivaji Nagar police arrested his brother under MCOCA for his involvement in power theft in the nearby slums and a murder case, Rakesh started controlling the business. His brother is serving a life term in Nashik jail for at least 20 offences registered against him.
According to Shivaji Nagar police, the accused persons and Chaudhari were best friends, but had quarrels on business issue. “They were forcing Rakesh to stop electricity theft and start another business and handover this business to them. They also wanted to take revenge against his older brother who had beaten up two of these accused three years ago. The six accused came with a chopper and sword. When they found Rakesh alone, they entered the shop and killed him,” said the police.
[ASIAN AGE]

he one-time settlement scheme announced by the government now means that no late payment will be charged in cases of power theft bill payment.

The Delhi government was second-time lucky in getting the major subsidy and amnesty scheme – for poor consumers and power bill defaulters – approved by the electricity regulator last week as a similar proposal was shot down two months back.

Sources said the now-approved proposal is a reworked version of the earlier scheme and would not put the entire financial burden of waivers and other concessions on the private power distribution companies.

“The financial burden related to the sops offered to power consumers in slums would now be borne by the government, which wasn’t the case in 
the earlier proposal,” said an official.

The private power distribution companies might feel a little uncomfortable with the new scheme as a large chunk of the financial burden from it is likely to be adjusted against the dues that companies’ dues towards government entities, said a power sector expert.

Even the earlier AAP government bonanza of power tariff cut by half for domestic consumers using up to 400 units was settled with the discoms in a similar fashion.
The tariff cut announced in February carries a subsidy of Rs 1,427 crore in the current  financial year and the discoms are not getting any additional monetary help from the government on it. 
Under the scheme approved by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission last week, for slum clusters, a major constituency of ruling AAP, a complete waiver on late payment charges has been approved.
Additionally, bill amount for such consumers has been fixed at Rs 250 per month from the date of last payment till July 2015, regardless of what their power consumption might have been.
Arvind Kejriwal’s new bonanza for power bill defaulters and other consumers involved in litigation, would also entail waiver of late payment charges and relaxation in outstanding bills.
The beneficiaries will be consumers who took part in campaign against “inflated bills” during Sheila Dikshit government, according to sources.
The one-time settlement scheme announced by the government now means that no late payment will be charged in cases of power theft bill payment. 
Those who will pay total bill amount in one go will be given an additional waiver of two-third of the balance outstanding amount.
[DH News Service]

CHANDIGARH: Power consumers in Haryana will have to shell out more as state-owned power utility Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) raised the Fuel Surcharge Adjustment (FSA) by 5 paise per unit with effect from July 1. 

"The FSA has been raised by 5 paise per unit on overall tariff," DHBVN Managing Director Arun Verma said today. 

The FSA will be effective for the quarter starting July till September. 

FSA is part of the cost which is recovered from consumers on account of increase in coal or fuel prices. 

Meanwhile, opposition Congress has flayed the decision of the DHBVN to impose a hike of 5 paise per unit in FSA, describing it as an "unwanted tax" imposed on the people of Haryana and demanded its immediate rollback. 

In a statement issued here today, Kiran Choudhry, Leader of the Haryana Congress Legislature Party (CLP), said the hike, the fourth in the last ten months, would hit the common man hard, have a cascading effect on the cost of production and result in across-the-board price rise. 

The roll-back can be made possible if the state government takes steps to check power theft, cut down line losses, and inject a dose of efficiency in the working of discoms, the former Excise and Taxation Minister said. 

She said this is the fourth hike made in FSA in the past 10 months on the directives of theHaryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC). 

With 17 paise hike in December 2014, 60 paise hike in March 2015, 37 paise hike in April and now 5 paise hike, electricity has become costlier by Rs 1.19 per unit, the Congress MLA pointed out. 

In May, the tariff for non-domestic consumers had been hiked by about 8.5 per cent. Now, another 5 paise per unit hike in FSA will put extra burden on the common man, Choudhry said, adding that all this ran counter to the BJP promise of "Achhe Din".[ET]

State-specific drill on power dues

New Delhi, Aug. 9: A proposed plan to restructure the dues of ailing state electricity boards (SEBs) envisages state-specific packages, a sharp departure from the one-size-fits-all approach of the previous plan. The finance ministry is working on such a scheme, which will also help banks whose claims on SEBs stand at a massive Rs 3 lakh crore.
According to officials, the restructuring programmes will be linked to specific policy changes adopted by the states to raise tariff as well as reduce pilferage and transmission and distribution losses.
The restructuring package will include measures such as swapping high-cost loans, with interest rates of 10-14 per cent, for loans at lower rates spread over longer periods of time.
 
Some electricity boards may also be given a moratorium in return of promises to stick to a timetable for reforms.
Officials said escrow accounts of the receivables were also being mulled, particularly for bad cases of default.
The accumulated losses of state distribution companies (discoms) have risen to a massive Rs 2.1 lakh crore as they have failed to recover from bailouts.
Officials said the last one in 2012 failed with most SEBs, including Andhra Pradesh, UP, Telangana and Rajasthan, unable to improve their financial health.
An RBI report has pointed out that banks have already restructured debt worth Rs 53,000 crore of distribution utilities, but there was still no end to their plight.
The report said the state governments might not be able to repay these loans as it will increase their deficit; the restructured loans, too, had a very high chance of turning into bad debt.
The financial troubles of the electricity boards have made states reluctant to sign power purchase agreements with new producers.
The worst performer has been north India, where the electricity boards and discoms have loans of about Rs 1,57,634 crore and accumulated losses at Rs 1,43,715 crore.
The Rajasthan electricity board has accumulated losses of more than Rs 60,000 crore as of March 2014, while Uttar Pradesh faced a staggering loss of Rs 81,000 crore.
The short-term debt of the Rajasthan SEB stood at Rs 50,000 crore.
Officials said no state electricity board had been able to come up with a plan for 100 per cent metering.
Transmission and distribution losses of SEBs in India accounted for 23 per cent of the total power in the system compared with 6 per cent in China and 4 per cent for most of the developed countries.
Even Bangladesh, which receives electricity from the Indian grid, has a far lower transmission and distribution loss rate of 12 per cent.
Coal linkage
The Prime Minister's Office has asked the coal ministry to increase coal linkages to all sectors, including power, according to PTI.
The direction comes at a time the government is considering a coal linkage auction and has sought comments from stakeholders on the draft auction methodology.
 
 

Pre-paid meters can curb power theft

Apart from helping a consumer regulate power consumption, pre-paid meters can also control power theft. The meter disconnects supply as soon as load exceeds the sanctioned limit and resumes supply only after the load gets regularised.

There are cases where consumers install extra air-conditioners without getting their sanctioned meter load increased and end up paying demand penalty. Pre-paid meters, besides checking power theft, ensure that there is no penalty slapped on consumers using excess load.

Sources in Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (Lesa) said it was the utility of the meter that had made close to 150 consumers opt for a pre-paid meter instead of their conventional device. At least 22 meters have already been installed. Most of these are in Aashiana. A single meter has been installed in Aminabad.

"We will shortly complete all installations for consumers who have opted for the pre-paid meters," said Lesa chief engineer SK Verma.

Consumers willing to switch over to pre-paid meters can do so by filling up the 'option' forms available at the office of the executive engineer of a division. The cost of the old meter, in case of replacement, will be adjusted against the cost of the pre-paid meter. The consumer will get a deduction of Rs 900 either in his electricity bill or in the cost of the new meter.

A single-phase pre-paid meter will cost Rs 6,000 while a three-phase meter will cost Rs 12,000. The highest denomination recharge voucher is for Rs 10,000 while the lower denomination recharge coupons are worth Rs 100 to Rs 500. So far, maximum vouchers worth Rs 500 have been sold in Lucknow.

Recharge vouchers are available at Hussainganj billing centre. Besides, the master vending station for pre-paid meters is in Hussainganj, which consumers can visit for queries.[TOI]

Modi blast against Power Theft

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting on various energy sectors and, among other things, called for stern action against power theft.
 
An official press release said Mr Modi reviewed the progress towards targets in power and coal sectors. He specifically reviewed the progress made in rural electrification, and called for speeding up the process, so as to achieve 100 percent electrification, state-wise, progressively, in a well-defined time frame. 
 
The Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to renewable energy, and called for accelerating the implementation of renewable energy projects. 
 
Senior officials from the concerned Ministries, NITI Aayog and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) were present at the meeting, the release added.[Net Indain]Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting on various energy sectors and, among other things, called for stern action against power theft.
 
An official press release said Mr Modi reviewed the progress towards targets in power and coal sectors. He specifically reviewed the progress made in rural electrification, and called for speeding up the process, so as to achieve 100 percent electrification, state-wise, progressively, in a well-defined time frame. 
 
The Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to renewable energy, and called for accelerating the implementation of renewable energy projects. 
 
Senior officials from the concerned Ministries, NITI Aayog and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) were present at the meeting, the release added.[Net Indain]

Meter rigging biggest cause of power theft

Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (Lesa) has found maximum cases of rigged meters in the ongoing drive against power theft in the city. The anomaly has been noticed in meters installed at both domestic and commercial premises. The electronic meters have been found remote-controlled, storing excess units, bypassed and even `hung`.
LUCKNOW: Tampered meters are the biggest cause of power pilferage in Lucknow. Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (Lesa) has found maximum cases of rigged meters in the ongoing drive against power theft in the city. The anomaly has been noticed in meters installed at both domestic and commercial premises. The electronic meters have been found remote-controlled, storing excess units, bypassed and even `hung`. "In at least 20% cases we found that meters were hung and not recording the readings," said chief engineer, LESA, SK Verma. In most of the cases, a shunt (a device to divert current) was found inserted in the meter to slow down the readings. 
[Lucknow NYOOOZ]

discom faces 2 crore loss in power theft

GURGAON: The power discom has reported a revenue loss of Rs 2.44 crore from power theft from May to July. The vigilance wing of the discom has confirmed that 96 cases of power theft was found among the 196 total electricity connections that was checked.

Four cases of power theft in DLF and Maruti subdivisions totaled to a revenue loss of Rs 12.76 lakh. According to DHBVN`s executive engineer (enforcement) Pramod Singhla, the discom`s vigilance wing has lodged 31 FIRs since May against consumers for power theft in Gurgaon.[
http://www.nyoooz.com/]

"We have checked a total of 192 connections of 96 were confirmed for power theft from May to July. Of these 96 cases, 38 were detected in May, 41 in June and 17 cases in July," Singhla told TOI. He further said that in May alone a revenue loss of Rs 1.

06 crore was assessed on account of power theft, with a loss of another Rs 1 crore in June and about Rs 38.5 lakh in July so far. "However on account of these assessments made for May June and July, a Rs 70 lakh has been recovered.

Recovery is an ongoing process as meters have to been sent for lab testing to confirm theft," Singhla explained. Singhla informed that Rs 13 lakh has already been recovered in July. "In the l...
News Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/Discom-faces-2-crore-loss-in-power-theft/articleshow/48105663.c

UP to launch drive against power theft

The Uttar Pradesh Power Corp Ltd (UPPCL) will launch a two-month drive against power theft beginning July 21, officials said on Friday.
This follows a direction from Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan who has expressed displeasure over continuing power theft in the state, said an official.
District magistrates have been roped in for effective implementation and monitoring of the campaign.
"The initiative will strengthen UPPCL financially and it will also prevent power pilferage," Ranjan told officials.
During the campaign, electricity consumers who do not have legal power connection would be given legal connection and brought under the metering and billing system.[BS]

Gaya power firm bid to educate schoolchildren on power use

 
Gaya: India Power, the distribution company catering to the electricity requirements of nearly 1 lakh domestic and commercial consumers of Gaya, Bodh Gaya and Manpur has targeted future citizens in its bid to create awareness and ensure a more productive, rewarding and economic use of power. As part of its ongoing awareness creation programme, the company, on Friday organized a camp for schoolchildren to educate them on power saving and safety methods.
With the help of projectors, the children from different CBSE schools were given tips on the economic use of power and safety requirements to prevent electrocution and injury. Schoolchildren were also familiarized with electrocution protocol.
The children were also explained about the functioning of electronic meters and dos and don'ts of efficient power consumption.Company AGM Rakesh Ranjan made the presentation before the school students. Asked about the preference given to children over elderly members of power consuming family in its awareness creation drive, AGM Rakesh Ranjan said children learn fast as compared to elders. Moreover, the commitment level of children too is more. It has been established by psychologists that positive intervention by children, in many cases shames elders onto conforming with the norms.
Lessons in economic use of power and increasing power efficiency have also become important in view of the recurring complaints about allegedly inflated bills.
Rakesh Ranjan told TOI that a large number of consumes are yet to realize that power is not a freebee and you have to pay for consuming power.
Asked about complaints regarding inflated billing, the power company AGM said earlier people were getting power for less than 10 hours and quality wise the power was very inferior to the power now being supplied by India Power. Now quality power is being supplied for 22 hours or more in several localities of the town. Quality wise too power being now supplied is much better and as such bill is bound to be more than what it used to be in the days of perennial power starvation.[TOI]

Smart meter advances stop electricity theft

Precision converters and chip-scale transformers can be combined within the same IC package to enable a new class of smart meters that stop energy thieves.
Various trends are leading to an increase of electricity theft worldwide. The rate of theft does not seem to be very large, though the cumulative effect on utilities is significant. Electricity meter standards bodies like the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have developed requirements to prevent meter tampering and minimize electricity theft. But the standards are not always effective, and sophisticated users can circumvent the safeguards.
A convergence of precision converters and chip-scale transformers is driving better electricity meter design and stronger protection from a common form of theft: tampering with a smart meter by using an external magnet so the meter undercounts or stops working altogether. When these technologies are leveraged, semiconductor vendors can offer ICs for energy measurement applications that combine precision analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), digital isolation for data channels, and isolation for dc-dc power conversion.
The resulting energy measurement ICs are inexpensive and can be offered in a single low-profile package that ultimately enables a new class of smart meters that are completely immune to magnetic tampering. Electric utilities that begin deploying smart meters with these underlying technologies will see a decreased rate of electricity theft and an increase in their long-term revenue.
The Problem
Most shoplifters are amateurs, but some sophisticated individuals and groups make their living from shoplifting. Shoplifting penalties are typically less severe than penalties for other types of theft, and apprehension and prosecution often are difficult. Some retailers in the U.S. report that shoplifting has a significant effect on their bottom line and that about 1% of all inventory disappears to thieves. This may seem like a low percentage, but experts have estimated that shoplifters cost all U.S. businesses over $25 million a day.
In many respects, electricity theft is a lot like shoplifting. Some thieves are individual consumers who learn how to steal from their utility through the Internet, while others are complex enterprises involved in illegal drug cultivation. The costs to utilities associated with pursuing suspected energy crimes are often far higher than the revenues recovered. Also, laws and regulations only establish a limited obligation on utilities to combat electricity theft.
In the U.S., the industry consensus is that electricity theft costs utilities between 0.5% and 3.5% of annual gross revenues. Again, this level of theft rate seems low, though in one year it can amount to over 1 TWh of generated electricity or over $100 million in lost revenues. In other countries with weaker governance factors, the rate of electricity theft is estimated to be as high as 20%.
There are two important differences between shoplifters and electricity thieves. First, the commercial establishment is a single local utility company instead of a group of different retailers. Second, the pool of potential criminals is much larger and more distributed than consumers who shop at local retailers. In other words, the potential for economic harm is concentrated at the utility, and the beneficiaries are widely dispersed and challenging to catch.
Several recent trends have contributed to the emergence of electricity theft as a serious worldwide problem. Many utilities started off as state-owned monopolies where efficiency and profits were not the highest priorities.During the last several decades, many governments have privatized energy infrastructure and improved energy policy so utilities must operate efficiently and optimize profits. As a result, utilities have a greater incentive to address electricity theft and protect their revenue.
Also, electricity prices have been rising primarily because of cost increases for raw materials such as oil and coal used during electricity generation During the last two decades in the U.S., average electricity prices have increased by about 2% annually from .078 per kilowatt hour in 1990 to .114 per kilowatt hour in 2010. Poor macro-economic conditions have compounded the situation because during times of economic hardship, some consumers and business are more inclined to steal electricity.
- [www.newelectronics.co.uk/]

Brother of ex-MLA arrested to attacking BSES officials

The accused Jagdev, brother of Shokeen, was arrested yesterday for allegedly attacking senior BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd officials who were carrying out inspection in connection with power theft at Kamruddin Nagar of Nangloi area in West Delhi, along with his accomplices on Tuesday, they said. 

The three officials were returning to office after a meeting with Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Mundka, Sukhbir Singh Dalal and had stopped at Kamruddin Nagar for an inspection. 
The officials including Assistant Vice President (Division Head Mundka) Yudh Veer Singh, Head Business (West) T R Bhatia and Assistant Vice President (Cheat Division Nangloi and Mundka) Vikrant Seth were preparing for inspection when four men arrived in a car and attacked them without any provocation or reason, the officials said in their complaint. 

A case under sections 186 (obstructing public servant), 332 (causing hurt), 353 (assault), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code was registered on the complaint of the officials, at Nangloi police station, police said, adding he has been sent to judicial custody. [TOI]
 

UP to crack down on power theft

The Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) is planning a massive crackdown on power theft cases in the city. The drive will be kicked off on July 21 and will continue for two months.
 
According to the electricity department, during a video conference meeting called by the managing director of UPPCL, Sanjay Agarwal, the status of electricity supply in the entire state was discussed. The chief engineers were instructed to generate more revenue and bring down line losses to zero.
Under the drive, offenders will be fined and an FIR will be lodged against repeat offenders. A vigilance team has been constituted in each zone to supervise the drive.
It was ordered that the electricity supply and assistance to consumers would be directly proportional to the revenue generated from respective feeders. Villages and non-metered houses would be actively targeted under the drive.
“We are under immense pressure to generate more revenue from Gautam Budh Nagar district and bring line losses to zero.
The list of defaulters prepared at the head quarters was sent to the respective divisions so that stern action can be taken against such consumers. A vigilance team has been constituted in each zone to supervise the drive,” Mukul Singhal, superintending engineer of UPPCL, said.[HT]

Power theft from SBI branch !

Karhi : A case of theft of electricity from the main supply line of State Bank of India has come to light. The branch manager of SBI, Bamaniya has made a complaint to the MPEB, Karhi, AC MPEB Mandleshwar, SP, Khargone and Karhi police station that electricity was being stolen by tampering the main supply line of the bank. The complaint has named Suresh Kumar and Vinod Kumar of theft.
Acting upon the complaint, a team of MPEB, Karhi found that electricity supply was being made to a private house and a business establishment by tampering the main line of the bank. The team seized the cable and wires.
The branch manager of the bank said that the bank was getting bills of heavy amount besides experiencing frequent tripping. On investigation, it was found that electricity was being stolen from the MPEB lines as well as from generator.
[The Free Press Journal ]

UP to crack down on power theft

The Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) is planning a massive crackdown on power theft cases in the city. The drive will be kicked off on July 21 and will continue for two months.
 
According to the electricity department, during a video conference meeting called by the managing director of UPPCL, Sanjay Agarwal, the status of electricity supply in the entire state was discussed. The chief engineers were instructed to generate more revenue and bring down line losses to zero.
Under the drive, offenders will be fined and an FIR will be lodged against repeat offenders. A vigilance team has been constituted in each zone to supervise the drive.
It was ordered that the electricity supply and assistance to consumers would be directly proportional to the revenue generated from respective feeders. Villages and non-metered houses would be actively targeted under the drive.
“We are under immense pressure to generate more revenue from Gautam Budh Nagar district and bring line losses to zero.
The list of defaulters prepared at the head quarters was sent to the respective divisions so that stern action can be taken against such consumers. A vigilance team has been constituted in each zone to supervise the drive,” Mukul Singhal, superintending engineer of UPPCL, said.[HT]

Electricity theft sparks tensions

Durban - Blackouts caused by electricity theft have pitted residents of Lotus Park in south Durban against their neighbours in a burgeoning illegal shack settlement.
Parts of Lotus Park have been without power for up to 24 hours at a stretch in the past few weeks because of the continuing theft, inflaming tensions.
On Wednesday, ward councillor Sunil Kalicharan addressed several concerned residents after a stand-off between them and about 50 people from the informal settlement on Tuesday.
A war of words had erupted after residents stopped a group of men who had tried to connect cables to a roadside municipal power box.
Residents, who feared for their safety, told the Daily News that power theft had begun after people started putting up shacks in November on an illegally occupied piece of land between Silvergull Drive and the Lotus Park Muslim cemetery.
There were now more than 180 shacks on the site, according to an eThekwini official who visited the site on Wednesday.
And residents fear the number could increase, with some claiming that trees from a nearby forest were being cut down every night as the settlement spreads.
A resident of Thrush Place said a group of men had knocked on his door and asked him if they could dig a trench from a power supply box outside his driveway through his yard to the informal settlement. They intended to bury an electricity cable. He refused. The men said they would return.
Five other power boxes along the pavement are at risk, said residents. One of the boxes, opposite the settlement and near a block of flats, has been tampered with.
Electrical cables have been connected illegally and run underground to the settlement.
Kalicharan said the electricity department had been made aware of the problem. “There is no solution in sight. It is unfair to residents who are paying their bills,” he said.
Apart from blackout misery caused by power theft, residents were also concerned about theft and neglect at the cemetery. Taps, tombstones and fencing had been stolen and goats graze and children play in the cemetery.
“The issue of housing is a major problem. An influx of people from rural areas into the suburbs to benefit politicians. At a national level there is a rural development plan that could help.”
Kalicharan said there was a hidden agenda behind the growth of the informal settlement, claiming that certain politicians were trying to garner votes by telling people to settle there.
However, this could not be confirmed.
“We don’t know where they have come from; there is no database. In the past few weeks the area has been without power for up to 24 hours. A burnt power box was also found along the road.
“They destroyed this once vibrant and beautiful community for votes. They don’t have the interest of the community at heart, because they don’t live here,” he said.
He said several informal meetings had taken place involving residents, himself and the municipality’s South Durban Basin area-based management, but these had “proved fruitless”.
Jacob Pienaar, ANC proportional representative councillor for the area, said he had engaged with people from the informal settlement and taken their details to compile a database.
“The department of housing has been notified. We have warned people not to build any more shacks. We have been destroying those built recently,” he said.
Pienaar said residents from the informal settlement had approached him for a water standpipe and electricity. He said the municipality was corresponding with the owner of the land before anything could be done.
“I was also taken aback when I heard of this settlement. We now have four settlements in this ward,” he said.[Daily News]
 

UPERC raps PCL for failure to check line losses

LUCKNOW: The UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has decided to hold officials of the UP Power Corporation (UPPCL) personally responsible for not being able to check instances of power theft and high line losses.

On Thursday, the commission slapped notices on managing director of Madhyanchal Electricity Distribution Company and chief engineers of Lucknow, Bareilly and Faizabad zones which have been registering high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses. The officials have been summoned by the commission to appear in person before it on July 21.

Bareilly and Shahjahanpur registered line losses of around 40% in 2014-15, while Faizabad zone had line losses to the tune of 37%. The Lucknow zone under the Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (Lesa) too witnessed a high rate of AT&C losses of over 38%.
[TOI]

Haryana govt introduces new scheme to curb power theft

Haryana government has introduced a new scheme for rural areas to curb power thefts and motivate consumers to deposit electricity bills regularly, official said.
 
Under ‘Mhara Gaon, Jagmag Gaon’ scheme, two electricity feeders supplying electricity to three villages of district Gurgaon have been chosen where better power supply from 12 to 15 hours daily will be ensured.
 
The Deputy Commissioner TL Satyaprakash said that the feeders of district Gurgaon which have been chosen under the newly launched scheme are - Bhondsi feeder of Badshahpur electricity sub-division supplying power to Bhon dsivillage and Badgurjar feeder of Manesar electricity Sub-Division from supplying power to villages Badgurjar and Naurangpur. Three villages of Gurgaon district have started getting 12-15 hours power supply daily from 1 July onwards whereas other villages were getting power supply for 11-12 hours daily, he said.
 
The Bhondsi feeder has 1,849 connections, covering a population of about 17,410 while Badgurjar feeder has 785 connections covering a population of 5,000.
 
The new scheme aims at reducing the line loss and also to motivate the consumers of rural areas to pay their electricity bills regularly so that they can also get power supply on the pattern of cities, Satyaprakash said.
 
Those villages, who want to get better power supply, should start clearing their arrears of power bills, if any, besides paying their current bills, he said. 

Fish pond operator caught stealing electricity

KUCHING: Sesco acted on a public tip-off by raiding a house which operates a fish pond in Sematan, some 120 km from here, earlier this week.
The operation was conducted by 20 personnel comprising Sesco technicians and auxiliary police and inspectors from the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) of the Public Utilities Ministry.
Upon arriving at the site, the customer was served with a warrant from the magistrate to enter the premises. He cooperated and allowed Sesco technicians to enter the compound.
During the inspection, Sesco technicians found an illegal wiring installed from the Sesco service line to the house distribution board switch to supply a water pump for the fish pond.
The wiring bypassed Sesco’s electricity meter so the electricity consumed by the fish pond’s water pumps was not registered.
The illegal connection was concealed in the ceiling to avoid detection.
The technicians had to break the ceiling to expose it. The illegal wires were removed and seized as evidence.
A Sesco spokesperson said that this fish pond operator had been operating for the past three years. He had refused earlier requests from Sesco to enter the house to inspect the meter wiring.
“We could not enter the premises to inspect as the door was always locked. We therefore applied for a court warrant to enter the premises to inspect the meter,” the spokesperson said in a statement yesterday.
The spokesperson revealed that the monthly billing consumption showed the customer had been paying for a minimal amount of electricity which did not tally with the consumption of appliances installed at his premises.
A police report was lodged and the owner will be called to assist with the investigation.
Sesco received encouraging response from the public who provided information on power theft via the power theft hotline 082-443535. Most of this information led to the discovery of genuine power theft cases.
Sesco thanks the public and urge those with information on power theft to report to the power theft hotline or email customercare@sarawakenergy.com.my. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
Sesco reminds the public that stealing electricity is a
dangerous crime punishable under Section 33(5) of the Electricity Ordinance with a fine up to RM100,000 or imprisonment of five years or both.[Borneo Post]

Power Theft: Rs 1.2-cr Fine Imposed

PALAKKAD:In raids and inspections spanning three days, the Vigilance wing of the KSEB detected eight cases of power theft and 76 incidents of misuse of power in the district and imposed Rs 1.2 crore as fines, said KSEB Chief Vigilance Officer, Rishiraj Singh.
Speaking to mediapersons here on Friday, Rishiraj said as many as 512 inspections were conducted in three days by an 80-member squad. A prominent steel smelting unit was slapped Rs 30 lakh fine for misuse of power. The law states that ‘light load’ and ‘colony load’ should be separated and a separate meter should be installed. But the steel smelting unit extended power to the staff quarters and used electricity for other purposes from the industrial connection, he added.
Squads were headed by Assistant Executive Engineers and the inspections were conducted by South Zone Executive Engineer Mohammed Kasim and North zone Executive Engineer T V James.
Rishiraj said during the eight months in office, he detected theft amounting to Rs 37.48 crore in 3,900 inspections. He said 66 per cent of the thefts were reported from houses 24 per cent from agricultural consumers and 8 per cent from commercial complexes[The New Indian Express]
 

Meter Tampering is a prosecutable crime and a serious safety hazard

Electricity Theft
Electricity theft is an ongoing problem for both electricity providers and customers. Each year, CenterPoint Energy and other utility companies nationwide estimate that electricity theft costs them over a billion dollars in revenue. 
 
A significant amount of electricity theft is due to meter tampering - violators physically alter the internal mechanism of their electric meters. As a result, violators are not charged for the total number of kilowa​tt-hours actually used, causing lost revenue for utility companies and retail electric providers, as well as higher monthly bills for customers.
 
We take extensive measures to prevent cases of electricity theft and the new smart meters that are currently being deployed are helping us to respond to meter tampering even faster.
 
 

It’s Illegal

Electricity theft is punishable by jail time, fines or both.
 
 

It’s Dangerous

Many perpetrators do not realize that tampering with live electricity inside a meter is dangerous and could result in a fire or electrocution.[CENTRE POINT ENERGY]

Meter Tampering is a prosecutable crime and a serious safety hazard

Electricity Theft
Electricity theft is an ongoing problem for both electricity providers and customers. Each year, CenterPoint Energy and other utility companies nationwide estimate that electricity theft costs them over a billion dollars in revenue. 
 
A significant amount of electricity theft is due to meter tampering - violators physically alter the internal mechanism of their electric meters. As a result, violators are not charged for the total number of kilowa​tt-hours actually used, causing lost revenue for utility companies and retail electric providers, as well as higher monthly bills for customers.
 
We take extensive measures to prevent cases of electricity theft and the new smart meters that are currently being deployed are helping us to respond to meter tampering even faster.
 
 

It’s Illegal

Electricity theft is punishable by jail time, fines or both.
 
 

It’s Dangerous

Many perpetrators do not realize that tampering with live electricity inside a meter is dangerous and could result in a fire or electrocution.[CENTRE POINT ENERGY]

Ludhiana: People using innovative ways to lower their electricity bills

Despite all efforts by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), power theft incidents are still coming to fire, as people have started opting new ways for stealing power.
 
The anti-power-theft police station in Ludhiana, which deals with the Ludhiana, Moga and Fatehgarh districts, has registered FIRs against 469 persons for power theft till date this year.
The ways for committing electricity theft have also changed with time. Now, people try to find out more advanced and secure ways for power theft, thus saving their money on electricity bills.
In a case registered on Monday, Mahinder Singh, a resident of Bhaghampura in Moga, was found tampering with the electricity meter for evading bill.
The inspection team found that meter reading was running slow as compared to the load of the electricity being used. He was fined Rs 42,703.
This is not the sole case as people use other latest technologies to tamper with the meter.
An official at PSPCL anti-power-theft station said, “Nearly a month back, many houses were found stealing electricity. They had hired an expert to tamper with the meter of all houses in lane, despite the fact that meters were installed outside the lane in meter box.
Anti-power theft police station head munshi Balbir Singh said, “We get to know that various methods of stealing electricity are being adopted by the residents.
Direct kundi (direct connection from others’ meter) is a popular way in rural areas, but in urban areas, where advanced technologies have been installed under R-APDRP scheme and meters are also installed outside homes in the meter boxes, people find innovative ways to steal electricity.”
“Cases have been registered against the defaulters under Section 135 of the Electricity Act (theft of energy). Those who don’t pay fine, their cases are taken to session court,” Balbir Singh said.
It is pertinent to mention that due to power theft, problems of short circuit, overloading or damaging of wires take place, thus causing inconvenience to consumers as well as corporation.
Anti-power theft police station inspector Kulwant Singh said, “These 469 complaints are only of those persons, whose names were sent to us by the PSPCL department.
We register FIR against them and take their cases to the court. It is non-bailable offence with at least three-year imprisonment, if a person found guilty fails to submit the penalty.”
[HT]

Transmission and Distribution: Last mile is the longest

In its first year the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government was able to electrify only 0.2 per cent of census villages, according to the (CEA). About 1,100 census villages were put on the grid map. In contrast in the previous five years under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the percentage of villages electrified had risen from 84.4 per cent to 96.5 per cent, reports the authority.

Of the 5.97 lakh villages, 19,766 are still grid connected. The remaining ones are more difficult to reach. The numbers on census villages also hide underneath the hamlets and habitations within that are alsohooked up individually to the grid. If one looked at these as well the NDA's performance would seem better. The government could easily ramp up its efforts as the UPA record shows.
 

It's the last-mile connectivity that lags behind at the moment; 96.7 per cent villages are connected but 33 per cent households - around eight crore out of 24 crore (according to 2011 census) - do not have electricity. This too could be fixed with just a little more effort. In just three years (2011-14), Andhra Pradesh provided connections to roughly 11 lakh households. Rajasthan added five lakh over the same period. Thus, cumulatively all states put together would have added substantial numbers in the period from 2011-14. The RGVY scheme for BPL households alone added over 55 lakh households between 2011-14. By the time thetook over, the target would have been reduced substantially. Merely working at the pace that AP has, could add roughly four crore households by 2019.

Ensuring household connectivity could be relatively easy. The real test is twofold: One, to spread thegrid widely and efficiently from power producers to distributors by 2019. Two, the more difficult test to pass is to ensure that debt-ridden distributors bounce back to health and are able to set progressive tariffs that reflect the true cost of power. This is where politics could trump even a very determined government.

The current transmission system is insufficient to transfer power from surplus parts of the country to deficit parts. A former head of says, "States are not being able to buy cheaper power because of transmission bottlenecks." With lack of grid connectivity, states get locked in to buying power from costly but linked up generators in the vicinity.

At the end of the 11th Plan, the inter-regional transmission lines capacity stood at 27,750 Mw. The target for the 12th Plan was 65,550 Mw. As on May 2015, 46,450 Mw was achieved, leaving a balance of 19,100 Mw for the remaining two years of 2015-17. But the NDA hopes to achieve a target of 27,400 Mw in these remaining two years. Then, in the 13th Plan period (2017-22), it plans to add another 52,800 Mw of inter-regional transmission lines to cater to power generation capacity of 4.6 lakh Mw. For this, the estimates in its perspective plan that another Rs 2.6 lakh crore would be required in the 13th Plan. The power minister has suggested the transmission sector needs Rs 1 lakh crore, for now.

The perspective plan by CEA, which includes targets to be reached by 2022, was developed before the AP plan for 24/7 power was ready. So there is some mismatch in deadlines. The AP plan looks at creating the full transmission capacities by 2019. It estimates the inter-state transmission network strengthening, which includes building a green energy corridor, to cost about Rs 23,284 crore. The AP plan also notes the crucial role the center would have to play. It says "Apart from financial assistance, non-financial interventions, some as directions to public sector companies are requested from the government of India".

A greater financial commitment from the union government bundled with political heft would be needed to fix the most trenchant of problems the Indian power sector faces - the mounting losses of state distribution companies. The burgeoning fiscal burden leaves them with no choice but to manage their finances by curbing power purchase and limiting supply to consumers. Power ministerwrites, "Annual operating losses of distribution companies are at around Rs 70,000 crore every year, with accumulated losses of Rs 2,52,000 crore and total debt of Rs 3,04,000 crore."

Goyal adds, "This situation persists largely due to rampant and unbridled power theft. The national average for Annual Technical & Commercial losses is around 25 per cent." Competition in the distribution sector could bring down these losses but could increase the burden on state-owned companies unless their tariff structures are also freed.

Sorting out problems of distribution to provide 24x7 supply will depend on how well Prime Ministercan implement his mantra of 'cooperative and competitive federalism'.

While issues of fuel supply, logistics, generation and transmission fall under the central government's domain, distribution is under state governments. All the reforms proposed in the distribution sector such as open access, privatisation of distribution networks, tariff increases fall in the domain of the state. Rationalising tariffs is the toughest task. But it is must, as the former head of explains: "Many states are simply not purchasing power. This is because of a complete mismatch between the cost of buying power and the tariff charged from the consumers."

Any upward restructuring in tariffs is, quite naturally, a political minefield that few states can afford to tackle. Take the case of Rajasthan, where an analysis was carried out to look at distributors would fare under different tariff regimes. Only when tariffs were projected to increase at a high rate of 16 per cent for three years consecutively did the distributor cross the red line.

With the agricultural sector in deep stress, charging farmers for power at higher rates looks politically unfeasible. For the Union government to convince and help states move to a more rational tariff regime perhaps is the leap that could help NDA reach its 2019 deadline of power for all.[Business Standard]

Electricity theft remains a concern for BPC

Botswana Power Corporation CEO, Jacob Raleru says electricity theft in residential and commercial areas is a concern.
Raleru told the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and State Enterprise, that people continue to overpass and tamper with electricity meters to steal electricity.
Raleru stated that they have since introduced electricity metres that detect those who are obsessed with the habit of tempering with electricity meters to steal electricity.
Raleru said that incidents of electricity fraud affect the already struggling power corporation to generate reverence.[CABZ]
 

Attack on PSPCL team: Panchayat union members protest arrest of SAD zila parishad member

Members of the Punjab Panchayat Union staged a protest outside the district administrative complex (DAC) here on Monday demanding cancellation of the case registered against SAD zila parishad member Sukhmandar Singh for allegedly attacking a team of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) in Bhagi Wander village last month when the team had gone for checking power theft.
The members, who had gathered at Gurdwara Hazi Ratan Sahib, took out a protest march from the gurdwara to the DAC where they submitted a memorandum to a representative of the deputy commissioner.
Convener of the union Prem Singh Maulviwala said that they had decided to intensify the agitation and they, with residents of Bhagi Wander village, would block the Bhagi Wander-Bathinda road on Friday this week if the state government didn't withdraw the case against Sukhmandar Singh. Terming the case against Sukhmandar Singh a false one, he said that the union members might even resort to tendering mass resignations from their posts in panchayat bodies if the case against Sukhmandar Singh is not withdrawn.
Three people including Sukhmandar Singh, Raju Singh, son of SAD sarpanch of the village and one Bhola Singh were arrested in the case while fourth accused Ajit Singh was granted bail on medical grounds. All the accused have been booked on attempt to murder charges under Section 307 of IPC. [HT]

Take action against those stealing power: RLD

Rathi urged the district magistrate to take strict action against all those indulging in power theft, irrespective of their political affiliations.

Meanwhile, the activists also protested against the drive launched by the district magistrate regarding installation of power meters in rural households.

"The administration should first ensure that villagers receive 8-hour uninterrupted power supply before initiating such a drive. Electricity is supplied only for 5-6 hours a day," said a RLD worker.

The party activists also raised issues ranging from unscheduled power outages in rural areas, inadequate irrigation facilities, lack of fertilizers and seeds and cleanliness of 'rajvaha' (small canals). [TOI]

103 cases of electricity theft found in Ajmer

 
AJMER: The vigilance department of Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (AVVNL) on Friday found 103 cases of electricity theft incidents costing a whopping Rs 28,77,000. Different teams of the department raided 123 places to check for electricity theft in the region. The highest number of cases were in Sikar district.

According to Surendra Kumar Bhati, additional SP of vigilance department, 12 cases were found in Ajmer region, 11 in Bhilwara, 7 in Nagaur, 5 in Jhunjhunu, 42 in Sikar, 12 in Chittorgargh, 10 in Dungarpur, 11 in Rajsamand and 6 cases in Udaipur region.

Similarly, different police stations registered 15 cases of electricity theft. The managing director of AVNNL on Saturday will preside over an important meeting in Ajmer head office to discuss different issues of the department.[TOI]

Union power minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said a whopping 54 per cent electricity was either "stolen or lost" in Bihar,

PATNA: which "doesn't produce a single unit from its own power stations."

"It is a shameful thing that Bihar doesn't produce a single unit from its own power stations. All the power here is supplied by the Centre or other states. Whatever power plants are here are so old that they have become unworkable.


Altogether 54 per cent electricity supplied here is either stolen or lost," Goyal said.

"The honest public has to pay for the electricity theft and losses in the form of inflated bills handed over to them," he said.

Goyal said the state government recovered the whopping electricity losses from the honest, bill paying customers.

The Union minister was speaking on the occasion of signing of a MoU between NTPC, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) here to train 25,000 youths in services and manufacturing sectors over the next five years.


Goyal pointed out that Bihar's demand for electricity was assessed at 2,994 MW, low even in comparison to Delhi which was just a city, but had a demand for 5,800 to 6,000 MW.

"The per capita electricity consumption in Bihar is just 160 units per year, which is very low even in comparison to the national average, which was 1,000 units per year. There are no industries here. There are places where electricity hasn't reached and if it has reached it doesn't stay," he said.

Goyal and Union skill development minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy also pointed at the lack of development in the state and exhorted the people to be the part of a change.


The statistics provided by Goyal punched holes into the claims of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar that ample electricity was being supplied to all villages and efforts were on to provide it round-the-clock. [TOI]

Organised power theft in Karnataka,India

Organised power theft
As government conceals truth, bulk of the consumers will continue paying costs of someone's consumption and organised power thefts.
While a large part of the 21 million electricity consumers across Karnataka heaved a sigh of relief as the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) approved only a nominal hike of 15-20 paisa against the proposal of Electric Supply Companies (ESCOMs) for a steep hike of 80 paisa per unit across all sections of consumers, the basis on which the whole tariff is structured remains mysterious to most.  

Though what is obvious in the new tariff seems comfortable for the consumers, the basis and substance of the tariff structure continue to rest on a bunch of inexactitudes and fabricated figures, obviously for the convenience of ESCOMs and to extend undue benefits to many vested interests.

The Bangalore Political Action Committee (Bpac) opposed the proposed tariff hike by submitting a technical paper and again presenting their arguments in the public hearing conducted by the KERC. The new tariff structure is in no way different from the previous ones in shielding the ESCOMs in continuing with their inefficiencies and misrepresentation of facts. 

The tale begins with the government’s lip service to the large section of poor farmers in the state. By declaring that 39 per cent of state’s power is being consumed by farmers, the government is making them accountable for the entire leakages and power thefts rampant across the state. Nobody would accept this figure when the agriculture sectors of other states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu consume only 18, 19 and 18 per cent, respectively, of their state’s total consumption. 

If the consumption by irrigation pump (IP) sets are metered and measured, the bitter truth that the energy consumption of agricultural sector of Karnataka is not different from other states would come out. While all ESCOMs are unanimous in claiming that farmers are against installing meters for their IP sets, the truth is that the unmetered connections enable all ESCOMs in dumping their unaccounted consumption, part of losses and the leakages (including known and unknown power thefts) on the poor farmers’ and thus draw government subsidies for the entire unaccounted power.

The ESCOMs do ask why other consumers are concerned about unmetered free consumption since the government bears that entire burden. This is the second inexactitude in the story. Going through the newly approved tariff of BESCOM for instance, anyone can understand this. While the average cost of electricity is Rs 5.6 per unit, the charge-discharge transaction (CDT) for IP sets is only Rs 2.38 that is being reimbursed by the government. 

So, how is the remaining Rs 3.22 being recovered? It’s from other consumers through cross subsidisation. That means a large part of the cost of unmetered free power (of 39 per cent), which is worth Rs 10,500 crore, is being borne by other consumers through cross subsidies, though the government claims the burden entirely on its account. Isn’t it a kind of regularisation of power thefts by the government?
If we go with the account of ESCOMs, one-third of the so called 1.9 million IP sets installed across the state are yet to be traced. There are no records available of the operating efficiency or the hours of operation, of those which are physically located. 

ESCOMs just adopt crude ways to fix the yardstick of average consumption by IP sets. While the Electricity Act, 2003, recommends that cross subsidies shall be progressively reduced and eliminated, the National Tariff Policy endorses that the cross subsidy variation should be brought down gradually and to the extent of not more than 20 per cent of the cost by FY2011. It also recommends direct cash subsidies to the under privileged. 
Direct cash subsidies
Yet, the government is shying away from extending direct cash subsidies to the poor farmers, the same way gas subsidy is being implemented now. If the meters are installed and direct cash subsidy to the needy population is implemented, the ESCOMs may have to answer for about 20 per cent unaccounted leakages in the system. This one action by the government alone could turn Karnataka in to a power surplus state. 

This year, a large part of Rs 7498 crore government subsidy will be spent on covering leakages, theft and misuse. Adding the cross subsidies of about Rs 3200 crore within the tariff structure, we arrive at a total subsidy Rs 10,698 crore which is 38 per cent of the annual revenue demand of Rs 28,400 crore for all ESCOMs an extraordinarily high figure!

Another interesting twist in the tale is the drastic increase in Cross Subsidy Surcharges (CSS) for direct access power purchases. Industrial consumers at 11/33 Kv and at 66Kv and above, paying CSS of seven paisa and 42 paisa per unit, now have to pay 63 paisa and 98 paisa per unit. As against this, their commercial counterparts who were paying CSS of 138 and 173 paisa per unit last year, now end up paying 160 and 195 paisa per unit respectively. This will make the direct power purchase almost an unviable option for consumers and thereby deny indirectly their rights to get out of the tangles of inefficient ESCOMs by entering into direct power purchase agreements.

If we go on tracing the real stories behind the ever-increasing short term power purchase at very high price, absence of transparent public procurement bidding process by treating private and public power producers at par (as recommended by NTP), unacceptable level of transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, poor standards of performance despite amplifying operational costs, non-compliances to KERC’s own guidelines etc., many more skeletons will fall out of the stores, unveiling the horrifying style of functioning by ESCOMs. 

As long as the government policies support ESCOMs in concealing the truth from the public, bulk of the consumers will continue paying the costs of someone’s consumption, system leakages and organised power thefts.Organised power theft
As government conceals truth, bulk of the consumers will continue paying costs of someone's consumption and organised power thefts.
While a large part of the 21 million electricity consumers across Karnataka heaved a sigh of relief as the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) approved only a nominal hike of 15-20 paisa against the proposal of Electric Supply Companies (ESCOMs) for a steep hike of 80 paisa per unit across all sections of consumers, the basis on which the whole tariff is structured remains mysterious to most.  

Though what is obvious in the new tariff seems comfortable for the consumers, the basis and substance of the tariff structure continue to rest on a bunch of inexactitudes and fabricated figures, obviously for the convenience of ESCOMs and to extend undue benefits to many vested interests.

The Bangalore Political Action Committee (Bpac) opposed the proposed tariff hike by submitting a technical paper and again presenting their arguments in the public hearing conducted by the KERC. The new tariff structure is in no way different from the previous ones in shielding the ESCOMs in continuing with their inefficiencies and misrepresentation of facts. 

The tale begins with the government’s lip service to the large section of poor farmers in the state. By declaring that 39 per cent of state’s power is being consumed by farmers, the government is making them accountable for the entire leakages and power thefts rampant across the state. Nobody would accept this figure when the agriculture sectors of other states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu consume only 18, 19 and 18 per cent, respectively, of their state’s total consumption. 

If the consumption by irrigation pump (IP) sets are metered and measured, the bitter truth that the energy consumption of agricultural sector of Karnataka is not different from other states would come out. While all ESCOMs are unanimous in claiming that farmers are against installing meters for their IP sets, the truth is that the unmetered connections enable all ESCOMs in dumping their unaccounted consumption, part of losses and the leakages (including known and unknown power thefts) on the poor farmers’ and thus draw government subsidies for the entire unaccounted power.

The ESCOMs do ask why other consumers are concerned about unmetered free consumption since the government bears that entire burden. This is the second inexactitude in the story. Going through the newly approved tariff of BESCOM for instance, anyone can understand this. While the average cost of electricity is Rs 5.6 per unit, the charge-discharge transaction (CDT) for IP sets is only Rs 2.38 that is being reimbursed by the government. 

So, how is the remaining Rs 3.22 being recovered? It’s from other consumers through cross subsidisation. That means a large part of the cost of unmetered free power (of 39 per cent), which is worth Rs 10,500 crore, is being borne by other consumers through cross subsidies, though the government claims the burden entirely on its account. Isn’t it a kind of regularisation of power thefts by the government?
If we go with the account of ESCOMs, one-third of the so called 1.9 million IP sets installed across the state are yet to be traced. There are no records available of the operating efficiency or the hours of operation, of those which are physically located. 

ESCOMs just adopt crude ways to fix the yardstick of average consumption by IP sets. While the Electricity Act, 2003, recommends that cross subsidies shall be progressively reduced and eliminated, the National Tariff Policy endorses that the cross subsidy variation should be brought down gradually and to the extent of not more than 20 per cent of the cost by FY2011. It also recommends direct cash subsidies to the under privileged. 
Direct cash subsidies
Yet, the government is shying away from extending direct cash subsidies to the poor farmers, the same way gas subsidy is being implemented now. If the meters are installed and direct cash subsidy to the needy population is implemented, the ESCOMs may have to answer for about 20 per cent unaccounted leakages in the system. This one action by the government alone could turn Karnataka in to a power surplus state. 

This year, a large part of Rs 7498 crore government subsidy will be spent on covering leakages, theft and misuse. Adding the cross subsidies of about Rs 3200 crore within the tariff structure, we arrive at a total subsidy Rs 10,698 crore which is 38 per cent of the annual revenue demand of Rs 28,400 crore for all ESCOMs an extraordinarily high figure!

Another interesting twist in the tale is the drastic increase in Cross Subsidy Surcharges (CSS) for direct access power purchases. Industrial consumers at 11/33 Kv and at 66Kv and above, paying CSS of seven paisa and 42 paisa per unit, now have to pay 63 paisa and 98 paisa per unit. As against this, their commercial counterparts who were paying CSS of 138 and 173 paisa per unit last year, now end up paying 160 and 195 paisa per unit respectively. This will make the direct power purchase almost an unviable option for consumers and thereby deny indirectly their rights to get out of the tangles of inefficient ESCOMs by entering into direct power purchase agreements.

If we go on tracing the real stories behind the ever-increasing short term power purchase at very high price, absence of transparent public procurement bidding process by treating private and public power producers at par (as recommended by NTP), unacceptable level of transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, poor standards of performance despite amplifying operational costs, non-compliances to KERC’s own guidelines etc., many more skeletons will fall out of the stores, unveiling the horrifying style of functioning by ESCOMs. 

As long as the government policies support ESCOMs in concealing the truth from the public, bulk of the consumers will continue paying the costs of someone’s consumption, system leakages and organised power thefts.

Stopping Electricity Theft – Can JPS Do It Alone?

If we were to go by the findings of the 2011 Housing & Population Census conducted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, then there are about 200,000 households that are illegally connected to the electricity grid in Jamaica.
For the financial year 2014, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) had approximately 17 per cent of the electricity that it generated stolen. Unfortunately, this is not a problem that is unique to Jamaica.
According to a 2014 document prepared by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Power Lost: Sizing Electricity Losses in Transmission and Distribution Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean, the region accounted for a third of global electricity losses.
Over the last five years, the JPS has invested more than US$100 million implementing solutions to reduce electricity theft, but with minimal success. Having spent significant time on this problem, we have concluded, without a doubt, that we have been throwing technical solutions at socio-economic problems.
The problem, from our perspective, is that unauthorised users of electricity fall into two general categories: those who are unable to pay; and those who are able to pay but choose not to. Strategies must therefore be developed to focus on the distinct categories.
We further conclude that the people who can afford to pay and choose not to, do so for pure investment reasons. The benefits of not paying outweigh the risk of being caught and adequately penalised.
At present, Jamaican laws, enforcement efforts and the associated penalties make it profitable for users to steal electricity, rather than paying for a legitimate service.
 

INADEQUATE LEGISLATION?

 
The Electric Lighting Act Section 17, the only section that addresses electricity theft, states: "Any person who maliciously or fraudulently abstracts, causes to be wasted or diverted, consumes or uses, any electricity shall
be guilty of simple larceny and punishable accordingly ..."
The Larceny Act Section 15 also addresses this offence, equating it to simple larceny, while prescribing imprisonment with hard labour not exceeding five years as the penalty for a breach.
I must declare that even though I'm not a lawyer, I do know the issue of electricity theft is much too technical to be addressed so concisely.
The cases often take a long time to be resolved, and custodial sentences have been rare and
definitely nowhere close to five years hard labour. When fines are imposed by the courts, the typical range is between $10,000 and $50,000; and this is for assessments for hundreds of thousands - and even millions - of dollars of stolen electricity.
Think about this, unauthorised use of $20,000 worth of electricity each month for six months, and on conviction one is fined $50,000, wouldn't there be savings of $70,000?
The proposed modern Electricity Act 2015 does not explicitly address electricity theft, but instead refers it to the Larceny Act. The proposed act will not remove the profits from electricity theft.
 

THE EXAMPLE OF INDIA

 
India, similar to other developing countries with high incidents of electricity theft, has taken a different legislative approach. The Indian Electricity Act, 2003, directly addresses the problem of electricity theft. Persons engaged in the unauthorised use of electricity are assessed at twice the tariff rate.
Simply put, in India unauthorised use of electricity for six months at an estimated cost of $20,000 per month could result in fines totalling $240,000. An offending party would therefore see a loss of $120,000. This is a more risky investment.
 

ENFORCEMENT

 
Laws work as a deterrent, only if the offenders believe there is a high probability of being caught and convicted, and also find the associated penalties unbearable. Therefore, proper enforcement is a key requirement for reducing electricity theft.
Electricity theft is a crime and, based on the risk that it poses to national development, it requires serious attention by law enforcement. When cybercrime was recognised as a threat to our national interest, police increased their expertise in order to qualify as expert witnesses in these cases. Electricity theft requires no less attention.
Any other business entity in Jamaica which has their products stolen during distribution will simply make a report to the police, and the police would take it from there. JPS does not enjoy such a benefit.
In other jurisdictions, the police play an active and proactive role in fighting electricity theft. An example is, the state of Andhra Pradesh in India depended on police support in their loss reduction efforts to achieve reduction in losses from 38 per cent in 1999 to 26 per cent in 2003.
 

ESSENTIAL SERVICE

 
Access to electricity is now a basic need. Where persons are unable to afford electricity, then it must be treated as a social good. This begs the question, who pays for this social good?
It is not feasible for JPS to invest in the infrastructure required to deliver electricity to customers who are unable to pay a monthly bill. We are a socially responsible company; however, we must repay our debtors and provide a return on investment to our shareholders.
Where persons are unable to afford electricity due to socio-economic reasons, then the cost must be subsidised if everyone is to have access to electricity.
Being a regulated entity, JPS cannot unilaterally adjust tariffs to recoup subsidised costs, and therefore has limited options for regularising unauthorised users.
To facilitate a subsidy, the Government must intervene through social programmes and infrastructure investments; or provide indirect support through a redesign of the tariff structure.
There are quite a few success stories in Latin America in the fight to reduce electricity theft, such as Edesur in Argentina that achieved a 14 per cent reduction in losses from 1992-1996. The key lessons learnt from all the success stories, though, was that the utility couldn't and didn't do it alone. The government, through legislation, enforcement, social intervention and/or regulation played a crucial role.
We have started a community renewal programme through a partnership with Jamaica Social Investment Fund - a baby step in the right direction, which we must continue. Last week, we participated in a USAID-sponsored workshop on losses, to facilitate benchmarking with other countries that had successfully tackled electricity theft.
Another step in the right direction. We look forward to the necessary collaboration needed to address this problem once and for all.
[The Cleaner]

Power Theft-Fake BSES team fixes meters, demands Rs 1 lakh bribe

DELHI-INDIA
A gang of former BSES employees has been conducting raids in the capital claiming to be on behalf of the Reliance-owned power discom. One of at least seven members of the gang has been arrested, police said on Saturday.

The gang accuses customers of illegally tampering with the meter and demands a payment of Rs 5 lakh as the bill for stolen electricity.

A bribe of Rs 1 lakh is later sought to settle the matter. On Friday, one of the accused identified as 33-year-old Manoj Kumar Pandey, a resident of south Delhi’s Mehrauli, was arrested.

During interrogation, Manoj told police that initially, one or two persons used to visit the house for meter-checking on routine basis by BSES. 

“They would tamper the meter during checking. Later, they would return to the house in a group of five-seven persons after two-three days,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav.
The gang used to claim that the meter had been tampered with illegally and the customer would have to pay a heavy fine.

They used to remove the meter and claim that the customer would have to make the payment to have the electricity restored. The matter is finally settled for lesser amounts.
Manoj has also revealed that he and the gang members used to earlier work with BSES on contract basis.

“They are well aware about the working of BSES and on the methods to tamper the electricity meter,” Yadav added.

The gang was busted on probe after a complaint was filed by Sharmila Sharma, a resident of south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar.

She told police that seven men had visited her house on May 18 claiming to be BSES employees.
“Sharmila was told that BSES had received a complaint regarding the tampering of electricity meter at the house. They opened the meter and conducted extensive checking,” Yadav said.

After checking the meter, they alleged tampering and told Sharmila that she will get a power theft bill of Rs 5 lakh. When Sharmila refused to pay, she was made to talk on the phone with a “senior officer”.

Electricity was cut and would not have been restored without payment.
The man on the phone claimed that he would close the matter if she paid Rs 1 lakh. Sharmila paid Rs 40,000.

The men had said they would restore the electricity after two days. When they did not return, Sharmila went to the BSES office and realised that she had been cheated.
[DH]

Power Theft-UPCL to check power meters across the state

DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) has decided to check electricity meters across the state in order to enhance their functioning and check power theft. The decision comes in the wake of Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) getting repeated complaints from consumers, both residential and commercial, about malfunctioning of meters. 

It is learnt that UPCL has been ignoring a 2008 Central Electricity Regulatory Commission act which makes it mandatory for a power corporation to check meters once in five years. In some of the cases, electricity meters were installed as long as 15 years ago, the year Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh, but have not been checked till date. 

"From the very beginning, we have been receiving complaints that the meters run fast and that the consumers are forced to pay extra. We had a provision of testing the meters if a consumer demands, but the cost of the entire exercise had to be borne by him. However, now, we will be testing all meters free of charge," said a UPCL official. 

The corporation has roped in a Jaipur-based company for the first phase of the project which will involve testing of 25,000 single-phase meters and 5,000 three-phase meters. "There are several districts where commercial and domestic users attach a device to the meter which makes its reading slow," said UPCL spokesperson Madhusudan Issar. [TOI]

What is split-metering?

Johannesburg - Pre-paid split meters were introduced in areas like Soweto because people were tampering with meter boxes and stealing electricity, a civil society conference on the country’s electricity crisis heard on Thursday.
A split meter is divided into a pad put into each person’s home, while the rest of the device is in a tamper-proof box on the pavement or on a pole outside the house, explained Mbulelo Ncetezo, executive manager for electricity regulation at the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).
“Split metering was brought about by people tampering with the meter reader housing.”  
Last month, Soweto residents protested against the installation of the meters, demanding they be removed and that people pay a flat rate for electricity.
According to a presentation by Eskom senior energy trading engineer, Rogeema Kenny, at Africa Utility Week in May 2012, revenue losses amounted to 82% among 3 788 customers in Chiawelo, Soweto.
After the split meters and tamper-proof enclosures were installed, revenue loss fell to 14%.
Soweto owes Eskom billions of rand in unpaid electricity bills.
Nceteza felt strongly about electricity theft, saying it pushed up electricity prices for those who did pay.
“You’re sabotaging the economy of the country. You should not do that. Don’t steal electricity.”
 
[NEWS 24]

Structural reforms for India’s power sector

Over the last one year, India has made impressive progress in adding to the size of its overall power generation capacity. Last month, power minister Piyush Goyalflaunted the achievements of his ministry citing an 8.4% increase in power generation in the last year. But recent news of India’s average plant load factor (PLF) dropping to a 15-year low of 65.1% should worry the government. More importantly, it ought to push officials in the policymaking circle towards undertaking long-pending structural reforms in the sector.
By expediting, although not through radical reforms, the clearance of supply-side bottlenecks, power generation is one front on which the government has indeed done well. The assurance of coal linkages in particular has brought life back to power generation units that were idle without fuel. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, additional facilities have been added to the nation’s total power capacity over the last one year. Given the increasing energy demands of the nation, this could not have come at a better time.
The same, however, cannot be said of the scant attention that the government has directed towards distribution channels. A paradoxical situation where state electricity boards (SEBs) lack the means to buy power from power generation units, leading to surplus power in the hands of power generators and a record low PLF, sums up the poor state of power distribution. In short, the inability of successive governments to implement crucial pricing reforms has remained the perennial Achilles’ heel of the Indian power sector.
For long, SEBs have been tasked with the role of procurement of power from power generators, and its distribution to consumers. Being under the control of state governments, they have served as tools of populism year after year. While free power to farmers has been the one example often in the limelight, the beneficiaries of subsidized power are a far larger group distributed across interest groups. Power theft is another major factor adding to the huge losses incurred by SEBs.
The result has been balance sheets severely dented by debt as SEBs have borrowed heavily to compensate for the lack of revenues from consumers. The total debt burden of SEBs has continued to increase at a rapid pace over the years, with several studies pointing out that the debt burden could even pose a systemic threat to the banking sector. The problem can be attributed to the fact that the can of pricing reform has been kicked down the road continuously owing to populist pressures.
The ad hoc solutions to the piling debt burden on SEBs have been periodic bailouts of SEBs sponsored, to different degrees, by both the central and the state governments. These include a plan costing Rs.35,000 crore in 2001, and another bailout costing a much higher bill of Rs.1.9 trillion in 2012. The present government obviously has the choice to opt for a similar bailout that provides more temporary breathing space to SEBs. It would also ensure that the power sector continues to be mired in debt and production inefficiencies.
The other way out is to open power distribution to private capital and free market competition. This can only happen through pricing reforms that allow distribution companies the freedom to charge market prices. The business of bailing out SEBs is not only a cumbersome one, but one that—by allowing inefficient public firms to remain on life support forever—hinders progress towards enacting essential structural reforms. These can be overcome only by completely de-socializing the power distribution sector.
Clearly, given the country’s tryst with shortages and even total blackouts, power distribution reforms cannot come a moment sooner. The exclusive focus on increasing power generation capacity though will not benefit consumers at the end of the value chain unless distribution is sorted out. Overcoming this barrier will require taking radical steps which go against the grain of populism that has dominated power policy till date. Whether the government at the centre will take such steps remains to be seen.
[TOI]

Trombay: One booked for power theft, as bad wiring kills mother, son

The live wire that caused the death of a 35-year-old woman and her son in Trombay on Tuesday evening was likely installed by people who illegally supply electricity to the slum area.
The Trombay police have registered a case of negligence against an accused, identified as Chotta Babu. “The power connection was very haphazardly done, leading to the deaths,” said an officer from the Trombay police station.
An overflowing of water tank that had flooded the slum in sector D worsened the situation, officials said.
The boy, Mohamed Shaikh, 4, was near an iron ladder when he got the electric shock. The ladder may have come in contact with a cable.
“Hearing Mohamed’s cries, his mother Rozi tried to help him, which is when she was electrocuted,” said the officer.
A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder was registered against Babu. The police also recorded the statement of the woman’s husband Faizan.
[HT]

Structural reforms for India’s power sector

Over the last one year, India has made impressive progress in adding to the size of its overall power generation capacity. Last month, power minister Piyush Goyalflaunted the achievements of his ministry citing an 8.4% increase in power generation in the last year. But recent news of India’s average plant load factor (PLF) dropping to a 15-year low of 65.1% should worry the government. More importantly, it ought to push officials in the policymaking circle towards undertaking long-pending structural reforms in the sector.
By expediting, although not through radical reforms, the clearance of supply-side bottlenecks, power generation is one front on which the government has indeed done well. The assurance of coal linkages in particular has brought life back to power generation units that were idle without fuel. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, additional facilities have been added to the nation’s total power capacity over the last one year. Given the increasing energy demands of the nation, this could not have come at a better time.
The same, however, cannot be said of the scant attention that the government has directed towards distribution channels. A paradoxical situation where state electricity boards (SEBs) lack the means to buy power from power generation units, leading to surplus power in the hands of power generators and a record low PLF, sums up the poor state of power distribution. In short, the inability of successive governments to implement crucial pricing reforms has remained the perennial Achilles’ heel of the Indian power sector.
For long, SEBs have been tasked with the role of procurement of power from power generators, and its distribution to consumers. Being under the control of state governments, they have served as tools of populism year after year. While free power to farmers has been the one example often in the limelight, the beneficiaries of subsidized power are a far larger group distributed across interest groups. Power theft is another major factor adding to the huge losses incurred by SEBs.
The result has been balance sheets severely dented by debt as SEBs have borrowed heavily to compensate for the lack of revenues from consumers. The total debt burden of SEBs has continued to increase at a rapid pace over the years, with several studies pointing out that the debt burden could even pose a systemic threat to the banking sector. The problem can be attributed to the fact that the can of pricing reform has been kicked down the road continuously owing to populist pressures.
The ad hoc solutions to the piling debt burden on SEBs have been periodic bailouts of SEBs sponsored, to different degrees, by both the central and the state governments. These include a plan costing Rs.35,000 crore in 2001, and another bailout costing a much higher bill of Rs.1.9 trillion in 2012. The present government obviously has the choice to opt for a similar bailout that provides more temporary breathing space to SEBs. It would also ensure that the power sector continues to be mired in debt and production inefficiencies.
The other way out is to open power distribution to private capital and free market competition. This can only happen through pricing reforms that allow distribution companies the freedom to charge market prices. The business of bailing out SEBs is not only a cumbersome one, but one that—by allowing inefficient public firms to remain on life support forever—hinders progress towards enacting essential structural reforms. These can be overcome only by completely de-socializing the power distribution sector.
Clearly, given the country’s tryst with shortages and even total blackouts, power distribution reforms cannot come a moment sooner. The exclusive focus on increasing power generation capacity though will not benefit consumers at the end of the value chain unless distribution is sorted out. Overcoming this barrier will require taking radical steps which go against the grain of populism that has dominated power policy till date. Whether the government at the centre will take such steps remains to be seen.
[TOI]

FIR for power theft against man who died 15 yrs ago

Agra: A woman living in a semi-constructed house in Nainana Jaat village got the shock of her life when a sub-inspector recently landed at her doorstep with an FIR against her husband, Kishan Singh, for electricity theft. Kishan Singh died 15 years ago. 

A private power distribution company, Torrent Power, had reportedly lodged complaints, in November last year, against several village residents for stealing electricity. One of the alleged culprits was Kishan Singh. 

However, when sub-inspector Biri Singh reached the village to arrest Singh, the residents told him the truth. "The villagers told the cop that Kishan Singh had died 15 years ago and said that his father, Lauhare, had also died 11 years ago. Only his wife Seema and an unmarried son were living in the house and they never had any electricity connection," said a policeman at Sadar police station. 

Officials at Torrent Power Ltd refused to comment saying that they will investigate the matter at a departmental level first. 

According to the police report, a team from Torrent Power had raided Nainana Jat village on November 15, and they found several houses stealing electricity both directly (having metered connection) and indirectly (direct wiring from electricity poll). Abhinav Sharma, a senior official with Torrent, lodged an FIR against seven persons at Sadar police station on December 16, 2014. 

On May 25 this year, a sub-inspector went to the village to investigate the matter. He, however, was able to locate everybody except Kishan Singh. 

Gurudayal, Kishan Singh's brother, said that the electricity department's move reminded his family of the day that Singh died. He added, "Had the electricity department's team visited the spot and had a word with us, it would have certainly come across the fact." 

Rajneesh Pathak, Torrent Power's PR head, said that the company will only comment on the matter after departmental investigations. 

CO Sadar, Asim Chaudhary, said that such faux-pass often lands the cops into trouble. "I will investigate the matter before forwarding it to the court. Police teams have to face the wrath of the local residents for erroneous action initiated by the officials of other departments," he added. [TOI]

Delhi regulator blocks AAP’s plan on power theft amnesty

The Capital’s power regulator has blocked an AAP government proposal to provide amnesty to those facing charges of power theft since the dues would then be passed on to honest consumers.

Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) chairman PD Sudhakar said the scheme submitted by discoms — in line with a poll promise made by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal — was untenable in the current format since the power companies would seek to raise tariff to recover their losses. He further said that as per the amnesty scheme — which seeks to settle pending theft cases for domestic consumers and revise dues of consumers living in slum clusters — would result in honest tax payers getting burdened further. 

“This treatment would be unjust for the average honest consumers,” said an order issued by the DERC, a copy of which is with HT. 

“It may be noted that in the course of implementation of the said scheme, any revenues forgone in the process of giving amnesty to some consumers can neither be considered as deemed to have been collected for the purpose of determining collection efficiency and AT&C loss figures or in any other form as pass through in the ARR,” the order said.

According to sources, the commission was of the view that the government could ask the discoms to submit a fresh proposal which provides relief to alleged defaulters in the form of a grant or subsidy.

Cash-strapped discoms are unlikely to foot the bill, sources said.

“We were asked to prepare a scheme and submit it to the DERC. We were asked to provide relief to all those who voluntarily declared their tampered meters or provided information about illegal use of electricity. But the DERC told us that we can’t pass it on to other consumers as it would not be fair. We were told that this (the loss) will not be included in the tariff likely to be announced next month,” said a discom official. 

The AAP government had earlier promised to consider the closure of power theft cases filed against some consumers when the Congress was in power in the national capital.

Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party had accused the Congress government of being “hand-in-glove” with power discoms in the Capital. The party had also promised relief to those who had refused to pay their electricity bills during the AAP agitation against high tariffs and inflated bills[HT]

35 power consumers bear the burden of 100 in UP: UP Electricity Regulatory Commission

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh has 3.54 crores households but guess how many of them have a registered electricity connection? Answer: Only 1.14 crores. The rest 2.40 crores -- that is more than twice the number of those having a connection -- pilfer electricity through what is commonly known as a `katia'. This is not all. Out of the 1.14 crores registered consumers, only 70.67 lakh have an electricity meter, the rest are unmetered. 

That's the disturbing revelation of the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) which gears up to derive a new tariff structure for the power consumers in the state next month. The figures have been collected by the electricity regulator as part of an exercise to determine the efficiency of the distribution companies before deciding the tariff structure. 

''This way 35 consumers bear the burden of 100 consumers in the state. This is serious,'' said UPERC chairman, Desh Deepak Verma while speaking to TOI. ``Hence, if all consumers are made to pay their bills, the power tariff would actually reduce,'' he said. ''But for that the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) will have to really work very hard, otherwise the mismatch will continue to stare on the face of the crucial sector,'' he said. [TOI]

Bescom unearths power theft; Rs 10 crore fine on company

The Bescom (Bangalore Electricity Supply Company) Vigilance Squad — the power theft watchdog of the service provider — has unearthed a major power haul said to be running to the tune of Rs 10 crore. Prior to this, the Ragigudda Slum Board Quarters held the notorious distinction of being penalised a record amount to the tune of Rs 5 crore.

The squad has booked Aquamall Water Solutions — a water purifier manufacturer — on charges of an unauthorised extension of power to Shell India, in the Bommasandra industrial area. Power supply has been disconnected too, officials told Bangalore Mirror.

The irregularity came to light after a detailed inquiry was conducted on the sanction of power and its utilisation for over months. A non-cognisable case was booked for an unauthorised extension, officials said. They added that any extension maybe made through the distribution network holder and not by a consumer. An FIR to this extent was booked by the vigilance squad police on May 27. The power drawn through the extension, which is illegal, will be charged as penalty on Aquamall. The massive irregularity was unearthed by a team that included Prakash Gowda (Squad SP), Shiva Prakash (Bescom executive engineer) and Asifulla Khan (assistant executive engineer).

"A load of 1250 kVA was sanctioned to Aquamall. An unauthorised extension of the same was made to Shell India. It was found that over 95 percent of the consumption was by the latter, which is illegal," Khan told Bangalore Mirror. This amounts to violation under Section 42(5) of Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Supply and Distribution Code, which holds such extension of power to be 'unauthorised', officials said. They are computing the extent of power utilised for over five years. The total consumption, sources said, has been pegged at around 4 lakh units every month. Aquamall will be penalised and the fine amount is said to be around Rs 10 crore.

Vigilance wing officials said that this was the highest penalty claim ever. Aquamall claimed innocence and said they were 'not aware of the case'. Though Mirror made efforts to get Aquamall's detailed reply, there was no response from the management.[Bangalore mirror]

Power Theft in Government Building -CM orders probe

India.
A day after Hindustan Times highlighted the matter of open power theft — use of ‘kundi’ connection — for over a year by the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) complex building at Dera Baba Nanak, the Punjab government on Saturday ordered a time-bound probe into this.
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday directed Gurdaspur deputy commissioner Abhinav Trikha to “hold a time-bound and exhaustive inquiry into the sequence of events leading to the officers resorting to pilferage of power”.
The CM, in a press release, said: “Rules and regulations are same for every citizen of the state, be it a common man or a highly placed officer.”
He asked the DC to submit the inquiry report at the earliest so that stern action could be taken against the officers involved in the offence.

The CM further said such acts of violation or negligence on the part of any public servant while discharging their official duties would never be tolerated at any cost and such delinquent officers deserved “severest of serve” punishment as deterrent for other such erring officials in the future.
Confirming the development, the DC said, “Following the directions of the CM, I am holding an inquiry into the matter. I have already called for all relevant records from the SDM office and the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL)”. No erring official would be spared, he added.
On Friday, HT had highlighted how the complex — having offices of SDM, tehsildar, naib tehsildar and suvidha centre — was being run on illegal kundi connections, resulting loss of crores of rupees to the Powwercom.[HINDUSTAN TIMES]

Power Theft: KSEB Imposes Rs35-cr Fine During 9 Months

ALAPPUZHA: KSEB chief vigilance officer Rishiraj Singh has said the KSEB vigilance wing has unearthed 902 electricity thefts in inspections conducted during last nine months in the state.  A fine of Rs 35 crore was imposed and about 3,427 malpractices were also reported, he said at a press conference at Vydyuthi Bhavan,  Alappuzha on Saturday.

Singh said the number of cases were high in Ernakulam district and less in Malappuram district. The team fined Rs 4.66 crore in the  surprise check conducted in Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Kollam, Idukki and Malappuram district in last three days. In Alappuzha alone Rs 1.33 crore was fined in the surprise raid carried out in last three days. As many as 13 electricity thefts and 80 malpractice cases were registered during these days, Singh said.

The squad raided the houses of former employees of the KSEB at Thiruvananthapuram and imposed Rs 3 lakh as fine. The team also  found that six houses boats at Pallathuruthy were tapping electricity from line directly during night.

Singh said  the complaints on electricity theft can be informed through mobile and  WhatsApp or at the KSEB offices in the state. Information can be provided at the following numbers: 0471 2444554, 9446008006.[THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS]

Stolen electricity leads to meth arrests

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Two people were arrested Thursday on several charges, including criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material.
On Thursday, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office Highway Patrol Division responded to a theft of services complaint on Zeggert Road in the Town of Union.
Deputies said the complaint stemmed from the residents of 1006 May St. stealing electrical service from a residence on Zeggert Road, which is located directly behind the May Street residence.
The investigating deputy followed the extension cord back to 1006 May Street, and saw a meth operation through an open window of the home.
The Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force was contacted to continue the investigation. Members obtained a search warrant for the residence.
Broome County SIU Task Force members and members of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office Highway Patrol Division searched the residence for anyone inside, with negative results, and were able to render the scene safe for the night.
The Broome County Sheriff’s Office Highway Patrol Division monitored the home throughout the night until morning.
Because of the volatility of the meth that was being manufactured, the task force called for the assistance of the New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team (CCSERT).
On Friday, task force members and CCSERT executed the search warrant on the residence and located approximately five fluid ounces of methamphetamine oil, packaged heroin, controlled substance pills and an indoor marijuana grow operation.
An inspector from the Town of Union Code Enforcement Office responded to the scene and deemed the house unsafe. The property was condemned.
Peter Drossos, 53, and Michele Drossos, 48, both of 1006 May St., were arrested and arraigned in the Town of Union Court Thursday night. They were taken to the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.
The Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force was assisted on the scene by the West Corners Department and the Union Volunteer Emergency Squad. 
·         [WBNG E-News - ]

Obtaining Power Connection Made Easier

VISAKHAPATNAM: To lit up all sections of people in society, Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) has simplified the process of getting new power connection. As a part of the “Power for All” programme, introduced by the government, in order to provide power to all LT and HT power seekers, the APEPDCL has minimised its lengthy documentation work.
At a press conference here Saturday, APEPDCL chairman and managing director R Mutyala Raju said that the company had received a total of 1,89,358 applications during 2014-15 out of which 1,66,500 applications had been considered.
R Mutyala RajuThere are about 1.79 lakh houses unelectrified in all the five districts of the Discom jurisdiction and efforts are being made to provide power connections to all the houses by the end of March, 2016. The company has sanctioned Rs 120 crore to lit up bright, the entire state. A Detailed Project Report has already been prepared to take up the initial underground cabling work. “we have decided to initiate the project in MVP Colony of Visakhapatnam, starting with the primary underground cabling work,” Mutyala Raju said.
The APEPDCL has adopted high-end cable work techniques, which are disaster resistant and will minimise power pilferage besides reducing the maintenance work. The project cost is estimated to be Rs 600 crore and the World Bank would be providing Rs 400 crore  assistance for the same. “Rest of the funds will be jointly met by the APEPDCL and the state government,” the CMD said.[the new Indian express]

PSPCL officials on raid to check power theft attacked

 The officials of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), who had gone to conduct a raid to check power theft in Bhagi Wander village on Saturday morning, were attacked by the residents after the officials found some of them indulging in theft of power.
Based on a complaint by Sham Lal, junior engineer, the police have booked SAD zila parishad member Sukhmandar Singh, Raju Singh, son of village sarpanch Charanjit Kaur, Ajit Singh, Bhola Singh and more than 10 unidentified people under sections 307, 382 323, 353, 341, 186, 506, 148, 149 of the IPC on the charges of 'attempted murder' and obstructing government servants from performing their duty by Talwandi Sabo police.
Sub-divisional officer (SDO) Kewal Singh said that the department was aware of the power theft in the village as the residents had not agreed to shift power meters outside their houses and decided to conduct a raid. The department formed four teams with six officials in each team and conducted the raid in the village at about 6 am.
The SDO said, "As we started the raid, we detected power theft in two houses, including that of village sarpanch Charanjit Kaur, and after completing all formalities asked the accused to sign the papers which they refused. Many more residents could have been found involved in power theft but, as several people gathered there and started getting aggressive so, sensing trouble, we decided to leave the village."
"Meanwhile a group of villagers, led by Raju and three others, attacked us. JE Sham Lal and another employee suffered serious injuries and they were rushed to the civil hospital at Talwandi Sabo," he said. Investigating officer, ASI Krishan Singh, said that the police were trying to identify the other accused also and all would be nabbed soon.
[HINDUSTAN TIMES]

No stop to power theft

COPESVILLE residents have said they are tired of reporting cable theft when illegal live wires lie in full view of the Copesville police station­.
Outraged and frustrated, some residents said they experienced cable theft four times in as little as two months, but their complaints seem to fall on deaf ears.
A resident, who asked not be named, said when cables were stolen they were usually fixed either the same day or the next morning. The resident was frustrated that nothing was being done to prevent the theft.
“They come to fix the cables, but there is no security and the cables are not covered after they are replaced so they are stolen as soon as they have been fixed.
“The municipality comes in with its gear and repairs the stolen or damaged­ cables and then leave without covering it up. This has been going on for years, but recently it has got worse,” he said.
Another resident, Ali Sheik, said not only was the issue an inconvenience, it also put the neighbourhood at risk of robberies.
“They are always stealing cables and when they have been stolen, everything­ goes off. Our street lights are off, our alarms are off, everything goes haywire and it is dangerous,” he said.
Across from the Copesville police station, illegal live wires lie open in full view of the police.
Pietermaritzburg SAPS spokesperson Mthoko Ngobese said he was aware of the illegal live wires on the road across from the station and they are monitoring the issue.
“We are aware of the cables that are in view of the police station and we have activated the municipality to fix the issue,” he said.
He said the matter was reported to the municipality two weeks ago who then told the police the problem was being worked on.
Msunduzi spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said a task team has been set up to deal with the matter.
She said the repaired cables were not always covered after they had been replaced or fixed as it was not always a permanent repair that had been done.
“When faults occur after hours, and depending on the volume of faults for that evening, it is not always possible to do a permanent repair.
“When a permanent repair is done, it means excavating a larger area which takes time while at the same time other areas are awaiting attention.
“It is fairly common to do a temporary repair, and the next day or as soon as it is practicable, carry out permanent repairs.”
She said securing the repaired cables was not possible.
“Placing a security [guard] at every cable that is exposed and damaged as a result of vandalism will not work because we will be chasing behind the culprits who are opening cable trenches­ to steal electricity.”
[NEWS 24]

Minister: No evidence of mismanagement, theft at electricity distribution company

Discussions on the possible increase of electricity price continued on Wednesday at the National Assembly during the Question and Answer session with government members. 

Opposition MPs made critical statements, saying that people must not pay for the “mismanagement and theft” by the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA), and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Yervand Zakharyan responded that there is no evidence of theft at the Russian-owned company. 

Earlier the minister himself said that one of the reasons for the rising cost of electricity is mismanagement at the ENA.

“By January 1, 2015 the ENA has owned electricity producing state affiliated companies 15.8 billion AMD, 7.8 billion is an overdue debt. Besides the company’s debt to the banks exceeds $220 million. But this is not the whole story,” the minister said.

It proceeded from what the minister said that in conditions of the current electricity tariff the company will not be able to pay the debt.

MP Tigran Urikhanyan asked whether the government wants to turn to the Prosecutor General and ask him to open proceedings into theft allegations. In this matter, he said, he is ready to personally provide materials, names, information. The minister replied, “The Ministry does not possess any information, any facts to provide to respective bodies. If you help us in that matter, present that information that you mention and the names that you mention, and we are ready to proceed.”

According to the law, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has no liabilities to run financial observations at the ENA. Nevertheless, it has been five months the Ministry, with a special committee, is conducting observations in the whole energy system, considering the losses.

“We found out all the reasons that could result in such big losses. A plan of action is being drafted and it has been presented to the ENA and the Armenian government, to carry out all the actions envisaged for the coming years. Upon our calculations, in the next two year losses will be decreased by 1-2 percent, which will lead to significant financial stability, corruption risks will also decrease,” Zakharyan said.

According to the minister, only last year the actual electricity loss at the ENA formed 14.5 percent, instead of the planned 12.5; a 2-percent annual loss makes around 5 billion AMD (about $10.4 million). Nevertheless, at the moment the Ministry does not possess any materials to be presented to respective bodies. 

The Russian-owned company has asked the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) to consider a 40-percent rise in energy tariffs, which raised public concern. If approved, this would be the third increase in the tariff in the last three years. 

According to the request, the ENA suggests 48 AMD daytime tariff instead of 42, and 38 AMD night tariff – instead of 32.
[ARMENIANOW.COM]

POWER THEFT-Harassed farmer ends life in MSEDCL office.

Nagpur: Akola zone of MSEDCL seems to be touching a new low everyday. Soon after the death of an old farmer after harassment over false charges of power theft, a young farmer has committed suicide by consuming poison inside MSEDCL office. The incident occurred on Tuesday, and the farmer Vinod Kharode died on Wednesday morning. In the suicide note he said that he was asked to pay Rs20,000 as bribe for a new connection.

Fearing a public backlash, MSEDCL immediately suspended junior engineer Sandip Ghode and transferred his boss Rajendra Raut, who is deputy executive engineer of Telhara subdivision.

Kharode, a resident of Talegaon Bazar village (district Akola), had taken a loan for digging a borewell in his father Ramdas Kharode's field. He then applied for an electricity connection in 2012. Even though the demand note for a connection should be issued within 15 days, MSEDCL took months and Vinod finally got it in 2013.

Kharode was told that since he got the demand note late, his case was far down the waiting list. However, some consumers whose names were lower in the waiting list got a connection, which left him depressed. He had taken a loan to dig the borewell and did not have money to grease the palms of MSEDCL officials.

He became more depressed as months passed and his creditors started hounding him for loan repayments. Completely dejected, Kharode consumed poison on Tuesday afternoon in the MSEDCL office. The terrified MSEDCL staffers shifted him to the government hospital at nearby Hiwarkhed town. When his condition did not stabilize he was taken to Akola district hospital. The doctors could not save him and he breathed his last at about 9am on Wednesday.

Consumer activist Ashish Chandarana blamed MSEDCL top management also for Kharode's death. "He was harassed by lower officials but the change in rules affected him adversely along with other farmers. Until a few months ago, if MSEDCL faced shortage of material it asked the consumer to buy it and refunded the cost in the bills. However, a few weeks ago this facility was scrapped for farmers, while it remains for other types of consumers," he said.

"In many cases, the farmers purchase the material required to provide a power connection thus avoiding a delay," he added.

[TOI]

Why power outages persist, by Ikeja Electric

THERE seems to be more than meet the eyes over the prevailing epileptic power supply, as the distribution companies (discos) continued to pass the buck to generation companies (gencos) for inadequate energy allocation.
Specifically, the Ikeja Electric is the latest of the 11 discos to attribute the current power interruption across its network to low power allocation from the national grid.
The Chief Executive Officer, Abiodun Ajifowobaje, in a statement made available to The Guardian recently, said that in the last one week, the average power allocation to Ikeja Electric was 350 Mega Watts (MW) as against minimum load demand of 1,250 MW.
This situation however amounts to a shortfall of about 900MW, which is compelling the firm to resort to load-shedding.
Ajifowobaje explained: “The huge shortfall is seriously affecting the operation of the company as it has to resort to load-shedding, which is having adverse effect on both Ikeja Electric and the customers in terms of man hour being used to carry out load-shedding as well as service delivery to customers,”
He however assures that the company will ensure that the power allocation will be equitably distributed to all its customers. While appealing for customers’ understanding, the Ajifowobaje said that efforts have been stepped up to ensure that electrical faults are cleared promptly and urged customers to report such through its contact center and Ikeja Electric offices.

In another development, Ajifowobaje has decried the activities of individuals who connect electricity illegally into their premises without paying electricity bills.
Describing such persons as “energy thieves”, he explained that their activities affect the billing of other customers “as the energy allocated to an area is measured and people may be paying for the power being consumed by the energy thieves.”
“We have put a process in place to migrate individuals involved in this practice into our network. However, we seek the cooperation of Community leaders and customers in our efforts to eradicate energy theft and ensure quality service delivery for all customers within the Ikeja Electric network,” he added.
Meanwhile consumers have continued to groan under epileptic power supply from the company, lamenting its effects on their business and domestic activities.
A consumer in Gowon Estate, Ipaja, Mrs. Ajayi Alake, who deal on confectioneries said the power outages has almost crumble her business as she relies on self power generator to run her business.
[The Guardian]

No extra power, more surcharge for Noida, Ghaziabad

LUCKNOW: UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL)'s refusal to provide 10% extra power to Noida, Ghaziabad and 11 west UP district may prove to be a bigger blow to consumers in the region than predicted. It now transpires that consumers in the districts will not only be deprived of the benefit of extra power, they would be subjected to rostering and even be charged more than in other districts of UP.

The situation comes to the fore following UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) decision to allow UPPCL to charge 2.84% surcharge on electricity bills of consumers of districts falling under Pashchimanchal distribution company. This happens to be the highest surcharge among all discoms.

Consumers of Madhyanchal discom comprising cities like Lucknow and Rae Bareli have surcharge lowered from 2.84% to 0.73%, but those that come under the purview of Purvanchal discom, comprising Varanasi and Gorakhpur and other districts of east UP, will have to pay only 1.03%. Likewise, consumers in cities like Agra which come under the jurisdiction of Dakshinanchal will be required to pay only 1.14% surcharge. UPPCL sources said the billing process had already started on the directions of UPERC, therefore, consumers in Noida and west UP would be required to pay a higher surcharge.[Times Of India]

Eskom saves almost R1bn in drive to curb power theft

ESKOM’s Operation Khanyisa, a campaign meant to spearhead the fight against theft, is approaching the R1bn mark in the value of revenues recovered and the prevention of further energy losses.
Speaking at the Africa Utility Week Conference in Cape Town on Tuesday, Eskom senior manager for energy trading and sales forecasting Maboe Maphaka said since Kanyisa’s launch in 2010, it has helped with the recovery of about R400m in revenue for Eskom and the protection of a further R500m worth of energy from loss.

The struggling power utility has been on an aggressive drive to combat illegal electricity connections as well as collecting debt owed to it in a bid to help stabilise the electricity grid and also improve the company’s cash flow. Eskom says it loses R2bn annually due to electricity theft.

Mr Maphaka said that revenue recovery came mainly from fines and reconnection fees paid, as well as from revenue recovery charges calculated on the period of time that a customer was found not to have been paying for the electricity.
He said the loss prevention is derived from the reduction in distribution energy losses, which stands at 6.82%, down from 2013’s figure of 7.12% when Eskom lost about R4.1bn to electricity theft.

[business day]

Sesco meter inspectors catch welding workshop stealing electricity

KUCHING: Syarikat Sesco Berhad (Sesco) in its routine meter inspection operation in Miri this week caught a metal welding workshop at Tudan area stealing electricity by bypassing the meter.
A statement from Sesco said the illegal wire was tapped from the incoming mains and supplied electricity directly to several welding machines. In order to avoid detection, the illegal wiring was controlled by a switch hidden inside a room in the workshop.
“Welding equipment consumed large amount of electricity. From the consumption pattern analysis, the monthly bill for this workshop was only around RM200, which is not reasonable and very low, based on the number of heavy machineries and welding sets installed.
“The premises also have a large fish pond equipped with water pumps and a few spot lights. The rooms at the workshop are also fully air conditioned,” said the statement.
Meanwhile, a Sesco spokesperson said that the meter, wirings including the switch box and other relevant materials were seized by the inspection team as evidence for use in court. A police report was also lodged for further investigation. The premises owner shall be contacted in due course to assist with the investigation.
“Sesco meter inspection teams in their operation this week in Miri has detected tampering of 11 per cent of the total 840 meters checked. This percentage is considered high and many cases detected were repeat power theft offenders.
[Borneopost online]

Technology -- a missing building block in the Clean Power Plan?

Somewhere between the power plant and light switch, as much as 6 percent of U.S.-generated electric power disappears, lost in transmission as current pushes its way through power lines.
If a sizable part of those line losses could be recovered, the preserved energy would matter to consumers and to utilities that will have to find new ways to produce or conserve electricity under U.S. EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Advanced technologies to do that, and much more, are here or on the way, said Matt Rogers, a director of the McKinsey & Co. consulting firm who managed the Energy Department's "smart grid" investment program in 2009-10.
E&E Power Plan Hub Logo
Shrinking line losses -- a long-known issue for the industry -- can by handled by dynamic line rating devices, for example, which measure temperatures and other operating conditions on power lines. They help grid operators determine when favorable wind or weather will allow more power to be sent down a particular line without risking overheating.
"There are now a set of control technologies of various kinds that allow you to manage the grid network in a way that will significantly reduce those losses to the system," Rogers said in a recent interview withEnergyWire.
But that is only the start of the technology revolution that many experts expect will define the future grid. The applications include sensors and controls that can switch power flows away from congested power lines; analysis of floods of operational data measured in milliseconds on Internet cloud platforms; artificial intelligence software that will integrate rooftop solar power output with weather, energy storage and customer electricity consumption; and cybersecurity defenses using computer "machine learning" to recognize attack patterns and target.
"We're just at the beginning of the applications," Rogers said. Debates about privacy issues and cybersecurity risks from smart grid deployments are also in their early chapters.
The potential of advanced technologies warrants their inclusion among the four building block strategies that EPA has presented to states for meeting the CPP targets, said James Connaughton, executive vice president of C3 Energy and former top environmental policy adviser in the second Bush administration.
"The EPA should consider adding a fifth building block," Connaughton urged the EPA, in a pitch for his company's technology. The Redwood City, Calif., startup uses high-powered analysis of utility operating data through cloud computing to increase grid efficiency and reliability.
The potential impact of advanced grid technologies is massive, according to a 2011 study by EPRI, the Electric Power Research Institute. To fully deploy smart-grid technologies could cost $17 billion to $24 billion a year over the next 20 years, or between $338 billion and $476 billion in total. That works out to a monthly increase in electric customers' bills averaged over the decade of $9 to $12, EPRI reported.
However, benefits could be much richer, between $1.3 trillion and $2 trillion over two decades from energy savings, more renewable energy and electric vehicles, and more economic growth due to cheaper electricity prices, EPRI said.
Smart grid technologies are essential to realizing the full potential of renewable generation, demand response and distributed energy investments, the EPRI report said. Together with these changes in generation and consumer applications, smart grid technologies could reduce power plant CO2 emissions from the electric power sector by 58 percent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels, EPRI said, acknowledging the difficulty in making such estimates.
How far and how fast this technology option actually develops is unknowable. Some of the technical challenges will tax the best minds in national laboratories, research universities and high-tech companies.
"I want to snap my fingers and say we need it tomorrow," said Thomas King Jr., director of sustainable electricity at the Energy Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, describing the goals for ORNL's high-priority grid technology research project with EPB, the utility in Chattanooga, Tenn.
"The pathway is to look at the analysis, test it in the lab and demonstrate in the field. We're looking at years, not days," King said.

Winners and losers

Beyond the technology, Rogers said, are unresolved issues of how the investments in new technologies will be financed and recovered, and who gets the dollars saved by reduced electricity consumption.
When power can flow from consumers as well as to them, when utilities become service providers who are paid in part when customers don't use electricity, the game has fundamentally changed. "That is a very different kind of economics than we've had for a century," Rogers said. "There are winners and losers from that, and who gets paid matters."
Despite the obstacles and questions, the possibilities have brought technology companies -- from giants to startups -- into the race, creating another force for change in an aging U.S. electrical system.
On one end are Microsoft, IBM, ABB, Oracle and some of their peers. On the other, there are such firms as Smart Wires of Oakland, Calif.; AutoGrid Systems in Redwood Shores, Calif.; C3 Energy in Redwood City; and Opower in Arlington, Va. Some emphasize software strategies; others hardware. Some in the field are competitors and others, partners.
McKinsey estimated in a 2010 report that consumers could be saving $59 billion a year by 2019 from power management programs that shifted their electricity consumption away from peak times of day when wholesale power is most expensive, and from other power conservation strategies that reduce the need for new power plants.
An additional $63 billion in annual savings could be gained from advanced technologies for the grid, led by systems that more closely regulate voltages on power lines, reducing the overall energy that the lines carry. Advanced meters can save $9 billion, principally by eliminating the need for meter readers and as many service calls, McKinsey said.
A top research initiative at EPRI, the Integrated Grid project, seeks to pin down the costs and benefits.
C3 Energy, founded by billionaire entrepreneur Tom Siebel, aims at analyzing massive operating data from utilities and customers in the cloud to achieve efficiencies.
It is developing a menu of analytical programs that work either at the generator and grid operator level or at the consumer's domain, including optimizing voltages on the power line network, detecting grid faults, integrating solar panels and batteries, load forecasting, and stopping meter tampering and power theft.
One of C3's programs looks precisely at voltages, the pressure from generators that moves power to customers. The program can adjust the system to make sure the lines are operating within a tighter voltage band.
"Simplistically speaking, the power utility would over-power a line to ensure the voltage at the end customer's home wouldn't fall below a certain level," said Ed Abbo, C3 president and chief technology officer. "Until recently, when they started to roll out smart meters, they didn't have a voltage reading at the customer end." Now voltages are read every 15 minutes.
The program can also analyze utility customers' consumption of electricity, and if the data is detailed enough, sampled down to one-minute intervals, C3 can profile whether large appliances are being used inefficiently, allowing the utility and customers to address the issues.
"There are ways to use smart meter data and other characteristics to position energy efficiency services and products that matter to consumers," he said.
"If you can operate the grid more reliably, there are benefits in terms of capital expenditure reductions and operating expense reductions," Abbo added. Close analysis of the performance of costly grid equipment can sharpen predictions of when they are likely to fail, so they can be replaced before that happens, he said.

Benefits beyond climate

The business case for some of the initial advanced grid technologies projects is not about climate.
C3 Energy was hired last year to supply BGE, the Baltimore utility owned by Exelon Corp., with two systems to detect fraud and equipment failures in the 2 million advanced electric and gas meters BGE installed in its territory.
The first step required loading two years of data from the smart meters -- 35 billion rows of numbers -- into C3 Energy's Internet cloud-based platform. This provided the foundation for the analysis, examining, for example, whether power deliveries to individual meters were going to paying customers. The analytics turned up 14,000 likely fraud cases, permitting BGE to capture $2.8 million in savings in the first six months, BGE said. The analysis also identified problems with 400,000 meters that had failed or were not operating properly, and the two programs exceeded BGE's revenue target for the project by a wide margin, the utility said.
The power of this processing, with all of its potential for energy savings and efficiency, still represents a culture shock for a conservative industry whose engineers have their own version of Hippocrates' rule -- first, do no harm.
"This is not an industry that has required this kind of computing power in order to operate," Rogers said. "This industry operates with a remarkable degree of reliability, with actually quite limited software on top of it. It used to be we would check a meter once a month. Now we're checking it every six minutes." The grid has become a vastly more complicated place than it was a decade ago, he said.
"All we really had to monitor in real time was check every 15 minutes [on power] coming out of the power plant, and the system would balance quite effectively," he added. Now vast advances in computer processing speeds makes it possible to measure grid conditions in seconds and milliseconds, using that "big data" to manage generation output and power flows much more finely.
"We are just now building the software for that," Rogers said.
[EE PUBLISHING]

Discom detects 35 theft cases in April

GURGAON: Power discom DHBVN has zeroed in on 35 cases of power theft in the city in April alone following inspections by the vigilance team, which recovered about Rs 48 lakh from these cases.

Executive engineer (vigilance) Parmod Singhla said the discom's enforcement wing checked 96 suspected cases in April of which 35 were of power theft. "We confirmed 35 theft cases. The remaining 61 were of consumers who applied for change of category of extension of load," Singhla said.

"We had initially assessed an amount of Rs 68.37 lakh against the 96 suspected cases. However, after zeroing in on the 35 theft cases, a total of Rs 48.42 has been charged as recovery," he said.TOI]

Man arrested for power theft

Imphal, May 04 2015 : One person among 15 suspected consumers qA arrested for illegal power connection as per Electricity Act 2003.According to a press notification issued by MSPDCL Deputy General Manager, T Ibochouba, the arrested person has been identified as Aziz Khan S/O Rajauddin of Khongjom Phundrei Awang Leikai and at present is running his business at a shop at Paona market under consumer no.4-M-12 which is in the name of S Gourachandra from Paona market.

Further, the press notification states that, such drive will be conducted throughout the year and the public is informed to desist from such illegal activities.
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Nothing lesser than thieves Illegal power connections

Situation has considerably improved. However nothing much to suggest that there is a change in mindset to appreciate the efforts taken up by the Government so far. 

A point amply demonstrated by the drive taken up against illegal power tapping or power theft or illegal connection. 

Give it any name, it all boils down to the same point, that is unauthorised power consumers. 

Tough to spell out the number of illegal power consumers in the State but it should be more than clear that there are quite a lot of people out there who have never hesitated in getting illegal or unauthorised power connection. 

The result is there for all to see. Unpaid power tariff means a huge drain on the State exchequer and irregular power supply to all. Something which the people of Manipur have experienced for decades. 

After the State Power Department was corporatised and bifurcated into two wings, one dealing with distribution and the other with power generation-the Manipur State Power Distribution Company and Manipur State Power Corporation some time back, there was a marked improvement in power supply. 

The load shedding after every one day is now more or less history, except in cases when there are natural disturbances, but there are elements out there who are yet to overcome their urge to steal power supply. 

It is to stop power pilferage and check unpaid power bills that the pre-paid metre system was introduced some time back. 

The places where the pre-paid system has been introduced have seen a marked improvement but there are still elements out there who will go the extra mile to steal power through whatever means they can employ. 

There are laws to crack down on power thefts and penalties to be paid by violators, but it is a change in the mindset of the people that is the most needed. 

The situation must be worse in the hill districts. 

Not uncommon to see households enjoying power supply without installing any metre. Consume power but do not pay the bills. 

More than acceptability, this has achieved some sort of a social sanction and this is a matter of concern. 

It is not only power bills and the mentality is such that majority of the people prefer to forget that they do have a bounden duty towards the State. 

A practise it has become for some to come under the impression that there is nothing wrong in not paying water bill, vehicle taxes and all types of taxes payable to the Government. 

Taking advantage of such a mindset are the numerous powerful and influential people who have never hesitated in hoodwinking the Government and not pay up their taxes. 

A change in the people’s mindset is the need of the hour. 

Other than this, the Government too may give some thought on how to simplify the process of paying bills to the Government, be it power tariff or water tax. 

Duty towards the State may be something which ought to be included in the school syllabus of all students. 

It is the duty of any Government to ensure power supply to the consumers and equally true it is for all the consumers to realise that they do have to pay for what they consume. 

This is one way to make living more meaningful and comfortable
[- The Sangai Express Editorial :: May 07 2015 – ]

PSERC pulls up power utilities, issues directions for installing meters

In an order pronounced on Tuesday to revise power tariff, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has also pulled up both the state power utilities for not implementing its directives issued in the past.

Taking a strong exception to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL)'s inaction, the regulator said, "The power corporation is adamant in violating the provisions of the act citing financial constraints."
The issue relates to installing 100% meters for all consumers by the PSPCL and the boundary metering project by the Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL).
In the previous tariff order, the PSPCL was directed to achieve 100% metering as per Section 55 of the electricity act, 2003, within three months of the order, but it failed to submit any plan, says the PSERC. "It is a matter of serious concern that the licensee is adamant on violating the provisions of the act citing financial and administrative constraints. The PSPCL is again directed to utilise liberal funding available under the Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana of the union ministry of power to fulfil the mandate," said the directive.
Earlier, the PSPCL had claimed that installing meters for about 12 lakh consumers is a huge task, and required an expenditure of Rs 1,000 crore. The PSERC has been asking the PSPCL to install meters for all consumers, including agriculture pump sets which get power free of cost. The regulator has been pressing the PSPCL to record every unit consumed by the agriculture sector so that there is no pilferage and the state exchequer is not burdened with additional cost of finding free power more than the actual consumption.
The PSERC, in its order, has also brought on record that the PSPCL is not following practice of periodic check of meters due to which the consumers are made to pay huge amounts in case of a fault.
Pulling up the PSTCL, the PSERC has said, "Completion of boundary metering project has already been over-delayed and the PSTCL has failed to implement the project in the committed revised timeframe." In its order given last year, the PSERC had asked the transmission corporation to submit the actual transmission losses.
The PSTCL, in its reply to the PSERC, has said that the overall transmission losses will be provided by June 30, 2015, along with the data for at least six months as desired by the commission for analysis of losses. The PSERC had also pointed out that the transmission lines were not sufficient to carry the load of the power generated in the state. Apart from that the PSERC has also asked the PSTCL to submit the actual transmission losses on a monthly basis by June this year.
[HT]

PSERC pulls up power utilities, issues directions for installing meters

In an order pronounced on Tuesday to revise power tariff, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has also pulled up both the state power utilities for not implementing its directives issued in the past.

Taking a strong exception to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL)'s inaction, the regulator said, "The power corporation is adamant in violating the provisions of the act citing financial constraints."
The issue relates to installing 100% meters for all consumers by the PSPCL and the boundary metering project by the Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL).
In the previous tariff order, the PSPCL was directed to achieve 100% metering as per Section 55 of the electricity act, 2003, within three months of the order, but it failed to submit any plan, says the PSERC. "It is a matter of serious concern that the licensee is adamant on violating the provisions of the act citing financial and administrative constraints. The PSPCL is again directed to utilise liberal funding available under the Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana of the union ministry of power to fulfil the mandate," said the directive.
Earlier, the PSPCL had claimed that installing meters for about 12 lakh consumers is a huge task, and required an expenditure of Rs 1,000 crore. The PSERC has been asking the PSPCL to install meters for all consumers, including agriculture pump sets which get power free of cost. The regulator has been pressing the PSPCL to record every unit consumed by the agriculture sector so that there is no pilferage and the state exchequer is not burdened with additional cost of finding free power more than the actual consumption.
The PSERC, in its order, has also brought on record that the PSPCL is not following practice of periodic check of meters due to which the consumers are made to pay huge amounts in case of a fault.
Pulling up the PSTCL, the PSERC has said, "Completion of boundary metering project has already been over-delayed and the PSTCL has failed to implement the project in the committed revised timeframe." In its order given last year, the PSERC had asked the transmission corporation to submit the actual transmission losses.
The PSTCL, in its reply to the PSERC, has said that the overall transmission losses will be provided by June 30, 2015, along with the data for at least six months as desired by the commission for analysis of losses. The PSERC had also pointed out that the transmission lines were not sufficient to carry the load of the power generated in the state. Apart from that the PSERC has also asked the PSTCL to submit the actual transmission losses on a monthly basis by June this year.
[HT]

Court pulls up power dept for pending cases

BAREILLY: A local court has threatened to penalize officials of the power department who fail to pursue cases related to economic crimes. With the backlog of cases filed by power department against domestic and commercial consumers in various courts piling up, Special Judge(Economic Crimes) in a letter to chief engineer, distribution has asked the official to ensure proper follow up of the cases failing which court would slap a case against the erring officials. 

The development has sent power department officials into a huddle to decide the future course of action. 

The issue cropped up after it came to light that more than 500 cases filed by the power department are lying on the backburner owing to lackadaisical attitude of the department. A majority of the cases are yet to come up for hearing as the department on it's part has failed to show any will to pursue the cases in court thereby increasing the backlog in different courts taking up cases related to economic crimes. 

In this connection, Special judge, Economic Crimes Act, Avanish Saxena reportedly wrote a letter to chief engineer, Distribution expressing displeasure over the dilly dallying attitude of the power department. He also drew his attention towards non pursuance of cases filed under Urban Distribution Circles Two and Three and Rural Distribution Circles one and two. This in turn is causing a loss to the government exchequer and increasing the burden of courts. 

The judge in his letter warned of action against the erring officials if they fail to act and also expressed displeasure over the functioning of vigilance wing of the power department. 

Talking to TOI, Chief Engineer, Urban Distribution, B K Sharma said " I have received a letter from the judge in connection with the backlog of cases filed by the department. In this connection, I have issued strict instructions to executive engineers of all distribution circles to expedite cases pending in courts on a priority basis, failing which departmental action would be taken against them. We face acute shortage of manpower amidst mounting cases of local faults in summers, line losses and electricity theft" 

When asked about the nature of the cases filed by the department, he said, "A majority of the cases are related to electricity theft and payment of outstanding electricity dues under Section 135 and Section 138 of UP Electricity Code 2003. Besides, the department also files cases against those who re-connect their snapped connections illegally without paying the requisite dues to the power department." [TOI]

KSEB drive at plywood units unearths anomalies

KOCHI: A drive by anti-power theft squad of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) in the eastern parts of the district, especially at the plywood manufacturing units, has unearthed nine power theft cases and around 60 other anomalies like tariff misuse. 

Though the fine slapped on the offenders as per initial reports prepared by KSEB is around Rs 80 lakh, the amount may run into crores as suspected cases of power theft by four major plywood units in Perumbavoor have been referred for detailed inspection like scientific checking of electricity meters. 

The drive started on Monday will continue on Wednesday also, a KSEB official said. Chief vigilance officer of KSEB Rishiraj Singh led the operations. [TOI]

Power theft Haryana Police HVPN UHBVN Penalty

CHANDIGARH:
Intensifying its ongoing campaign to check the menace of pilferage of power, unauthorized use of electricity and unauthorized extension of load cases, the Vigilance and Enforcement wing of Haryana Power Utilities had detected 212 cases of theft of electricity, 199 cases of unauthorized use of electricity and imposed penalty over Rs. 4.48 crore on the erring consumers during the month of March 2015. 

RP Singh DGP-cum Director Vigilance, Power Utilities giving details said here today that penalty of over Rs. one lakh had been levied in 95 cases which include industrial and non-domestic connections. 

In all, the amount of penalty exceeded Rs. 50,000 in 172 cases of theft of energy. The electricity supply of the erring consumers had been disconnected immediately as per the existing instructions. 
He said that the maximum cases of theft of power, unauthorized extension of load and unauthorized use of electricity were detected at Faridabad, Hisar, Bhiwani, Gurgaon, Narnaul, Kurukshetra, Yamuna Nagar, Rohtak, Sonipat, Jhajjar, Jind and Panipat. Instructions have been given to all field enforcement operation units to conduct special checking by constituting teams to curb theft of power as the pilferage leads to loss of revenue as well as increase in line losses. 

He also said that theft of power is a cognizable and non-bailable offence. The Irrigation & Power (I&P) police stations have been directed to register FIRs and arrest the accused immediately in electricity theft cases.[TOI]

New transmission substation to improve supply in NCR, west UP

LUCKNOW: The UP part of National Capital Region (NCR) and West UP can hope to get a better power supply this summer. The UP Transmission Corporation has speeded up the construction of a 400 Kv transmission substation in Muradnagar. This will allow lessening of load on power infrastructure during the peak demand period.

The corporation at present has only one 400 Kv substation that wheels out power supply to the region. With the coming up of the second 400 Kv substation, the load on the only operating substation would be eased out. UPTCL MD Sanjay Prasad said that he had inspected the substation which was expected to get operational within a fortnight.

Sources said that the project was under constant monitoring of the Central government also. The coming up of the said project would essentially serve the cities in NCR region like Ghaziabad and Noida where the demand for power is high.
The development comes close on the heels of the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission directive that the power supply to the areas which register less power theft be increased by 10%. Noida with 8% line losses pips every other city in the state on that criteria. Prasad said the region also has heavy consumer bases that pays higher tariff.
[TOI][TOI]

New transmission substation to improve supply in NCR, west UP

LUCKNOW: The UP part of National Capital Region (NCR) and West UP can hope to get a better power supply this summer. The UP Transmission Corporation has speeded up the construction of a 400 Kv transmission substation in Muradnagar. This will allow lessening of load on power infrastructure during the peak demand period.

The corporation at present has only one 400 Kv substation that wheels out power supply to the region. With the coming up of the second 400 Kv substation, the load on the only operating substation would be eased out. UPTCL MD Sanjay Prasad said that he had inspected the substation which was expected to get operational within a fortnight.

Sources said that the project was under constant monitoring of the Central government also. The coming up of the said project would essentially serve the cities in NCR region like Ghaziabad and Noida where the demand for power is high.[TOI]

Delhi’s air is being polluted by three perverse subsidies

Delhi’s air pollution is terrible. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned diesel vehicles more than 10 years old, having already banned petrol vehicles over 15 years old. But IIT Professor Dinesh Mohan has revealed that old vehicles constitute a tiny, almost irrelevant fraction of Delhi traffic.
Delhi has fewer cars per thousand persons than Singapore, London or Paris, but much dirtier air. Mohan says much better data and research are needed to identify all the causes. The courts have over the years passed several orders — shutting polluting industries, instituting vehicle pollution checks, converting public transport to CNG, and so on. Yet, Delhi’s air is worse than ever. We have a poor understanding of the underlying causes.
Mohan cites one research study showing that transport accounts for only 17% of particulate pollution. Yet the tribunal seems to think this is the main cause. Mohan suggests much broader solutions including a massive switch to public transport and mixed residential-commercial zoning to cut commuting.
These issues are important, but only part of the story. In this column, let me highlight three massive subsidies that encourage dirty air, yet are widely ignored in debates. The big subsidy for diesel, a polluting fuel, has now ended. The sharp fall in global oil prices has enabled the government to decontrol diesel. But kerosene remains highly subsidized. It sells for barely Rs 15/litre, a third to a quarter the price of diesel in different states. Unsurprisingly, studies suggest that up to 40% of kerosene is used for adulterating diesel. And adulterated diesel is the most polluting fuel of all.
Politicians keep kerosene ultra-cheap, supposedly to benefit poor villagers using kerosene lamps. But the main beneficiaries are blackmarketers and adulterators. Some experts suggest raising the quality of fuels produced by refineries to cut air pollution. But even ultra-pure diesel and petrol will become highly polluting if mixed with kerosene. The profits from adulteration are enormous, and the policejudicial system has proved incapable of checking it.
The simplest way forward is to give villagers entitled to subsidised kerosene one free solar lamp each, warrantied for five years. After that, the kerosene subsidy should be abolished, and the price of kerosene and diesel should be equalized. By ending the incentive to adulterate, this will allow kerosene to be sold at filling stations.
Diesel adulterated with kerosene also spoils diesel engines, shortening their lives. The spoiled engines further increase air pollution, a double whammy. Thus kerosene adulteration has severe environmental as well financial consequences for trucks, railways and diesel gensets. Yet, no activist will approach the courts to demand an end to the kerosene subsidy and equalization of diesel and kerosene prices. That is considered politically incorrect and anti-poor. Sorry, but the pollution unwittingly ensuing from cheap kerosene is terrible for the lungs of poor people with limited access to medical help. The worst hit are pavement dwellers, who bear the brunt of vehicular smoke.
The second hidden polluter is subsidized urban electricity. Urban power supply is so erratic that diesel gensets are being increasingly used as a back up. These are highly polluting, yet serve an important and rising need. The solution is to ensure 24/7 electricity, making gensets superfluous. Alas, politicians insist on high subsidies that have crippled most state electricity systems, with annual losses of over Rs 60,000 crore and cumulative losses of Rs 300,000 crore. There is an urgent need to check subsidies, along with power theft and transmission losses.
Yet, most politicians give top priority to lower prices, regardless of the financial consequences. Today, even when surplus power is available, some states cannot buy it for want of cash. The resulting power shortage increases genset use and pollution. No activist castigates subsidized electricity as a polluter, but it is. India needs empowered independent electricity regulators setting tariffs at levels that ensure solvency and facilitate 24/7 electric supply, ending genset use. Limited subsidies for the poor are feasible.
A third major cause of pollution is free or highly subsidized parking. The NGT wants to end parking on Delhi roads to lower congestion. But even official parking lots are highly subsidized, and some charge just Rs 10 per day. This should be closer to Rs 200 per day, or Rs 25 per hour, to reflect the true value of social space. A parked car occupies up to 150 sq ft, as much as a small shop. When shops pay high rents, why not cars too? The higher parking charges can be used to improve public transport.
In sum, the tribunal should avoid solutions like an army of inspectors checking the age of every vehicle entering Delhi. Instead, it should curb perverse subsidies that encourage pollution.
[TOI]
 Delhi’s air pollution is terrible. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned diesel vehicles more than 10 years old, having already banned petrol vehicles over 15 years old. But IIT Professor Dinesh Mohan has revealed that old vehicles constitute a tiny, almost irrelevant fraction of Delhi traffic.
Delhi has fewer cars per thousand persons than Singapore, London or Paris, but much dirtier air. Mohan says much better data and research are needed to identify all the causes. The courts have over the years passed several orders — shutting polluting industries, instituting vehicle pollution checks, converting public transport to CNG, and so on. Yet, Delhi’s air is worse than ever. We have a poor understanding of the underlying causes.
Mohan cites one research study showing that transport accounts for only 17% of particulate pollution. Yet the tribunal seems to think this is the main cause. Mohan suggests much broader solutions including a massive switch to public transport and mixed residential-commercial zoning to cut commuting.
These issues are important, but only part of the story. In this column, let me highlight three massive subsidies that encourage dirty air, yet are widely ignored in debates. The big subsidy for diesel, a polluting fuel, has now ended. The sharp fall in global oil prices has enabled the government to decontrol diesel. But kerosene remains highly subsidized. It sells for barely Rs 15/litre, a third to a quarter the price of diesel in different states. Unsurprisingly, studies suggest that up to 40% of kerosene is used for adulterating diesel. And adulterated diesel is the most polluting fuel of all.
Politicians keep kerosene ultra-cheap, supposedly to benefit poor villagers using kerosene lamps. But the main beneficiaries are blackmarketers and adulterators. Some experts suggest raising the quality of fuels produced by refineries to cut air pollution. But even ultra-pure diesel and petrol will become highly polluting if mixed with kerosene. The profits from adulteration are enormous, and the policejudicial system has proved incapable of checking it.
The simplest way forward is to give villagers entitled to subsidised kerosene one free solar lamp each, warrantied for five years. After that, the kerosene subsidy should be abolished, and the price of kerosene and diesel should be equalized. By ending the incentive to adulterate, this will allow kerosene to be sold at filling stations.
Diesel adulterated with kerosene also spoils diesel engines, shortening their lives. The spoiled engines further increase air pollution, a double whammy. Thus kerosene adulteration has severe environmental as well financial consequences for trucks, railways and diesel gensets. Yet, no activist will approach the courts to demand an end to the kerosene subsidy and equalization of diesel and kerosene prices. That is considered politically incorrect and anti-poor. Sorry, but the pollution unwittingly ensuing from cheap kerosene is terrible for the lungs of poor people with limited access to medical help. The worst hit are pavement dwellers, who bear the brunt of vehicular smoke.

The second hidden polluter is subsidized urban electricity. Urban power supply is so erratic that diesel gensets are being increasingly used as a back up. These are highly polluting, yet serve an important and rising need. The solution is to ensure 24/7 electricity, making gensets superfluous. Alas, politicians insist on high subsidies that have crippled most state electricity systems, with annual losses of over Rs 60,000 crore and cumulative losses of Rs 300,000 crore. There is an urgent need to check subsidies, along with power theft and transmission losses.

Yet, most politicians give top priority to lower prices, regardless of the financial consequences. Today, even when surplus power is available, some states cannot buy it for want of cash. The resulting power shortage increases genset use and pollution. No activist castigates subsidized electricity as a polluter, but it is. India needs empowered independent electricity regulators setting tariffs at levels that ensure solvency and facilitate 24/7 electric supply, ending genset use. Limited subsidies for the poor are feasible.
A third major cause of pollution is free or highly subsidized parking. The NGT wants to end parking on Delhi roads to lower congestion. But even official parking lots are highly subsidized, and some charge just Rs 10 per day. This should be closer to Rs 200 per day, or Rs 25 per hour, to reflect the true value of social space. A parked car occupies up to 150 sq ft, as much as a small shop. When shops pay high rents, why not cars too? The higher parking charges can be used to improve public transport.
In sum, the tribunal should avoid solutions like an army of inspectors checking the age of every vehicle entering Delhi. Instead, it should curb perverse subsidies that encourage pollution.
[TOI]
 

UP districts with high power theft may get less power

LUCKNOW: You may soon be getting less power supply if your district has high power theft. In a move that is set to generate much heat, the UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has mooted an idea to link power supply with the line losses. This means, the districts which register more line and commercial losses (power theft and less metering) would accordingly get lesser supply. Noida, which registers lowest line loss — around 8% — would thus be at an advantage in terms of power supply than any other district of the state. 

The move could ruffle the feathers of 'VIP' districts which get comparatively more power but have high line losses. With the regulator deciding to go ahead with the formula that seeks to put in place a performancebased index, the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) will be under obligation to lessen the power supply in the such districts. 

"The idea is to proportionate the revenue recovery with the supply. If the areas get higher power supply but lag in revenue generation, there is no point in giving them power. It would only increase the revenue deficit and would eventually affect power tariff determination," said UPERC secretary, AK Srivastava. UPERC sources said that commission chairman, Desh Deepak Verma decided to consider the formula following repeated complaints of consumers suggesting less metering and more power theft in some of the districts. 

Srivastava said that managing directors and chief engineers of all distribution companies have now been asked to provide district wise break up of accumulate transmission and commercial (AT&C) losses so that the data could be computed to devise a formula that could directly proportionate power supply with the line losses.[TOI]

Delhi’s air is being polluted by three perverse subsidies

Delhi’s air pollution is terrible. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned diesel vehicles more than 10 years old, having already banned petrol vehicles over 15 years old. But IIT Professor Dinesh Mohan has revealed that old vehicles constitute a tiny, almost irrelevant fraction of Delhi traffic.
Delhi has fewer cars per thousand persons than Singapore, London or Paris, but much dirtier air. Mohan says much better data and research are needed to identify all the causes. The courts have over the years passed several orders — shutting polluting industries, instituting vehicle pollution checks, converting public transport to CNG, and so on. Yet, Delhi’s air is worse than ever. We have a poor understanding of the underlying causes.
Mohan cites one research study showing that transport accounts for only 17% of particulate pollution. Yet the tribunal seems to think this is the main cause. Mohan suggests much broader solutions including a massive switch to public transport and mixed residential-commercial zoning to cut commuting.
These issues are important, but only part of the story. In this column, let me highlight three massive subsidies that encourage dirty air, yet are widely ignored in debates. The big subsidy for diesel, a polluting fuel, has now ended. The sharp fall in global oil prices has enabled the government to decontrol diesel. But kerosene remains highly subsidized. It sells for barely Rs 15/litre, a third to a quarter the price of diesel in different states. Unsurprisingly, studies suggest that up to 40% of kerosene is used for adulterating diesel. And adulterated diesel is the most polluting fuel of all.
Politicians keep kerosene ultra-cheap, supposedly to benefit poor villagers using kerosene lamps. But the main beneficiaries are blackmarketers and adulterators. Some experts suggest raising the quality of fuels produced by refineries to cut air pollution. But even ultra-pure diesel and petrol will become highly polluting if mixed with kerosene. The profits from adulteration are enormous, and the policejudicial system has proved incapable of checking it.
The simplest way forward is to give villagers entitled to subsidised kerosene one free solar lamp each, warrantied for five years. After that, the kerosene subsidy should be abolished, and the price of kerosene and diesel should be equalized. By ending the incentive to adulterate, this will allow kerosene to be sold at filling stations.
Diesel adulterated with kerosene also spoils diesel engines, shortening their lives. The spoiled engines further increase air pollution, a double whammy. Thus kerosene adulteration has severe environmental as well financial consequences for trucks, railways and diesel gensets. Yet, no activist will approach the courts to demand an end to the kerosene subsidy and equalization of diesel and kerosene prices. That is considered politically incorrect and anti-poor. Sorry, but the pollution unwittingly ensuing from cheap kerosene is terrible for the lungs of poor people with limited access to medical help. The worst hit are pavement dwellers, who bear the brunt of vehicular smoke.
The second hidden polluter is subsidized urban electricity. Urban power supply is so erratic that diesel gensets are being increasingly used as a back up. These are highly polluting, yet serve an important and rising need. The solution is to ensure 24/7 electricity, making gensets superfluous. Alas, politicians insist on high subsidies that have crippled most state electricity systems, with annual losses of over Rs 60,000 crore and cumulative losses of Rs 300,000 crore. There is an urgent need to check subsidies, along with power theft and transmission losses.
Yet, most politicians give top priority to lower prices, regardless of the financial consequences. Today, even when surplus power is available, some states cannot buy it for want of cash. The resulting power shortage increases genset use and pollution. No activist castigates subsidized electricity as a polluter, but it is. India needs empowered independent electricity regulators setting tariffs at levels that ensure solvency and facilitate 24/7 electric supply, ending genset use. Limited subsidies for the poor are feasible.
A third major cause of pollution is free or highly subsidized parking. The NGT wants to end parking on Delhi roads to lower congestion. But even official parking lots are highly subsidized, and some charge just Rs 10 per day. This should be closer to Rs 200 per day, or Rs 25 per hour, to reflect the true value of social space. A parked car occupies up to 150 sq ft, as much as a small shop. When shops pay high rents, why not cars too? The higher parking charges can be used to improve public transport.
In sum, the tribunal should avoid solutions like an army of inspectors checking the age of every vehicle entering Delhi. Instead, it should curb perverse subsidies that encourage pollution.
[TOI]
 Delhi’s air pollution is terrible. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned diesel vehicles more than 10 years old, having already banned petrol vehicles over 15 years old. But IIT Professor Dinesh Mohan has revealed that old vehicles constitute a tiny, almost irrelevant fraction of Delhi traffic.
Delhi has fewer cars per thousand persons than Singapore, London or Paris, but much dirtier air. Mohan says much better data and research are needed to identify all the causes. The courts have over the years passed several orders — shutting polluting industries, instituting vehicle pollution checks, converting public transport to CNG, and so on. Yet, Delhi’s air is worse than ever. We have a poor understanding of the underlying causes.
Mohan cites one research study showing that transport accounts for only 17% of particulate pollution. Yet the tribunal seems to think this is the main cause. Mohan suggests much broader solutions including a massive switch to public transport and mixed residential-commercial zoning to cut commuting.
These issues are important, but only part of the story. In this column, let me highlight three massive subsidies that encourage dirty air, yet are widely ignored in debates. The big subsidy for diesel, a polluting fuel, has now ended. The sharp fall in global oil prices has enabled the government to decontrol diesel. But kerosene remains highly subsidized. It sells for barely Rs 15/litre, a third to a quarter the price of diesel in different states. Unsurprisingly, studies suggest that up to 40% of kerosene is used for adulterating diesel. And adulterated diesel is the most polluting fuel of all.
Politicians keep kerosene ultra-cheap, supposedly to benefit poor villagers using kerosene lamps. But the main beneficiaries are blackmarketers and adulterators. Some experts suggest raising the quality of fuels produced by refineries to cut air pollution. But even ultra-pure diesel and petrol will become highly polluting if mixed with kerosene. The profits from adulteration are enormous, and the policejudicial system has proved incapable of checking it.
The simplest way forward is to give villagers entitled to subsidised kerosene one free solar lamp each, warrantied for five years. After that, the kerosene subsidy should be abolished, and the price of kerosene and diesel should be equalized. By ending the incentive to adulterate, this will allow kerosene to be sold at filling stations.
Diesel adulterated with kerosene also spoils diesel engines, shortening their lives. The spoiled engines further increase air pollution, a double whammy. Thus kerosene adulteration has severe environmental as well financial consequences for trucks, railways and diesel gensets. Yet, no activist will approach the courts to demand an end to the kerosene subsidy and equalization of diesel and kerosene prices. That is considered politically incorrect and anti-poor. Sorry, but the pollution unwittingly ensuing from cheap kerosene is terrible for the lungs of poor people with limited access to medical help. The worst hit are pavement dwellers, who bear the brunt of vehicular smoke.

The second hidden polluter is subsidized urban electricity. Urban power supply is so erratic that diesel gensets are being increasingly used as a back up. These are highly polluting, yet serve an important and rising need. The solution is to ensure 24/7 electricity, making gensets superfluous. Alas, politicians insist on high subsidies that have crippled most state electricity systems, with annual losses of over Rs 60,000 crore and cumulative losses of Rs 300,000 crore. There is an urgent need to check subsidies, along with power theft and transmission losses.

Yet, most politicians give top priority to lower prices, regardless of the financial consequences. Today, even when surplus power is available, some states cannot buy it for want of cash. The resulting power shortage increases genset use and pollution. No activist castigates subsidized electricity as a polluter, but it is. India needs empowered independent electricity regulators setting tariffs at levels that ensure solvency and facilitate 24/7 electric supply, ending genset use. Limited subsidies for the poor are feasible.
A third major cause of pollution is free or highly subsidized parking. The NGT wants to end parking on Delhi roads to lower congestion. But even official parking lots are highly subsidized, and some charge just Rs 10 per day. This should be closer to Rs 200 per day, or Rs 25 per hour, to reflect the true value of social space. A parked car occupies up to 150 sq ft, as much as a small shop. When shops pay high rents, why not cars too? The higher parking charges can be used to improve public transport.
In sum, the tribunal should avoid solutions like an army of inspectors checking the age of every vehicle entering Delhi. Instead, it should curb perverse subsidies that encourage pollution.
[TOI]
 

Two powerloom owners acquitted of power theft charges

Two brothers having powerloom units in Thane's Bhiwandi town who were tried in an alleged power theft case, have been acquitted by a local court for want of sufficient evidence against them. 

Thane district court's Principal Judge R R Gandhi observed that the prosecution had miserably failed to prove the case against the accused brothers, therefore, giving them benefit of doubt, the court acquitted them. 

According to prosecution, during an inspection by MSEB officials on November 5, 2003, the seal of the power meters of Kisangopal Narayandas Tantiya and his brother Kanhaiyalal Narayandas Tantiya was found broken and the meters tampered. The sanctioned power for both the meters was 20 HP, whereas a consumption of 38 HP from it was found. 

Hence, the prosecution told the court that between July and November 6, 2003, both of them had committed theft of electricity worth Rs 76,792, punishable under sections 135 and 138 of the Electricity Act. 

However, the judged noted that there is no proof that the alleged place of raid belongs to the accused persons. There is no document on record to show that the powerlooms are of the accused persons. Even prosecution has not produced on record the original application form applied for the electric connection by the accused persons at the said place. 

Therefore, there is no evidence before the court to say that the accused are the customers of MSEB or they have any nexus with the alleged spot of inspection, the court further observed. 

The entire investigation is of casual nature and based on the surmises which has no place in criminal jurisprudence, the judge noted while recently acquitting the two accused.[BUSINESS STANDARD]

Energy commission registers 445 cases of power theft

AMMAN — The Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC) has detected 445 cases of power theft out of 2,000 incidents it inspected after receiving complaints from electricity distribution companies, EMRC President Farouq Hiyari said Sunday.
He also said that EMRC directed these companies to proceed with necessary legal procedures against violators according to the Electricity Law.
Violators face six months to two years in prison and/or a fine between JD2,000 and JD10,000 or both penalties.[The Jordan Times]

Locals blow a fuse over power dept’s ‘inefficiency’

PANAJI: At a final public hearing called by the joint electricity regulatory commission on the electricity department's petition to enhance the electricity tariff for 2015-16, consumers and consumer activists protested the department's proposal to raise power tariffs, stating that it had a lot of work to do to curb distribution, manpower and other losses to bring down expenditure. 

Consumers took advantage of the public hearing to vent out their ire against inflated bills, delayed billing, substandard electricity supply, callous linesmen, office staff and "inefficient and lackadaisical service". 

"Why doesn't the department catch those who are stealing electricity instead of hiking prices?" asked activist Lorna Fernandes. 
The public hearing, which was held at EDC House, Panaji, witnessed strong protests as leaders of consumer forums demanded that the department reduce manpower costs and improve power supply quality. 

"I would like to know whether an FIR has been registered by the electricity department against the PWD for digging up and damaging wires because of which we did not have power on March 25," said convener of the consumer action network Roland Martins. 

The electricity department, represented by two consultants, bore the brunt even as they presented the department's business. The proposal identified the departments shortcomings as well as tariff disparity between states. The consultants pointed out that the department had not hiked power tariffs by a large margin for the last 15 years and had been accumulating losses even as tariff in other states stood nearly four times higher than Goa. They also said that 14% of the department's expenditure goes on manpower. 

"Other states may be getting better facilities for the higher price," said activist Martin Rodrigues. 

Martins argued for transparency and proper performance evaluation process, along with a stop on the subsidy bill being dumped on the common man. 

The criticism and protests caught the attention of the joint electricity regulatory commission chairman, Sudhir K Chaturvedi. 

"Goa is better than other states but more progress is desirable," Chaturvedi said. "I suggest the department should hold a public grievance redressal meeting every four to six months with either the power secretary or with an officer who can take decisions." 

Acknowledging the concerns voiced before him, Chaturvedi said that the department had to improve tremendously in order to turn into an efficient and professional utility service provider. Chaturvedi is expected to pass his order by March-end or in the first week of April. 

Offering a rebuttal to those asking for better services before hiking prices, power secretary Prashant Goyal termed it a chicken and the egg situation. "There is an urgent need to improve our power infrastructure. If we don't do it, the quality of power supply will continue to fall," he said. 

Even though the public hearing was called specifically to deliberate on the issue of tariff hikes, the objections and concerns raised were often unrelated, much to the amusement of Chaturvedi. [TIMES OF INDIA]

Seafood exporters allege harassment by anti-power theft squad

Kerala seafood exporters today alleged harassment by state electricity board and its Anti Power Theft Squad (APTS) after some of its members were penalised for 'power theft'. 

Addressing a press conference here, office-bearers of the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) said the issue was one of categorisation (of the consumers), and not theft. 

They alleged that the APTS was conducting inspections "indiscriminately" and issuing huge penal assessment treating major seafood processing units as cold storages or freezing plants though they fall under the non-commercial High Tension I category. 

Cold storages and freezing plants fall under HT IV category, which is commercial, and in such cases the power tariff is higher than the tariff stipulated for the industrial purposes. 

"There is already a ruling by Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission that seafood processing units fall under category HT 1. Seafood has not been converted into HT IV. As per the order of the Regulatory Commission, in an order in 2009, Seafood processing units are in HT 1 category," Kerala regional president of SCAI Nobert Karikkassery said. 

He said if KSEB or APTS had any issues on this matter, they should get a clarification from KSERC and not make penal assessments on the consumer and brand him as a thief which was totally "uncalled for and is viewed as an attempt to get publicity." 

Questioning the change of category by the squad, SCAI national President A J Tharakan said this had to be "reined in" and warned "If they are going to take such measures, nothing will come up in Kerala. 

"In Kerala, there will be zero development as we are the single largest industry in Kerala today--the largest employer," he said. 

The exporters are up in arms after the APTS following a recent inspection at a seafood processing unit in Kollam imposed Rs 1.37 crore penalty alleging it was "unauthorisedly" using electricity. 

"The SEAI strongly condemn the illegal actions of KSEB and APTS. Appropriate legal recourse will be taken against KSEB and APTS officers," they said.[BUSINESS STANDARD]

Nigeria: Solve Electricity Theft to Save the Power Sector

The FG has taken vital steps in resuscitating the electricity sector - from privatisation, intervention funds, meter procurement, and investment in new power plants to mention a few.

It is understandable that these fundamental changes will take time to fully turn the sector around and assure Nigerians of constant power supply.

As the Honourable Minister of Power has recently pointed out however, with technical and commercial losses running at 75% in some areas, the entire system will struggle to make the necessary investment to ensure a sustainable and reliable power system.

A large percentage (perhaps, 50-60%) of these losses can be attributed to energy theft - people consuming power without paying for it.

This can happen either inadvertently or deliberately. Inadvertently because the power companies are not metering and collecting the payment. This is usually a smaller percentage because the power companies simply use estimated billing to cover for the unmetered consumers.

The deliberate stealing of electricity is widespread and happens through various schemes including - direct connection to the overhead low tension distribution cables, bypassing the meter so that only a small load is connected to it while the rest are connected directly to the supply behind the meter or tampering with the meter to make its reading inaccurate.

The deliberate stealing of electricity is more often than not aided and abetted by experienced (current or past) technicians who understand how the systems work. In these instances, the use of smart meters which are able to send their status readings to a central server are easily outfoxed.

The smart meter will only have records of the electricity passing through the network it is connected to. If it is bypassed, or the connection is directly to the distribution line, the smart meter is unable to detect and report the anomaly.[ALL AFRICA]

How to detect possible electricity pilferage?

We all know that system’s loss is composed primarily of technical loss and non-technical loss. Technical loss is the inherent property of all electrical devices during operation while non-technical losses are caused by electricity theft and/or metering inaccuracies. Technical loss can be determined through computations and the use of measuring devices. On the other hand, non-technical loss cannot be measured nor be computed; instead one has to have various methods just to detect such loss.

Various methods of detecting are used in identifying users who engaged in these criminal activities varying to the type of pilferage committed. Typically, there are three types of customers found in any distribution utility namely; residential, commercial, and industrial. These three types of customers’ uses different types of meters thus, different types of pilferage can also be done.
 
Of course, before your detect any pilferage one must first understand how stealing of electricity are done but unfortunately, due to some security reasons, this topic will not be discussed here instead, we are only going to give you the general idea.
 
The detection methods can be categorized into two; Physical detection and Detection through Customer Consumption. Although the latter can be subjective, this however will give you head’s up on what you are dealing with.
 
Physical Detection – is done by looking for traces of tampering in the utility’s meter seal, tampering in the service connection, tampering in the meter accuracy seal, foreign wires (used for direct tapping) not specified in construction standard, etc. Detection of pilferage merely by looking at the customer connection can be quite hard if it was concealed carefully and no traces can be found using the naked eye.
 
Customer Consumption – When a customer steals electricity, there is a high possibility that their regular consumption (as metered) will significantly drop. Also, one way of detecting a pilferage is when their recorded energy consumption is not proportional to the devices connected in their premises. This method is in no way 100% accurate but this can trigger investigation for the reason why their consumption dropped.
[http://powersystemsloss.blogspot.in/]

Power theft: KSEB slaps Rs 1 crore fine on plywood company

KOCHI: The anti-power theft squad of the Kerala State Electricity Board(KSEB) unearthed a major power theft by a plywood factory at Perumbavoor and slapped a fine of Rs 1 crore, including a penalty of Rs 19 lakh, on the firm on Tuesday. 

According to KSEB officials, the factory owner had inserted a remote control system inside the electricity meter so as to manipulate the meter reading. 

In a detailed test conducted at the Larson & Toubro laboratory in Bengaluru, it was found that the owners of JJ Plywood in Perumbavoor inserted a radio frequency circuit so to manipulate the meter reading. 
The circuit was inserted inside the meter. The circuit could be enabled and disabled by remote control. When it is enabled, it would prune the data stored in the electronic meter. So, the plywood factory would enable the circuit during peak hours. During lean hours, they would disable the circuit and the meter would function normally," said Vincent Abraham, head of anti-power theft squad, Ernakulam. 

It was on January 6 that the squad first checked the meter of the factory after getting a tip-off. "We examined the meter at night. Though it was peak time, the consumption recorded by the meter was very low. So, we grew suspicious and decided to test the meter at the KSEB's transformer and meters testing unit at Angamaly in the presence of the consumer. But, we couldn't find any flaws. Later, we send the meter to L&T's meter testing centre in Bengaluru," Vincent said. 

"Each meter has two seals on it - one by the manufacturer and the other by KSEB. On inspection, it was found that the consumer had broken both the seals. The cover of the meter and the meter unit, which were joined together using ultrasound welding, was also broken. When the cover is opened, an alarm will be displayed on it to show that it has been opened. The consumer first switched off the cover switch so as to disable the alarm system," he said. 

The consumer's monthly electricity bill, while the meter was being tampered, came to only Rs 1.2 lakh, KSEB officials said. "As per our initial calculation, the consumer could have saved at least Rs 2 lakh a month on electricity bill," a KSEB official said. 

The consumer has been stealing power for almost four years, according to KSEB officials. The plywood unit, which employs around 30 people, consumes around 20,000 to 30,000 units a month. Of the Rs 1.03 crore slapped on the consumer, Rs 19 lakh was charged as compounding fee that goes to the state government. The remaining amount is the value of the power stolen. This goes to the board[TOI]

No power tariff revision without data of AT&C losses: UPERC

LUCKNOW: The UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) has received a high voltage shock. The UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) has refused to revise the power tariff for the new financial year until the corporation provides it with the data pertaining to accumulated transmission and commercial (AT&C) losses. The development comes at a time when the corporation has been seeking a tariff revision with effective from April 1. 

The regulator demand could virtually open up a Pandora box for UPPCL which has been facing heavy distribution losses and a dismal revenue recovery. UPERC sources said that the commission had, last year, decided to go by a performance based tariff determination. This can only happen when the corporation details about its efficiency index that essentially includes the line losses and the effectiveness of its mammoth machinery in recovering revenue from over 1.3 crores registered consumers in the state. 

The UPPCL in its annual revenue requirement (ARR) submitted with the regulator in November last year did not gave a licensee wise AT&C losses. Even as the commission started its hearing into the tariff determination, it demanded the crucial details about the AT&C losses incurred by all distribution companies. ``While determining the tariff the commission assumes 100% revenue recovery and focuses only on distribution losses,'' said a senior UPERC official while speaking to TOI. 
The UPPCL has been facing grappling with power theft and low revenue recovery essentially in some of the VIP districts. It is this key fact that the UPERC seeks to take into account while determining the power tariff for the new financial year. A senior UPPCL official said that the distribution companies would take some time to accumulate the data pertaining to the AT&C losses. 

The UPPCL, in its ARR submitted in November last year, had sought to revise power tariff by around 20 to 30% for various categories. The revision is also necessitated by corporation commitment to adhere to power sector reforms that include overhaul of power infrastructure in an attempt to provide better and interrupted electricity to the power consumers.[TOI]

Rs 10.40 crores recovered from power thieves

Cracking down on power thefts, the stateelectricity distribution utility has recovered Rs 10.40 crore from errant consumers in Mumbai's suburbs and adjoining districts in 2013-14 and 2014-15 for stealing electricity. The state-owned discom has also unearthed Rs 3.98 crore worth of power thefts in the region.
In a written reply to a question by Ajay Choudhari (Shiv Sena- Shivdi) in the state legislative assembly on Friday, power minister Chandrashekhar Bavankule said in 2013-14 and 2014-15, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MahaVitaran) had detected 30,784 power thefts in Mumbai suburbs, Thane, Nashik and Palghar. Cases had been lodged against 2,617 consumers, he added, stating that consumers who were found stealing electricity had been fined over Rs 10.40 crore.
Bavankule said while recovering penalties for theft of power, these errant consumers were charged one-and-half times the normal power tariff. The MahaVitaran has also established flying squads to conduct special checks, energy audits are conducted and the meter boxes and meter terminals are sealed. Modern electronic meters, which register data like power consumption for the last 45 to 60 days and if consumers have made any changes with a nefarious intent, are also being used.
Special courts to try cases of electricity thefts have been set up and special police stations have been established at Kalyan, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Jalna and Latur.
Senior MahaVitaran officials said as on March this year, the utility's distribution losses were around 13.5%, down from 14% for the same period in 2014. He added that the gradual decline in the distribution losses was because of the distribution company's regular anti-theft drives and measures.
[DNA]

Over 1lakh power theft cases pending

NEW DELHI  
Over 1 lakh cases of electricity theft cases are pending in special courts across the country till November 2014, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha. The highest number of cases — 44,564 — is pending in Telengana. Nagaland has the lowest number of pending cases at 635. “Power theft including technical losses in the distribution system is adversely affecting the growth of the power sector,” he said.[THE BUSINESS LINE]
 

Can’t give CISF men to assist in power theft raids, Centre tells govt

In what could be a setback for discoms and Delhi government’s efforts to curb power thefts during summer, the Centre has expressed its inability to provide the CISF personnel, as requested by discoms, to crack down on power thefts in the capital.

Sources in the government told Newsline that discoms had requested for CISF personnel in areas where thefts were reported. The government had then written to the Union Home Ministry requesting the same.

But, in a recent communication sent to the government, sources said, the Centre informed the government that CISF is deputed in very “sensitive” areas for “sensitive” situations and that discoms may use the Delhi Police force for such purposes.

The discoms have made repeated requests to the government to engage the central security force when discom officials went on their anti-theft drives. For about two years till 2009, the discoms were provided the services of CISF after their teams came under attack from unscrupulous elements while conducting raids.

According to the sources in the Power department, at the time when CISF jawans were aiding officials carry out raids, the rate of power loss in the city was around 53 per cent. The raids helped discoms bring down transmission and distribution losses —- which also includes power theft —- to 17 per cent.

The discoms also had earlier told the Power department that if they were not provided additional manpower to check thefts, the cost of power in the city will shoot up. The discoms, in 2014, had sought about 300 personnel from the Central force but the request was not met.

In 2014, the Delhi government’s Power department was considering a proposal to employ over 300 ex-servicemen to assist discoms.

According to an energy expert, power theft is highest in industrial areas —- to run illegal unit — and discoms require the assistance of a specialised force to deal with people in these areas. Discoms had requested the assistance of the security force while conducting raids in unauthorised colonies.[THE INDIAN EXPRESS]

Power theft: man sent to jail

The third Additional District and Sessions Judge of Kalaburagi Shivanagouda on Wednesday has sentenced Saibanna.M. Mangalagi, a flour mill owner in Mangalagi village in Chittapur taluk in Kalaburagi district, to one year imprisonment for stealing electricity . The court also imposed a penalty of Rs. 98, 412 under the Electricity Act and said that he had to undergo additional six months of imprisonment if he failed to pay the penalty.

The special inspection team of Meter Testing Division at Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company caught Mr. Mangalagi committing power theft at his flour mill by tampering with meter security seals and manipulating meter readings.[THE HINDU]

Cannabis grower stole electricity

A farm manager who set up a massive cannabis cultivation was jailed for three years after Scottish Hydro-Electric accused him of stealing nearly £80,000-worth of electricity to power the operation.
Ashley Harris eventually admitted stealing £15,000-worth of power to grow 77 cannabis plants.
The agricultural worker was stealing electricity to power the specialist lamps, heaters and fans he was using to cultivate the drug, which had a potential value of around £40,000.
The 34-year-old freely admitted he had decided to set up a cannabis farm and become a major player in the cultivation of the drug as a career choice.
A raid on his cottage discovered the plants growing in one bedroom and Harris had an attic space set up to expand his illicit trade.
The plants could have produced cannabis with a potential street value of £36,960 and Harris had a 356g stash of herbal cannabis worth £3,560.
Further investigations revealed Harris had been a Scottish Hydro-Electric customer but had set up a meter bypass so he did not have to pay for his electricity.
The power company told police he had managed to use £77,927-worth of electricity without paying for it and had caused a further £600 of damage by tampering with the system. However, the Crown accepted his guilty plea to a reduced figure of around £15,000.
Harris, of Rossiebank Farm Cottage, Dunning, admitted stealing electricity between February 1 2011 and March 14 2014 by inserting a meter bypass over the same time period.
Harris also admitted producing cannabis at the cottage between December 6 2013 and March 14 last year and then being concerned in its supply to others.
Police received a tip-off that Harris was involved with drugs so they sought a warrant and carried out a raid on his home.
When they asked him if he had any drugs he replied: “There’s about 80 plants.”
Officers found the 77-plant cultivation in the bedroom, which had been sealed off with reflective panels, and the windows had been blacked out with wooden boards.
There were 20 sodium lamps set up along with “numerous” power packs and a large extractor fan.
The converted attic space was identically set up for a secondary crop to be grown.
Harris also pointed out a tub of “weed” in the living room and made a “full and frank confession” about the scale of the operation he had decided to embark upon.
Sheriff William Wood said: “You may well have purchased the seeds on a whim but, thereafter, you moved into a different league.
“There was a significant degree of planning. You made arrangements to bypass the meter.
“You and others need to be deterred from this sort of conduct.”
[THE COURIER.CO.UK]

Over 1lakh power theft cases pending

NEW DELHI, MARCH 20:  
Over 1 lakh cases of electricity theft cases are pending in special courts across the country till November 2014, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha. The highest number of cases — 44,564 — is pending in Telengana. Nagaland has the lowest number of pending cases at 635. “Power theft including technical losses in the distribution system is adversely affecting the growth of the power sector,” he said[Business Line]

Rs 10.40 crores recovered from power thieves

Cracking down on power thefts, the stateelectricity distribution utility has recovered Rs 10.40 crore from errant consumers in Mumbai's suburbs and adjoining districts in 2013-14 and 2014-15 for stealing electricity. The state-owned discom has also unearthed Rs 3.98 crore worth of power thefts in the region.
In a written reply to a question by Ajay Choudhari (Shiv Sena- Shivdi) in the state legislative assembly on Friday, power minister Chandrashekhar Bavankule said in 2013-14 and 2014-15, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MahaVitaran) had detected 30,784 power thefts in Mumbai suburbs, Thane, Nashik and Palghar. Cases had been lodged against 2,617 consumers, he added, stating that consumers who were found stealing electricity had been fined over Rs 10.40 crore.
Bavankule said while recovering penalties for theft of power, these errant consumers were charged one-and-half times the normal power tariff. The MahaVitaran has also established flying squads to conduct special checks, energy audits are conducted and the meter boxes and meter terminals are sealed. Modern electronic meters, which register data like power consumption for the last 45 to 60 days and if consumers have made any changes with a nefarious intent, are also being used.
Special courts to try cases of electricity thefts have been set up and special police stations have been established at Kalyan, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Jalna and Latur.
Senior MahaVitaran officials said as on March this year, the utility's distribution losses were around 13.5%, down from 14% for the same period in 2014. He added that the gradual decline in the distribution losses was because of the distribution company's regular anti-theft drives and measures.
[DNA]

Infrared power meters can also be tampered with

Hyderabad: Despite stiff opposition from some quarters, power supply utilities have been vigorous in replacing the existing digital meters with infrared port meters which are seen as a remedy to end power pilferage. However, even the IR port meters are being tampered with, albeit less in number.

According to officials in the Southern Power Distribution Company nearly eight to nine percent of IR port meters are being tampered with. “IR port is a facility to the existing digital ones where infrared rays transmit the data between the devices. Since it is not possible for the field staff to know about it, we told them, suspicious cases should be looked into. If they find any glaring discrepancy, the consumer will be under the scanner,” Suresh Kumar, Super-intending Engineer, in charge of change of meters, said.

To a question as to why IR ports are being fitted in place of digital ones when they are also not tamper proof, he said, the quantum of tampering is significantly less.

“Once meddling is done, the IR port facility will be lost. It is for the manufacturing company which should ensure that the meter is tamper-proof. In India, most of the companies manufacture tamper-prone meters only,” Srinivasa Rao Nyayapathi, a retired official who worked in APCPDCL said.

In TSSPDCL limits alone, nearly 35 lakh of a total of 61 lakh meters were replaced with IR port meters. “All the new houses will be fitted with IR port meters and wherever we get complaints or repairs, we are replacing them with the IR port meters only,” Narayana Reddy, Chief General Manager (Finance), TSPDCL, said.  The discom is opting for IR ports primarily for two reasons: one to end the malpractices resorted to by its own billing staff and two to curb power theft by consumers. Several instances of staff recording wrong readings to earn illegally have been reported.[Deccan Chronicle]

Odisha move to cancel power firms’ permits may deter investors

At a time when the government is planning renewed focus on private participation in the power distribution business to plug distribution losses and improve profitability, the cancellation of three licences of Reliance Infrastructure –Nesco, Wesco and Southco -- in Odisha could impact the sentiment of private investors in states that fail to provide sustainable returns.

On March 4, the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) revoked the three licences citing unsatisfactory performance in key areas, such as energy audits, inability to control technical and commercial loss, poor billing efficiency, non-payment of arrears with regard to bulk supply price (BSP) and NTPC bond, failure to create requisite corpus for terminal benefits of employees, and non-compliance of various directions of the commission spelt out in retail supply tariff orders and during performance reviews.

The OERC has removed the Reliance Infra-appointed MD and CEOs of the three discoms and appointed the chairman-cum-managing director of Gridco, a state-owned utility company, as administrator in their place.

Since then, Reliance Infrastructure distribution companies have appealed against the decision at the appellate tribunal for electricity (ATE) and the hearing is scheduled for March 24.

Experts who Financial Chronicle spoke to, believe governments across states need to be more balanced and provide handholding in the initial phases when private companies take control of the network by bringing in the initial equity in technical upgradation of the network and then by hiking tariffs to meet distribution losses that run close to 40-50 per cent in many states. Private companies, on their part, too need to improve their quality of service and customer support in states that are poor and where recovery is a challenge.

Kameswara Rao, leader of energy and utilities practice at PwC, said the decision of the Odisha regulator to revoke RInfra license would have a strong impact on private sector sentiment. “The Odisha government needs to take quick and bold steps. Many state governments are investing in their power utilities to provide reliable 24x7 services and have roped in input-based distribution franchisees to take losses off their hands and improve efficiency. Investment is moving to these states, and Odisha which was a pioneer in power sector reforms, now risks regressing,” he said.

When asked why tariff was not raised over the past 10 years and lack of investments by the government, GK Dhall, secretary of Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC), told Financial Chronicle: “Tariffs are raised or reduced based on performance of loss reduction and verifiable data through audits, which was not provided by Reliance Infrastructure. Besides, Odisha, a big coastal region, is hit by natural disasters every year. A major chunk of government investments close to Rs 6,000 crore has gone into strengthening and restoration of the network system. How much more are we supposed to spend? As per the general principle in Electricity Act, we will find an eligible licensee and hand over the licence to them in near future. As of now the administration is in the hands of Gridco.”

Anil Razdan, former power secretary said private sector sentiment would be impacted. “However, it is expected that regulators would strike a just balance between interest of the consumers and the distribution entity, which is a commercial enterprise. While giving a fair tariff for commercial viability of a distribution company, the regulator should also have to ensure adequate investment in the distribution segment for improving the quality of service,’’ he said.

State governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra are looking for private participation through franchisee-based and PPP-based models to reduce power theft and put a check on distribution losses that run as high as 40-50 per cent and are the root cause for the dismal financial health of the state electricity boards.

A senior Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) official said on condition of anonymity that Odisha, despite being a pioneer state in bringing power reforms, left private players to fend for themselves once they took over. A little bit of handholding is required in terms of providing the enabling environment. Reliance Infrastructure did extremely well in Delhi by bringing down losses from high 70 per cent to around 15 per cent in 10 years with support from the government in terms of equity participation, joint venture and tariff hikes. In some areas run by Tata Power’s distribution arm, the losses are around 10 per cent, the REC official said.

“Odisha in comparison to other states is definitely well managed with very little regulatory assets. The losses of around Rs 4,000 crore is tiny in comparison to other states such as Rajasthan, UP and Tamil Nadu. If they take a tariff hike of Rs 12 - Rs 15 for next three years, they can easily recover the losses and would even turn profitable. Tamil Nadu with a 26 per cent hike across the board recovered Rs 9,600 crore in one year alone,” said the REC official.

REC and PFC lend to state electricity boards that run the power generation transmission and distribution companies. They even provide financial assistance by restructuring their high cost borrowings and meeting the working capital and capital expenditure requirements.

SK Goel, chairman of PFC said his company always looks at the financial viability of the state electricity boards and the companies before lending. “The further course of action would be decided in the policy meeting that we will have soon,” said Goel.

American Electric Company (AEC), which had earlier taken control of the central distribution company in Odisha, CESU, left within two years. CESU now continues to be run directly by the Odisha government and has seen no improvement in its performance since then.

The four distribution companies together owe around Rs 4,462 crore to Gridco, that would now manage the three Reliance Infrastructure companies -- NESCO, Southco and WESCO. CESU alone accounts for a due of Rs 1,856.80 crore, while the three discoms run by Reliance Infrastructure have outstanding dues worth Rs 2,600 crore.

Now with the matter with the ATE, the legal battle is expected to continue for some time between the regulator and the licensee. [Deccan Chronicle]

PVVNL cuts off 1.4L electricity connections

PVVNL had, on January 12, launched a six-week public awareness campaign and anti-power theft drive in collaboration with civil administration and police departments. The drive focused on areas where line losses were substantially high, sometimes to the tune of 50%. Illegal connections and power thefts are responsible for huge losses to the state exchequer on a regular basis. 

For the first four weeks, the power corporation held regular awareness drives and special camps where those with illegal connections could get their supplies regularized. In the final two weeks, they took stern steps like severing connections and filing FIRs against defaulters who refused to toe the line despite repeated requests. 

"We gave defaulters ample opportunity to pay their pending bills. Only after that we began crackdowns and raids," said Nirbhay Kumar, executive engineer, department of raids. 

Despite its strict measures, the corporation has allowed defaulters to pay their pending bills in instalments and is even ready to restore connections for those who promise to pay up at the earliest. 

"It is difficult to live without electricity in today's times. We restored many connections once the defaulters paid at least a part of their dues," said PK Nigam, superintendent engineer, PVVNL. Besides Meerut, districts like Saharanpur, Ghaziabad, Noida, Bulandshahr, Moradabad, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, etc also fall within PVVNL's area of operation. [TOI]

Power theft, 12-hr outage, huge bills irk Panvel locals

Navi Mumbai: Consumers in Panvel are a harried lot as they have to suffer 10-12 hours of outage everyday and pay huge bills allegedly due to rampant power theft by the villagers of Vadvli, Adai, Nere and Shedung under Bhingari sub-station. MSEDCL officials have not taken any action against them yet, they said.


Besides using electricity in their houses, Panvel residents said that people from these villages even operate water pumps and motors for agriculture by attaching hooks to the overhead livewires in their area. 

"We have to pay exorbitant bills every month but do not get an uninterrupted power supply. On the flipside, a section of villagers keep on getting free power without anyone stopping them. We face 10-12 hours of loadshedding every day due to these thefts," said Manish Patil, a resident of Residents added that MSEDCL officials never check up on these villagers despite repeated complaints. 

A Panvel resident,Jigar Mhatre said that they are tired of paying up despite not being at fault. "I pay my bills regularly, still have to face power cuts every day. I have no idea why the MSEDCL officials do not take any action against these villagers. Who are they scared of?" he asked. 

MSEDCL officials, however, said that they have not received any complaint regarding power thefts from Panvel residents yet. 

"We have not come across any such complaint and if this is the case, we will certainly take action against the perpetrators. I have asked my junior engineer from this area to take stock of the situation immediately," said Dilip Mehtre, MSEDCL executive engineer, Panvel. 

MSEDCL sources said, a few areas on the outskirts of Panvel city have to bear the brunt of long hours of power cut due to commercial and distribution loss, as they come under 'F' category in the supply mechanism. But they denied receiving any complaint on power thefts. [TOI]

BEST team raids hutments, 21 cases of power thefts

MUMBAI: The BEST vigilance team recently conducted a massive raid at some of the hutments along the Victoria bridge near Reay Road railway station and booked 29 persons in a electricity pilferage case.

Officials said that during the raid, it was found out that the hutment dwellers were illegally getting the power connection. The officials recovered 750 metres of direct supply wire from the area. "A total 21 cases (hutments) were registered for power theft under section 135 of the Electricity Act. The Byculla police has also registered a police case and will prosecute those involved," an official said.

Sources said that the hutment dwellers were illegally getting power supply and a total consumption of 17,883 units (of electricity) was recorded. It had caused losses to the tune of Rs 2.14 lakh to the undertaking. Of this, the undertaking has already recovered Rs 1.92 lakh from the accused persons, sources added.[TOI]

Paying The Price Of Power Theft

Paying the Price of Power Theft

It’s often an “invisible” crime. Someone illegally hooks into a power supply, hooks up a line that has been disconnected, or tampers with a meter to avoid recording electricity usage. Legitimate electricity consumers do not engage in these behaviors, so the impact of electricity theft —
including the danger— is often unrecognized.

Power theft carries deadly risks. Many thieves pay for the power they steal with their lives. Electricity theft is not just dangerous for those who steal. If you are on the same power line as someone who steals electricity, you could pay the cost for their theft too. The power line could become overloaded with electric energy, which could harm your electronics and appliances that are designed to receive a certain, steady amount of electricity. Electricity theft makes power service less reliable and lower quality for paying customers. 

Electricity thieves may also unknowingly feed energy back into the power line. This is dangerous for lineman who may assume that the power line they are working on is de-energized.

Safe Electricity reminds that everyone can help prevent and reduce power theft:

  • Notify your electric utility immediately if you know of an illegally connected consumer.
  • Do not cut the seal on your meter base or tamper with your own meter for any reason.
  • Apply for a legal connection if you do not have one.
  • Remain aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious activities to your electric utility.

Most electrical theft crimes occur through meter tampering, bypassing meters, and tapping power lines. Other less frequent crimes include tapping into neighboring premises, using illegal lines after being disconnected, self-reconnection without consent, and electrifying fences. Possessing fraudulent electricity bills is also a federal crime and is punishable by law.

Everyone is affected by power theft, and detecting and reporting illegal activity will help reduce the price paid.

[SAFE ELECTRICITY .ORG]

Rs 4.59 cr collected during anti-theft drive

BAREILLY: The power department's anti-theft drive, which started on January 12, seems to have garnered success with arrears to the tune of Rs 4.59 crore being collected in the past month and a half. The anti-theft team has lodged complaints against 254 consumers so far while 2,273 users have benefitted from new connections. 

During the drive, around 1396 consumers took benefit of the one time settlement (OTS) scheme while over 3,050 electricity meters were replaced by anti-theft teams during this period. On the other hand, around 2,500 power connections were disconnected due to pending dues so far, said a power official. 

However, despite its success, the drive continues to face stiff opposition from locals in various parts of the city. 
According to reports, the power department officials found technical glitches in metres, including placement of shunts (which slow down metres), and started snapping the power supply in in Garhaiya and adjoining localities under Quila Police station. Local residents got into heated arguments with the officials, but with the timely intervention of cops, the drive continued. 

SDO Shamshuddin said, "Due to some elements who indulge in power theft, there is a problem for everybody, even those who submit their arrears on time. Lack of dedicated police teams has also hit the drive on numerous occasions. But we managed with whatever resources we had available and even motivated locals to timely deposit their electricity bills and inform vigilance teams about locals involved in power theft." 

Superintending engineer (Urban) N K Srivastava said, "The anti-theft drive commenced in the district on January 12 and is scheduled till February 28. So far our anti-theft teams have raised arrears of Rs 4.59 crores from all 3 Electricity Urban Distribution Division (EUDD). While the drive, as per instructions from senior officials, is scheduled to come to an end on February 28, we are still facing huge problems as locals are not willing to cooperate with teams. Cases of locking their residences and others were reported from time to time from various dense localities during the drive." 

Giving break up of 3 EUDD circles, he said, circle 1 had collected arrears of Rs 1.84 crore including Rs 6.10 lakh on Wednesday. On the other hand, circle 2 had collected Rs 81 lakh so far including Wednesday's collection worth Rs 1.10 lakh while circle 3 remained best in terms of recovery, where anti-theft teams managed to collect Rs 1.93 crores with Rs 5.57 lakh on Wednesday. 

Is urban India being cheated of cheap power?

One of the first steps of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi has been to slash electricity tariffs for domestic users consuming less than 400 units a month.
 
Some characterise the move as a handout.
 
However, an IndiaSpend analysis of the data suggests that a cut in electricity prices is warranted for almost all urbanconsumers, especially those in the metropolitan cities, such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
 
The urban consumer pays a far higher price for electricity than its cost. Electricity pricing seems designed to transfer money from cities to villages and from paying consumers to free-loaders.
 
Consider Mumbai.
 
Reliance Energy is one of the utilities selling electricity to consumers. The minimum tariff that a Reliance Energy user pays is Rs 5.13/unit, which goes up all the way to Rs 11.27/unit, if your consumption is higher. Commercial and industrial users pay rates ranging from Rs 10.72/unit to all the way to Rs 15.3/unit 

UPCL cracks whip against defaulters, cuts off 636 connections

Nainital: In a drastic move against power theft, Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) on Friday cut off connections to 636 consumers. It also collected dues worth Rs 62 lakh from 1,232 defaulters, including several government departments, in Nainital division. 

"It was about time we took some serious action. Repeated notices and reminders had been served to the consumers and the government departments, but to no avail," said H K Gururani, chief engineer, Kumaon zone, adding that plans are underway to intensify such operations across the entire zone. 

Health, education, public works and irrigation are among the list of state departments that had failed to pay their bills. The government's polytechnic institute was also a defaulter. 
In fact, pending bills had reached such proportions that the shortage of funds had begun to affect the corporation's work. It was becoming difficult to ensure uninterrupted power supply and proper maintenance of infrastructure. 

"It is impossible to ensure hassle-free supply and infrastructure maintenance in the absence of funds," Gururani also said. 

Sources said UPCL is also struggling to contain theft of electronic meters, mineral oil and copper and aluminium parts from transformers. [TOI]

Two held for stealing power cables in Fatorda

MARGAO: Margao town police on Tuesday arrested two persons, Manjunath Parmeshappa Naik Valmiki and Hanumant Majunath Ekpalli, both natives of Karnataka, and currently residing at Rumdamoll, Davorlim, on charges of stealing electricity cables from the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, Fatorda.

Police said that the duo was carrying the stolen cables on their bicycles on Monday night when they were apprehended by the police on suspicion. They were arrested after they admitted to the theft. Both the bicycles have also been seized by the police, police sources said. The value of the cables recovered from the accused is nearly 1 lakh, police said. Both the accused have been remanded to two-day police custody.[TOI]
 

State budget: Power sector set to be one of biggest gainers

LUCKNOW: The state government is likely to announce an increase of 30% in plan expenditure for UP's power sector in the state budget for the new financial year. The allocation, set to be tabled in the UP assembly budget session on Tuesday, potentially lays the foundation for Samajwadi Party government's ambitious plan to spike up the power supply in the rural and urban areas significantly before the next assembly elections due in 2017.

Highly placed sources told TOI that the total budgetary allocation for UP power sector would be to the tune of around Rs 33,000 crores, as against around Rs 28,000 crores last year. This will be one of the biggest budgetary hikes for the ailing power sector of UP ever since Akhilesh Yadav government stormed to power in 2012.

The increased budgetary size includes the raise in state quota of plan expenditure from Rs 4,027 crores last year to Rs 5,532 crores in the new financial year— an increase of around 30%. On all previous occasions, the average increase in budgetary allocation for the sector has been to the tune of around 20%. An additional Rs 3000 crore from the Centre for the rural electrification project would also be routed into the state budget. This way, the total plan expenditure would rise from Rs 7,027 crores last year to Rs 8,532 crores in the new financial year.
Likewise, the non-plan expenditure is set to be raised from Rs 20,898 crore last year to Rs 24,593 crore this year. This will include the subsidy from the state government to the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) which is set to be raised from Rs 5400 crore last year to Rs 6,500 crore this year. The increase essentially tries to address the yawning revenue gap that the UPPCL faces every year because of less revenue realization, mainly because of power theft.[TOI]

BEST team raids hutments, 21 cases of power thefts

MUMBAI: The BEST vigilance team recently conducted a massive raid at some of the hutments along the Victoria bridge near Reay Road railway station and booked 29 persons in a electricity pilferage case.

Officials said that during the raid, it was found out that the hutment dwellers were illegally getting the power connection. The officials recovered 750 metres of direct supply wire from the area. "A total 21 cases (hutments) were registered for power theft under section 135 of the Electricity Act. The Byculla police has also registered a police case and will prosecute those involved," an official said.

Sources said that the hutment dwellers were illegally getting power supply and a total consumption of 17,883 units (of electricity) was recorded. It had caused losses to the tune of Rs 2.14 lakh to the undertaking. Of this, the undertaking has already recovered Rs 1.92 lakh from the accused persons, sources added.

[TOI]

Lesa struggles to identify city’s katiyabaaz

LUCKNOW: 'Katiya' or unauthorized electricity connection may be the most common and visible form of power theft in the city, which causes up to 30% line losses, but Lesa's anti-power theft drive is yet to identify and bring to book the city's 'katiyabaaz'.

Curiously, Lesa has only been able to discover 1,255 katiya connections in ten Lesa circles during a drive spanning over more than a month. What's more intriguing is that Old City localities, which account extremely high on line losses, are almost 'katiya-free' zones if figures are to be believed.

In Chowk, the drive could find only 10 katiya connections and in Thakurganj, just 11. Aminabad is an exception in the Old City where more than 430 katiya connections were removed.
The drive, which started on January 12, saw 582 of the 1,255 consumers paying the compounding fee and getting their connections regularized. Lesa also lodged FIR against more than 360 consumers using katiya.

Uptron area near Aishbagh accounted for maximum 50.7% line losses last year, but the drive has found zero katiya connections in Aishbagh, Uptron and Rajajipuram.

Old City areas like Aminabad, Thakurganj, Aishbagh, Chowk, Daliganj, Rahimnagar, University, Residency and outskirts like Malihabad and Bakshi ka Talab are the concern areas when it comes to line losses. But katiya is a rare feature in these localities as per the official figures.

Lucknow reports around 30% line losses in a year and katiya is the most rampant form of power theft, but officers in Lesa said it is difficult to identify consumers using it. "Each time they (consumers) come to know of checking teams, they remove the katiya and hook it on again when the team leaves," said an officer.

"To identify the unauthorized consumers, we need to track each and every connection drawn from the pole which is a time-taking process. But we are doing it," said Lesa chief engineer SK Verma.

"People who were using katiya till now may not have been disclosing this. But they are quietly applying for new connections now. More connections have been issued in areas with high katiya usage," he said.[TOI]

Power theft, 12-hr outage, huge bills irk Panvel locals

Navi Mumbai: Consumers in Panvel are a harried lot as they have to suffer 10-12 hours of outage everyday and pay huge bills allegedly due to rampant power theft by the villagers of Vadvli, Adai, Nere and Shedung under Bhingari sub-station. MSEDCL officials have not taken any action against them yet, they said.


Besides using electricity in their houses, Panvel residents said that people from these villages even operate water pumps and motors for agriculture by attaching hooks to the overhead livewires in their area. 

"We have to pay exorbitant bills every month but do not get an uninterrupted power supply. On the flipside, a section of villagers keep on getting free power without anyone stopping them. We face 10-12 hours of loadshedding every day due to these thefts," said Manish Patil, a resident of Adai. 
Residents added that MSEDCL officials never check up on these villagers despite repeated complaints. 

A Panvel resident,Jigar Mhatre said that they are tired of paying up despite not being at fault. "I pay my bills regularly, still have to face power cuts every day. I have no idea why the MSEDCL officials do not take any action against these villagers. Who are they scared of?" he asked. 

MSEDCL officials, however, said that they have not received any complaint regarding power thefts from Panvel residents yet. 

"We have not come across any such complaint and if this is the case, we will certainly take action against the perpetrators. I have asked my junior engineer from this area to take stock of the situation immediately," said Dilip Mehtre, MSEDCL executive engineer, Panvel. 

MSEDCL sources said, a few areas on the outskirts of Panvel city have to bear the brunt of long hours of power cut due to commercial and distribution loss, as they come under 'F' category in the supply mechanism. But they denied receiving any complaint on power thefts. [TOI]

30 self-financing colleges fined for power theft

KOCHI: Self-financing colleges account for around 20% of anomalies related to power misuse in the district. According to Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) officials, the self-financing sector is the only sector which has grown in terms of physical infrastructure. 

Though they construct new buildings quite often, college authorities do not seek fresh connections or authorised extensions. Rather they use unauthorized extensions, leading to power misuse. 

Of the Rs 3 crore collected as fine for anomalies related to the misuse of power in the district over the last eight months, Rs 1 crore was collected from self-financing colleges. [TOI]

Arkansas Man Charged in Co-op Power Theft

Arkansas man faces multiple criminal charges stemming from theft of services from an electric cooperative that amounted to more than $6,000.
Travis Michael Russell faces six counts for damaging co-op fixtures and six felony theft of service charges related to the co-op’s losses. One felony charge in connection with a municipal water utility and three misdemeanor charges also are pending.
 “Stealing power is just as serious a crime as any other type of theft,” said Mel Coleman, CEO of Salem-based North Arkansas Electric Cooperative. “As a co-op, we will always take a hard line on it because this is not a theft from a corporation; it is a loss to our 30,000 consumer-members.”
An employee of the Mountain Home, Ark., Water Department reported finding a municipal water meter bypassed at a home in the city on April 7, 2014, according to information released by the Baxter County Sheriff’s Department. Municipal water department losses were estimated at $666.
The following month, a North Arkansas Electric Cooperativehttp://www.ect.coop/wp-content/themes/nreca/images/external.png employee reported that a padlock and seal on one of the co-op’s meters had been cut and jumpers had been attached to bypass the meter.
In both cases, Russell, 40, was a current or former resident of the homes served by the damaged equipment, according to sheriff’s department records.
Investigators working with the co-op discovered several other damaged meters and evidence of power theft involving five units at a mobile home park in Mountain Home in December.
“Travis Russell had been employed by the property owner as a maintenance man but had been discharged and had left the park,” sheriff’s investigators said. Russell is being held following revocation of probation in connection with unrelated charges.
Co-op losses for all of the related incidents have surpassed $6,000.
Increased incidents of power theft and copper theft are a growing concern among the nation’s electric cooperatives, said Coleman, who is NRECA Board vice president.
“There are indications that those responsible teach others how to do it, creating an illegal cottage industry,” said Coleman. “That can make it harder to catch the next person who tries to target our equipment or steal power.”
[ ECT.coop ]
 n Arkansas man faces multiple criminal charges stemming from theft of services from an electric cooperative that amounted to more than $6,000.
Travis Michael Russell faces six counts for damaging co-op fixtures and six felony theft of service charges related to the co-op’s losses. One felony charge in connection with a municipal water utility and three misdemeanor charges also are pending.
 “Stealing power is just as serious a crime as any other type of theft,” said Mel Coleman, CEO of Salem-based North Arkansas Electric Cooperative. “As a co-op, we will always take a hard line on it because this is not a theft from a corporation; it is a loss to our 30,000 consumer-members.”
An employee of the Mountain Home, Ark., Water Department reported finding a municipal water meter bypassed at a home in the city on April 7, 2014, according to information released by the Baxter County Sheriff’s Department. Municipal water department losses were estimated at $666.
The following month, a North Arkansas Electric Cooperativehttp://www.ect.coop/wp-content/themes/nreca/images/external.png employee reported that a padlock and seal on one of the co-op’s meters had been cut and jumpers had been attached to bypass the meter.
In both cases, Russell, 40, was a current or former resident of the homes served by the damaged equipment, according to sheriff’s department records.
Investigators working with the co-op discovered several other damaged meters and evidence of power theft involving five units at a mobile home park in Mountain Home in December.
“Travis Russell had been employed by the property owner as a maintenance man but had been discharged and had left the park,” sheriff’s investigators said. Russell is being held following revocation of probation in connection with unrelated charges.
Co-op losses for all of the related incidents have surpassed $6,000.
Increased incidents of power theft and copper theft are a growing concern among the nation’s electric cooperatives, said Coleman, who is NRECA Board vice president.
“There are indications that those responsible teach others how to do it, creating an illegal cottage industry,” said Coleman. “That can make it harder to catch the next person who tries to target our equipment or steal power.”
[ ECT.coop ]
 

Gov’t seeks to curb electricity theft

AMMAN — Electricity loss currently stands at 15 per cent and can be reduced to 9 per cent with the right strategy, especially as theft is blamed for a significant part of this loss, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

Speaking at a meeting on Saturday chaired by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour to discuss means to address transgression on electricity networks, Energy Minister Mohammad Hamed called for further cooperation with electricity companies in order to draw up plans for "huge" investments that would reduce electricity waste, citing a project being implemented to generate electricity from solar energy.

On the other hand, Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission Chairman Farouq Hiyari noted that the commission, through its liaison officers, has dealt with 440 violations on the national grid during the last two months, of which 78 were classified as transgressions on electricity networks, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Ensour called for more efforts to address power theft, which violates the state's authority and poses a "serious" safety concern for the public.

Highlighting that power waste due to technical malfunctions is an international issue, the premier stressed the need for electricity companies to invest more in solving the problem.

“What is worse than power waste due to technical issues is electricity theft, which might suggest that the state’s authority is absent or ineffective,” Ensour said.

The premier also called for identifying the reasons behind shortcomings, whether caused by a public or private party.

Citing the possibility of a snowstorm during the coming few days, he urged power companies to take the necessary measures and draw up an emergency plan to prevent power cuts, according to Petra.[Jordan vista]

Govt to get third party audit done for SNDL

NAGPUREnergy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has decided to appoint an agency for third party audit of city power franchisee SNDL. Many MLAs and corporator have lodged complaints with Bawankule and union transport minister Nitin Gadkari regarding allegedly poor quality of service of SNDL and harassment of consumers.

The minister told TOI, "At first, Gadkari and I will hold a meeting of public representatives to know their grievances. Then the third party audit would be done. The agency will find out whether SNDL has violated any clause of the distribution franchisee agreement (DFA). A meeting will be held with SNDL officers on February 21 and the findings of the report would be discussed."

Meanwhile, about 300 employees of seven SNDL contractors staged demonstrations at RBI square against the contractors' decision to sack them. These contractors have stopped working for SNDL because of delay in clearing their bills. Recently, all SNDL contractors had gone on strike over non-payment of dues pertaining to the period when Spanco was the owner of SNDL and also those owed by Essel Utilities, the current owner.Most of SNDL's work is done by contractors. When they went on strike the entire power distribution system was paralyzed in the franchisee area. This is the second time it happened. In April 2014, the contractors had gone on strike for the same reason. Many public representatives have complained that consumers suffered during the strike. Even otherwise, there are a large number of complaints against SNDL.

The franchisee has earned wrath of consumers because of the meter replacement drive. As the new electronic meters are far more accurate than old electromechanical ones, the bill increases creating an impression that the new meters are fast. Anti-theft operations have also led to many controversies. The consumers who have been booked for power theft claim they have been framed. A large number of pilferers claim their assessment has been inflated to extract more money from them.[TOI]

388 booked for power theft as discom adds Rs 9cr to kitty

NOIDA: Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) has filed FIRs against 388 consumers and has recovered nearly Rs 7.50 crore in arrears from defaulters in the first 25 days of its campaign against power theft in the district, officials said.

Officials said that 3,824 connections have been snapped as part of the drive which began on January 12, and has covered over 54 villages and residential colonies so far. The department has also issued 457 new connections during the drive, which will continue till February 28.

The number of defaulters who have opted for One-Time Settlement Scheme (OTS), as of February 6, stands at 792, officials said, whereas 142 people have admitted to power theft and paid the penalty and electricity bills. The total amount recovered from theft recovery currently stands at Rs 1.69 crore. The total money recovered stands to 9.2 crore.

"We are collating data on a daily basis and will have a clearer picture at the end of the drive,' said D K Jain, executive engineer of PVVNL, Noida. Arvind Rajvedi, superintending engineer of PVVNL, said that the discom was targeting 10,000 consumers during the seven-week anti-theft drive and the total outstanding amount to be recovered is Rs 32 crore.

Rajvedi said defaulters should utilize the OTS scheme as "it's their last chance to come forward and clear their outstanding dues. If they do not avail themselves of the facility, they will face penal action." Sources said that UPPCL chairman Sanjay Agarwal has instructed officials to carry out similar drives across the state.[TOI]

On the impetus of police, MSEDCL raids power thief

Nagpur.

Towards the end of 2014, while displaying the role of an alert citizen and acting as a whistle-blower over the power theft by his own tenant, Rajendra K Sinha a resident of Dhantoli lodged a written complaint and asked the concerned department to take suitable action.

According to Sinha’s letter, there were two tenants identified as Bhaskar Anna and Mohan Ingle living in a portion of his house ‘Jagdish Niwas’ for the past 3-4 months.

These tenants were allegedly kept as tenants by Sinha’s younger brother Jitendra Sinha. Both the tenants did not pay their electricity bill. So MSEDCL disconnected their power connection. Immediately after the disconnection, the tenants started stealing electricity and using the stolen power. When Sinha found out about this, he had allegedly asked the tenants to abstain from stealing power.

Irked by Sinha, the tenants had allegedly threatened to kill the family members of Sinha. Sinha informed the police administration about this threatening and requested them to take suitable legal action against the accused tenants.

On January 30, 2015, taking the matter seriously, Police Sub Inspector S G Lande wrote a letter to the MSEDCL office at Dhantoli. He had requested the officials of MSEDCL to take action based on the case registered at Dhantoli Police Station bearing No. 274/14. He also requested the officials to investigate and take corrective measures against the accused. He asked them to inform Dhantoli Police Station about the action taken.

After 24 hours of the receipt of the letter, the MSEDCL officials arrived with a full force and raided the house of Sinha-‘Jagdish Niwas’. The MSEDCL officials registered a case against the offenders. Both the tenants were visibly shaken by this sudden raid. However, they continued to threaten the house owner.

The tenants had repeatedly warned the house owner Sinha and had claimed that they will soon procure a legal connection or will clear all the dues and will get the power-connection re-connected. The tenants then started continuously threatening Sinha for complaining to the cops and the MSEDCL officials.

As a precaution and in order to protect him and his family, Sinha submitted a written complaint to the Chief Minister and Commissioner of Police complaining about the threats issued by the tenants and their continuing to use stolen power.

He requested the MSEDCL officials not to restore the power connection even if they clear the dues by making the payments. The Dhantoli branch of MSEDCL has considered the request seriously and has assured of a positive and pro-active action.[NAGPUR TODAY]

CUB power supply snapped

GAYA: Power officials on Wednesday raided the new area temporary campus of the Central University of Bihar (CUB) in connection with the alleged power theft and illegal electricity consumption by the university. India Power AGM Rakesh Ranjan confirmed raid by the power distribution company officials. 

India Power having its headquarters in Kolkata is the franchise holder for power distribution in Gaya town, Bodh Gaya and Manpur areas of the district. 

Interestingly, among other subjects, law is taught on Gaya campus under the five-year integrated course plan. Power supply to the Gaya temporary campus has been disconnected with immediate effect. Power, according to India Power officials was being used by the university without proper metering and legal connection. The Gaya campus has been functioning for nearly two years now. 

According to the power company AGM, Rakesh Ranjan, Central University was using 51 KW power on Gaya campus and a bill for Rs 38.95 lakh has been slapped on the university. 

In case of non-clearance of the assessed bill within 24 hours, the power company will be lodging criminal case against the university officials, said the AGM. Central University registrar M Nehal said a minor technical discrepancy was being blown out of proportion. According to the registrar, the temporary campus is running from a rented building and a part of the building is in the personal possession of the property owner. As per the conditions of agreement with the property owner, the property owner is supposed to provide electricity, sanitary fittings and water connection in 'sound condition'. 

The university has already applied for a separate transformer and the requisite amount of the transformer has been deposited with the power company, said the registrar. 

Confirming the disconnection of power supply, the registrar said the university, on Wednesday received a notice under section 135 of the Electricity Act and the power company will be issuing demand slip on the basis of assessed power consumption by the university since the operation of the temporary campus at Gaya.[TOI]

More than 9,000 connections severed in Meerut in anti-power theft drive

MEERUT: Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd (PVVNL) in the last 16 days has disconnected 9,512 connections to households or businesses in Meerut district that have defaulted on bill payment.
 The move comes as a part of an ongoing public awareness cum anti-power theft drive. The power corporation has also recovered dues worth nearly Rs 9 crore from the urban as well rural circles. 
 PVVNL officials said 1,843 new connections were also installed in course of the awareness campaign. A higher number of irregularities were recorded in the rural areas as compared to their urban counterparts. While 5,480 lines were disconnected in rural areas, 4,032 lines were severed in the urban circles. Also, dues of Rs 5.8 crore were collected from rural zones, while Rs 3 crore came from urban localities. A total of 114 FIRs have also been lodged against offenders. 
            "978 meters were replaced and 644 connections saw load revisions in course of the drive," said P K Nigam, superintending engineer, Meerut (urban). The state government has also directed PVVNL officials to bring to book the 620 defaulters against whom the electricity department had filed cases in August 2014. In order to cut down overall line losses from 32.2% to 15% and also reduce losses to the exchequer, PVVNL has embarked on the six-week awareness campaign that will conclude on February 28. 
[TOI]

Punjab government initiates steps to check Power theft

The Punjab government has initiated several steps to check power theft in the state, including curtailing transmission and distribution (T&D) losses of electricity.A spokesman for deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who also holds the power portfolio, said Punjab would be the first state in the country to have all urban areas with underground power cable network in order to have wire-free roads and uninterrupted power supply with a investment of Rs 2,000 crore.
             The spokesman stated that to create best power infrastructure in the state, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) had implemented major initiatives to control the theft of energy and scaling down T&D losses.
            The steps include shifting of the low-voltage distribution system to the high-voltage system, replacement of ordinary lamps with CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps), addition of capacitors, shifting of meters outside consumers’ premises, upgradation and strengthening of the distribution system, and automated meter reading facilities. He said such measures had resulted in dropping of the peak demand by about 1,000 MW and saving of 1,200 MUs (million units) annually.[HT]

Honeyman: Electricity pilferage

Fortnight across Uttar Pradesh for power thefts, an official said today.
HE excerpts from Board Resolution No. 10872 from the Central Negros Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ceneco) dated Aug. 1, 2014 and which appeared in Sun.Star Bacolod on Thursday Jan. 29, 2015 is of interest.
The resolution deals with the problem of electricity pilferage.
Ceneco’s proposed solution is for pilferers to put in a small (2”x3”) advertisement in a newspaper of local circulation once a week for three consecutive weeks admitting their pilferage and publicly apologizing to Ceneco and its consumers. This must be done in order for the consumer to be reconnected. The resolution states that this policy will be into effect from March 1, 2015.
Source:: Sunstar
 

FIRs lodged against 16,000 in UP for power thefts

The drive to identify and penalise power thieves was set rolling by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) January 12 after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, at a review meeting, asked powermen to minimise line losses and power theft.

Power officials told IANS that during the period 1.13 lakh new connections were installed and 1.19 lakh existing power connections were snapped as the consumers had not paid their bills.

Managing director of UPPCL A.P. Mishra said that till January 29, the load of 27,577 homes were increased and metres were replaced at 57,152 places. “During the drive, so far, we have successfully recovered arrears of Rs 180.crores,” he added.

Maximum number of new connections – 13,674 – were provided in Azamgarh, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s parliamentary constituency, followed by Allahabad (11,778) and Moradabad (10,111).

Additional Director General of police (ADG) G.L. Meena said that police were cracking down on power thieves based on inputs received by powermen. In the last 24-hours alone, 292 power theft cases, nine of them with serious irregularities, were discovered.[TOI]

FIRs lodged against 16,000 in UP for Power thefts

Lucknow:

First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered against 16,000 people in the last fortnight across Uttar Pradesh for power thefts, an official said Monday.

The drive to identify and penalise power thieves was set rolling by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) January 12 after Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, at a review meeting, asked powermen to minimise line losses and power theft.

Power officials told IANS that during the period 1.13 lakh new connections were installed and 1.19 lakh existing power connections were snapped as the consumers had not paid their bills. 

Managing director of UPPCL A.P. Mishra said that till January 29, the load of 27,577 homes were increased and metres were replaced at 57,152 places. "During the drive, so far, we have successfully recovered arrears of Rs 180.crores," he added.

Maximum number of new connections - 13,674 - were provided in Azamgarh, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's parliamentary constituency, followed by Allahabad (11,778) and Moradabad (10,111). 

Additional Director General of police (ADG) G.L. Meena said that police were cracking down on power thieves based on inputs received by powermen. In the last 24-hours alone, 292 power theft cases, nine of them with serious irregularities, were discovered.[Z NEWS]

AAP’s Bizarre Bijli Election


Let’s be clear about one thing: residents of Delhi are a much pampered lot. But being the power centre, or the capital of the country, expecting good quality 24x7 electricity is not an unreasonable khwaish of its people. Having street lamps is not an unreasonable desire either. But remember by and large these are public services. 

The irony of Dehi’s privileged position is evident given that that the very definition of electrification in a village in India is that “at least 10 per cent of the total number of households in the village” should have electricity. And this definition was upgraded just ten years back and brought to “at least 10 per cent”. But here we are talking about the capital – the nation’s capital, the capital of an “emerging super power”. A measly 10 per cent won’t do here. We want 100 per cent. We want it 24x7. And we want it cheap. 

The previous government some 14 years back attempted to improve the fate the Delhizens by simply privatizing the retail chain and handed it over to two companies. Sure, there was bidding etc. The simple thought was, ‘if it works in Mumbai it will work in Delhi’. But apparently it has not. 

With elections round the corner in the capital, leaders from Aam Admi Party echo that the private companies are looting Delhites, their numbers (accounts) are fudged, meters are faulty. Is that true? Maybe. Maybe not. How can one tell when the entire privatization exercise rests on the premise that these new players would cut down theft of electricity from over 60% to single-digit numbers to even zero (India’s greatest contribution to mathematics) over a period of time with targets for each year? 

During this period, the government committed to a subsidy in order to cushion consumers from price shocks and companies from not bleeding. And yes, it also put in place a regulator to oversee matters. Put simply, in order to cut down theft of electricity (any theft is an offence under law), the State got in the private chaps. Now isn’t that an admission that the State can’t check theft? You just can’t leave it by saying the private companies are more efficient. 

That said, Delhi had over 60 per cent of unaccounted electricity. But is this figure correct? Ask the companies, they will say No! And there is good reason to believe that this number is incorrect because there were no meters or even if they were, they didn’t account for what was really being consumed. So when Arvind Kejriwal says that meters are running fast, the joke doing the rounds is that he is probably right…it would appear so as they was not running in the first place (you see, motion is relative). 

In the same breath, reconnecting meters that were allegedly wrongly disconnected with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver in your hands is not going help. If anything, it is anarchist! We don’t want that. And branding companies as thieves and cancelling licenses will achieve nothing– except legal battles. 

First we need to understand what the problem is.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if one had 100 per cent assured power supply in Delhi? Simple: demand would go up. Latent demand would rise as people would want more aircons, more lights, more electrical gadgets – more consumption. Can we meet that demand? I don’t think we are even aware that someone’s saying “Houston, we have a problem”. Think about it.[ KANDULA SUBRAMANIAM]outlook

Tshwane electricity theft spirals out of control

Electricity theft, meter tampering and faulty meters cost the City of Tshwane R416 million in the 2013/14 financial year. This is an 83% increase over the previous year.

Together with technical losses, the municipality lost income from electricity to the value of R819 million, up from R622 million in the previous financial year.

In total 14.25% of all elelctricity available for sale was lost. This is a sharp increase from 11.03% in the previous financial year and comes as the country is subjected to load shedding because of a supply shortage.

The norm for electricity losses in big cities is 6%-8%, Leon Claassen, analyst at Ratings Afrika earlier told Moneyweb.

The extent of the electricty losses was disclosed in the Auditor-General’s (AG) audit report that will be tabled in council on Thursday.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday hosted a media conference about the AG report and other issues from the annual financial statements the report is based on.

The city got an unqualified report with emphasis on several matters.

One of the matters the AG emphasised is the R5 billion impairment of consumer debtors, an increase of almost R1.3 billion from the previous financial year and 66% of all consumer debtors (2013:54%).

The city also made a provision for doubtful debt of R1.1 billion, up from R810 million in the previous financial year.

As in previous years the AG said Tshwane’s financial statements contained several material misstatements, this time including non-current assets, revenue and irregular expenditure. These were corrected during the audit process resulting in the unqualified audit opinion.

The AG stated that city manager Jason Ngobeni as accounting officer contravened supply chain management regulations by approving procurement of goods and services of more than R200 000 without inviting competing bids.

He did not put a value to such transactions, but added that construction contracts were given to contractors who did not qualify in terms of the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) regulations.

The CIDB grades contractors in terms of financial and technical ability, which implies that the contractors appointed might not have been able to complete the job properly.

The AG also stated that contracts were unlawfully given to government employees, council employees and their family members and where applicable, the relationship was not disclosed.

While he does not disclose the amounts involved in each instance, irregular expenditure, which is in contravention of legislative requirements, amounted to R451 million. This is a cumulative number, which had an opening balance of R295 million at the beginning of the year, of irregular expenditure in previous years that has not been addressed.

Unauthorised expenditure, which refers to spending that was not budgeted for and is a number accumulated only in the reporting period, amounted to R1.2 billion – double the R600 million of the previous financial year.

The AG pointed out that internal controls were not effective to ensure that an adequate asset register was maintained and the municipality did not pay its creditors within the required 30 days.

In the financial statements the Group CFO admitted that creditors are on average paid after 51 days. The DA however argues that if the payment before invoice of the city’s controversial electricity contractor PEU is excluded, the payments are on average only being made after 104 days – three and a half months!

The AG criticised the lack of effective oversight over financial reporting and the implementation of plans to address previous audit findings.

The DA said the city is facing serious risks. “The city is operating on or beyond healthy financial ratios, with a dicey asset register, decreasing cash flow, non-collection of debtors and insufficient cash to meet its liabilities to name but a few,” the party said.

According to the party, the city’s current ration (current assets in relations to current liabilities) is 0.72:1.

That means the city only has 72c in assets to pay every R1 of short term liabilities. It will therefore have to dip into long term assets to cover its current liabilities.

The DA explains why the city embarked on a hurried sale of several of its properties last year – it needed cash.

If inventories are excluded from current assets the ration deteriorates to 0.66:1.

The party said the City of Tshwane’s cash decreased by 19% over the year, while current liabilities decreased by only 2.6%, illustrating the worsening cash shortage.

According to the DA, Tshwane “will simply run out of operating cash during the present financial year” as it fails to collect debtors.

[ Antoinette Slabbert]

Soon, mobile vans to collect power dues in 10 west UP districts

MEERUT: Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd will soon launch mobile cash collection vans in 10 districts of western Uttar Pradesh to recover power dues from individual households. The move is aimed at increasing the volume of collections. 

Officials said the service is expected to be launched this month and will cover Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bijnor, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Bulandshahr, Noida, Rampur and Moradabad. Each van will be equipped with a computer and printer and will be manned by an operator, cashier and a guard. 

"This arrangement is being done to help consumers pay their bills from home as the van will collect payments from individual localities. Many a time due to long queues, consumers often fail to pay their power dues on time. The facility of mobile van will ease this pressure," PVVNL MD V V Pant said. 

The power corporation is learnt to have outsourced this facility to a private firm. For now 20 vans have been ordered and if required, more will be pressed into service. 

Another senior official in the corporation said, "The main reason behind this strategy is to minimize line losses which are to the tune of 32.20 % in a city like Meerut. The corporation has also launched a public awareness campaign to curb power theft which is responsible for huge losses to the exchequer. These vans will be an extension of the same plan." The scheme is tried and tested as Bareilly and Lucknow already have this facility and it is running smoothly. 

To make things easier for consumers, the schedule of these vans in each district will be made public with the help of media two days in advance. [TOI]

Three Enemalta employees suspended over Electricity theft.

Three Enemalta employees have been suspended pending further police investigations after they allegedly assisted customers to steal electricity.The case was revealed after an investigation by Enemalta employees working to curb electricity theft.The company initially suspended two workers, with the third being suspended a few hours later as more information came to light.All information was handed over to the police, who are now investigating the workers. They are expected to arraign them.Enemalta suspended 13 workers for theft of electricity last year.

                                      It said its efforts to reduce its non-technical losses were continuing this year, with further inspections and inquiries to identify and stop cases of theft and other electricity supply irregularities.It said that last year, it introduced several measures which led to a 33 per cent reduction in electricity theft losses. It allocated more resources to increase random inspections and check suspected irregularities and it started using specialised tools to identify irregularities in electricity consumption readings.

                                  Enemalta said its efforts were consolidated by the government’s decision to revise electricity theft regulations and increase penalties for perpetrators caught stealing electricity, raising fines from 10 per cent to 200 per cent of the cost of the stolen electricity.         

Individuals aware of irregularities should contact Enemalta and provide the necessary details for further inquiries.[TIMES OF MALTA]

Police investigating two Enemalta workers over electricity theft

Enemalta has suspended two of its employees suspected of having assisted customers in stealing electricity.

In a statement, the energy company said Enemalta’s efforts to reduce its non-technical losses continued this year, with further inspections and inquiries to identify and stop cases of theft and other electricity supply irregularities.

Pending further police investigations, a total of 13 workers were suspended last year.

“In the latest developments, the Company suspended two employees pending further Police inquiries after they were suspected of assisting customers in stealing electricity. The case was identified after an investigation by the dedicated team of Enemalta employees working to curb electricity theft. All information was handed over to the Police, who are now investigating the two suspended workers,” a spokesperson for the company said.

Last year, Enemalta introduced several measures which led to a 33% reduction in electricity theft losses. The company allocated more resources to increase random inspections and to check suspected irregularities. It started using specialised tools to identify irregularities in electricity consumption readings.

The company’s efforts were consolidated by the Government’s decision to revise electricity theft regulations and increase penalties for perpetrators caught stealing electricity, raising fines from 10% to 200% of the cost of the stolen electricity.            

“Backed by 2014’s positive results, Enemalta is continuing its inspections and inquiries to restrain electricity supply irregularities,” the company said.

Enemalta urged individuals aware of such irregularities to contact the company and provide the necessary details for further inquiries.

[MALTA  TODAY]

Power pilferage by cable operator

In their ongoing drive against power pilferage, Kesco team raided the office of Den Cable Network's franchise in Keshavpuram on Sunday.

Kesco spokesperson RD Pandey said that the raid was headed by Kalyanpur division's executive engineer Gurjeet Singh. During the raid, the team detected that the complete system for cable network was being operated through a 'katiya' connection. He further said that dish cable was being used as a 'katiya' to draw power supply from electricity pole.

The spokesperson further said that Rs 1.5 lakh as assessment amount was slapped on the defaulters and added that while the defaulter paid Rs 50,000 through cheque on the spot, he promised to clear the remaining amount within next few days.[TOI]

Two held on charge of power theft

MANIPUR, INDIA
JIRI, Jan 24: A team of Manipur State Power Distribution Connection Ltd (MSPDCL), Jiribam Division during a drive pulled up two persons in connection with electric connection larceny at around 6.30 pm yesterday, reports Jiri News Network (JNN).
The drive team was led by M Dorendra Sharma, Deputy General Manager (DGM), Manipur State Power Distribution Connection Ltd (MSPDCL), Jiribam Division.
The men thus held have been identified as Dina Kumar Singh, Hilghat, Jiribam and L Nila Singh s/o (L) L Dono Singh, Gularthol Bazar, Jiribam.

[The Sangai Express]

KSEB tightens screws on high-tension consumers

KOCHI: The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which had earlier started a drive against power theft and other anomalies by domestic and non-domestic consumers, is planning to extend the drive to high-tension consumers.

Large-scale agriculture consumers, cinemas, private hospitals and private blood banks, IT/ITES institutions and elite domestic consumers, etc. will come under the scanner.

It is learnt that the vigilance wing of KSEB has prepared a list of 32 high-tension consumers in the district who are said to be committing anomalies. "Since the supply to this category of consumers is provided through 11kV lines, chances of power theft are very rare. Still, there can be technical errors such as electricity meters that are not properly calibrated, etc. They may also be consuming more. In case of consuming more than the need shown in the contract, the consumer will be slapped with a fine of 20%," an official with KSEB said. For high-tension consumers, the electricity bill consists of demand charges and energy charges. The demand charge is a fixed charge calculated on the basis of requirement shown in the contract. The energy charge is calculated on the basis of actual consumption.[TOI]

power theft at nagpur

NAGPUR: In a major operation the Washim flying squad has detected a power theft of Rs 37.92 lakh in a rice mill. The unit is located in Saundad village in Sadak Arjuni taluka.

The squad led by executive engineer DM Fulzele found out that the mill owner SM Agrawal had bypassed the electric meter by taking direct supply from power line. The squad assessed power theft of 3.26 lakh units. The assessment was around Rs 22.62 lakh. In addition a penalty of Rs 15.30 lakh was levied. A case under Section 135 of Electricity Act (power theft) has been registered against Agrawal in MSEDCL's Nagpur police station.

Meanwhile, MSEDCL's Nagpur urban zone (NUZ) has compiled the data of vigilance operations in 2014. The total power theft amount along with penalty is Rs 6.47 crore.

The total number of power theft cases detected was 1,713. Some 326 cases were registered against the pilferers. The vigilance operations were conducted under the leadership of Sumit Kumar.[TOI]

KSEB tightens screws on high-tension consumers

KOCHI: The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), which had earlier started a drive against power theft and other anomalies by domestic and non-domestic consumers, is planning to extend the drive to high-tension consumers.

Large-scale agriculture consumers, cinemas, private hospitals and private blood banks, IT/ITES institutions and elite domestic consumers, etc. will come under the scanner.

It is learnt that the vigilance wing of KSEB has prepared a list of 32 high-tension consumers in the district who are said to be committing anomalies. "Since the supply to this category of consumers is provided through 11kV lines, chances of power theft are very rare. Still, there can be technical errors such as electricity meters that are not properly calibrated, etc. They may also be consuming more. In case of consuming more than the need shown in the contract, the consumer will be slapped with a fine of 20%," an official with KSEB said. For high-tension consumers, the electricity bill consists of demand charges and energy charges. The demand charge is a fixed charge calculated on the basis of requirement shown in the contract. The energy charge is calculated on the basis of actual consumption.

There are hints that celebrities to industrialists to malls figure in the list of 32 suspected cases of HT consumers identified by the vigilance wing of KSEB. "The new supply code of the electricity regulatory authority has curtailed some of the powers of KSEB to penalize erring consumers. Now, we can slap a fine of just 20% in case of additional consumption over and above the contract demand," sources said.

"This has reduced the revenue that can be generated through the drive," sources said.

There have been instances of excessive use by HT consumers which have resulted in the collapse of KSEB's supply system. In such cases, KSEB has the right to snap the supply to the consumer. There are around 1,000 HT consumers in Ernakulam district.[TOI]

Turn an ‘informer’ of power theft, get rewarded .

LUCKNOW: Pulling out all stops to make the drive against power theft a success, the energy department is reaching out to consumers not just through awareness campaigns but is also encouraging them to turn 'informers' for a good cause. 

The department has appealed to the people to inform Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (Lesa) about any type of power theft that they come to know of. The identity of the informer will be kept secret. 

Besides, an informer will get paid Rs 100 for every kilowatt of stolen electricity that he brings to the notice of officials. The information can be dropped at toll free number 1800-1800-440 or conveyed to Lesa's chief engineer at 9415901286. 

"Any information that comes to us will be looked into in an hour's time," said chief engineer SK Verma. 

Lucknow reports around 30% line losses in a year. 'Katiya' is the biggest and the most visible form of power theft. The anti-power theft drive has been on for barely 10 days but more than 2,500 'katiya' connections have been removed from electricity poles and cables in Aminabad, BKT, Chinhat, Residency area, outskirts of Gomtinagar, Alambagh, Takrohi, Chowk, Rajajipuram, Thakurganj, Khurramnagar, Para, Vikasnagar and other localities. The menace is rampant in Old City and on the outskirts. 

"In one of the localities in Old City, we removed 40 'katiyas' from a pole but only 12 people came to us with their bills and payment receipts. To identify the remaining consumers, we need to track each and every connection drawn from the pole. This is a time-taking process but it will be done," said the official. 

Officials are now putting up boards on poles about the number of 'genuine' consumers drawing electricity from them. Any additional cable attached to the pole will be verified for 'genuineness. 

In Old City, 52 people have been caught for being involved in power theft. 
 

 

J$6.9-m tool to help JPS detect electricity theft

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) says it signed a contract with the World Bank and Impact Lab on Wednesday to develop an analytical application tool that will help to detect electricity theft.

The contract, JPS said, is worth US$60,000 or roughly J$6.9 million, and represents a grant of US$40,000 from the World Bank, with the remainder being the JPS’ contribution to the effort.

“The World Bank will operate through the Impact Lab, whose personnel will work alongside JPS teams, to ensure the suitability of the application for the Jamaican environment,” JPS said in a news release Thursday.

The light and power company said a pilot phase of the implementation of the application will commence by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

JPS said it lost over US$18m last year due to fuel costs it could not recover as a result of electricity theft.

It said this is among several initiatives it has embarked on to stem this scourge[Jamaica Observer]

Firozabad traders protest Power theft checking drive

FIROZABAD: The state electricity department's decision to go on a drive to nab power pilferers hit a hurdle on the first day itself after local traders took to the streets to protest against their "high-handedness". 

As department officials started conducting surprise checks in various markets of the town, several miffed businessmen came out of their shops complaining about such drives. They even threatened to agitate if the state-wide campaign didn't stop. 

Collectively complaining about being "harassed" by electricity department officials, shop owners lodged a complaint with district magistrate Vijat Kiran Anand regarding the matter. In the letter, they said the state officials' multiple checking inside their establishment was "causing a hindrance to their business". 

Local BJP MLA Manish Asija, supporting the traders, pressed district administration to ensure officials from the state department "do not violate any rules". He, however, added that the anti-power theft drive will continue for the next few days. 

Meanwhile, 22 teams from the electricity department collected Rs 63 lakh in penalty. Around 101 FIRs were lodged against suspect power thieves on Thursday. 

The anti-power theft drive is aiming to catch power thieves and urge people to get a legitimate electricity connection. In 2014, the district came third in the state in terms of adding new connections during a similar drive. The electricity department had added 62,415 new connections then. Last year's drive was held between July and August, and over 1,000 FIRs were lodged against suspect power thieves.[Times of India] 

Smart grids to help India battle energy theft

POWER THEFT
India plans to invest billions of dollars into smart grid development over the next ten years to get electricity theft under control.
According to smart infrastructure consultancy Northeast Group, India’s economy loses up to $16.2bn a year due to widespread practice of electricity theft.
"India loses more money to theft than any other country in the world," said Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group, which has just published a forecast of India’s smart grid market for the next decade.
"The state of Maharashtra – which includes Mumbai – alone loses $2.8bn per year, more than all but eight countries in the world. Nationally, total transmission and distribution losses approach 23 per cent and some states' losses exceed 50 per cent,” he said, adding that the excessive losses make Indian utilities financially unsustainable.
In November, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to launch a $4bn programme for deployment of smart meters with a further $8bn to be made available for further loss reduction programs.
Northeast Group said dozens of projects are getting underway across all of India’s 29 states with the cumulative spending for the 2015-2025 period expected to reach $21.6bn.
"India's electricity demand growth is set to exceed 7 per cent a year over the next decade," said Gardner. "In addition to smart metering, current pilot projects focus on distribution automation and wide area measurement, as well as home energy management and IT. Overall power sector investment will include adding 43 million new electricity connections and nearly three million kilometres of new circuits."
India is currently the largest open smart grid infrastructure market in the world, presenting new opportunities to international companies.
 (E&T)

power theft-Kanpur rich lock out to escape power blackout

KANPUR: People indulging in power theft locked up their houses and escaped to prevent raid teams of Kanpur Electricity Supply Company to conduct checks. The Kesco staff on Saturday launched a checking drive in Kalyanpur division, where a well off section of the society lives. The drive was part of the ongoing statewide initiative to reduce power theft, especially 'katiya' connections and irregularities in meters. When Kesco teams raided Kalyanpur Kala area, the residents of the locality locked up their homes and escaped. All the shops in the local market were closed. 

Kesco spokesman R D Pandey confirmed that people locked their homes and escaped. "Such an act on the part of the power consumers prove that they were involved in power theft and to save themselves from action they escaped from their homes," Pandey said while talking to TOI. 

This locality is of well to do people who can afford to pay bills but stealing power had become their habit, Pandey. On earlier occasions also, the locals of this area had stopped Kesco teams from conducting raid but this time police arrangement forced them to flee. Gurjeet Singh, executive engineer of Kalyanpur sub-station who headed the team, said that Kalyanpur Kala is infamous for power theft and therefore, a major drive was launched here on Saturday morning. "When we were checking connections, people from 15 to 20 houses or even more escaped. They also locked up their homes," he said. 

"Though we could not raid such locked houses but some strategy would be formed to do the needful which I will not disclose now," he said. 

He mentioned that an entire market having more than a dozen shops was also closed. "We know that in this area, power theft is rampant. Use of 'katiya' for drawing power and bypassing meters is common. Therefore, this place was raided but people ran away which proves that they are guilty," a senior Kesco official said. During the drive, many 'katiya' connections were removed and irregularities detected. Cases of meter bypass were also noticed. "Nine new connections were released and Rs 40,000 realised as fine from defaulters," he added. 

Kalyanpur Kala locality is of well to do people who can afford to pay bills but stealing power had become their habit, Pandey. On earlier occasions also, the locals of this area had stopped Kesco teams from conducting raid but this time police arrangement forced them to flee. (Times of India)
 
 

Rs 13L raised in drive against Power theft

India
BAREILLY: Under the 'vidyutchorirokoabhiyan' (drive against power theft), power department officials fanned out in several localities in the city on Tuesday to check meters. The exercise is part of an ongoing campaign against power theft by Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) officials. The drive is expected to improve collection of arrears by the cash-strapped power department, which is suffering huge losses due to power theft. 

Talking to TOI, superintendent engineer (urban) N K Srivastava (urban) said power department has collected arrears to the tune of Rs 13.12 lakh on Tuesday alone from all three circles while total arrears collection so far amounts to Rs 75.94 lakh. 

The anti-theft campaign started on January 16. On Tuesday, power officials detected several instances of irregularities in meter readings in various localities, including Durga Nagar, Sufi Tola, Quila, Subash Nagar and many others. An FIR was lodged against six consumers increasing total tally to 117 to date. As many as 65 consumers were charged with tampering their electricity meters, which were replaced. So far, meters of 405 consumers have been changed. 

The drive seems to have had a positive impact. As many as 53 locals after seeing strictness adopted during the anti-theft campaign opted for "one time settlement" on Tuesday. With this the tally of defaulters paying up has increased to 164. 

The anti-theft campaign on was not just confined to checking meters. It also saw distribution of new connections. According to reports, 19 new connections installed on Tuesday by power officials, raising the tally to 116 till date. On the other hand, power officials snapped electricity supply of 77 regular connections after the consumers concerned failed to pay dues. 

Superintendent engineer Srivastava said, "The campaign will continue in the district and defaulters will not be spared at any cost. Department has its own limitations yet we are trying hard to make power supply better. But for that, people need to pay their bills too." (Times of India)

PowerTheft-Dept conducts raids in city to check theft

Tribune News service
Srinagar, January 16
The Power Development Department (PDD) during the last several weeks conducted nocturnal raids in various residential colonies of uptown and downtown Srinagar, fining defaulters and households, who were allegedly resorting to power thefts.
Official sources in the PDD said due to a widening gap between the demand and load agreement with domestic consumers, power curtailments during the winter months had become the need of the hour.
Domestic power consumption increases manifold during the winter months, but the load agreement with domestic consumers has remained the same,” the official said.
However, domestic consumers are crying foul over the heavy fining by the PDD describing it an unfair move. “Last week, each household in residential colonies of uptown Srinagar, including Baghi Mehtab, Nowgam, Chanapora and Sanat Nagar, found to be involved in power thefts were fined Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. That is unfair on the part of the PDD, especially when public department offices, security forces and other agencies owe the state government a huge power bill,” Salman Ahmad, a resident of Lone Mohalla, Chanapora, said.
The PDD’s out of schedule power curtailments have further angered consumers, who said the state government should have been alert on providing consistent power supply during the extreme cold conditions.
“The winter months here are indicative of the fact that demand in power will increase. This has been the trend in the Valley. But little do the authorities care. On the contrary, they seem to be taxing the domestic consumers more by fining them heavily. We seek an answer from the state government on who are the biggest power defaulters in the state. To our knowledge they are various state government offices and the police,” Khursheed Ahmad, a civil society member, said.[The Tribune]

40 power theft cases reported

LUCKNOW: About 40 cases of power theft were reported on the first day of anti-power theft drive in the city. Five cases of theft were reported in Residency circle and four in Chinhat circle. Power theft was also reported from BKT, Sitapur road, Takrohi and Badali kheda. A total of 137 mechanical meters were replaced and 391 new service connections released. At least 165 defective meters were replaced. At least, 248 connections were snapped as they owe Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA), Rs 62.70 lakh collectively. Lesa chief engineer SK Verma said they did not get any adverse report on the first day [Times of india]

Power pilferage-BJP seeks clarity on Pre-Paid meters.

 ITANAGAR, Jan 12 – Arunachal Pradesh BJP has demanded the State Government to come out clear on the ongoing installation of pre-paid electric meters in the State capital which has created confusion among the people.
“The State Government should clarify its stand through a white paper on the terms and conditions of the contract awarded to the company installing pre-paid meters and on the expenditure to be incurred in the entire process,” party’s Chief Spokesman RK Khrimey said here.
He said, the party was not against the new technology but wondered on the manner the State Government hurriedly took the decision. The basic idea was to stop power pilferage that cost the State exchequer but there was public outcry over rise of power rent, he said.
“If the government is so serious to lessen power pilferage, the Power department should first install such meters at the residences of Governor, Chief Minister, Minister, MLAs and top bureaucrats and technocrats on trial basis to convince the common people,” he said.
Demanding for a immediate halt in the ongoing process, Khrimey said that the party would soon meet the Governor seeking his intervention on the issue.
The Power department has launched the pilot project in the State capital from November 10 last at a total cost of Rs 85 crore. So far, a total of 600 meters have been installed and the department is targeting to cover 3,000 consumers by March next. – PTI
[the Assam tribune]

Farm power connections to be brought under HVDS

India

Andhra Pradesh

The power utilities are gearing up for the launch of an ambitious project aiming at reducing transmission and distribution losses and ensuring quality power supply to consumers, especially farmers.

The companies will bring agriculture connections in Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Anantapur, Kurnool, Kadapa and Chittoor districts under the high voltage distribution system to check the losses. Being implemented with assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the project is aiming at reduction of energy losses, checking power theft, reduction in peak-hour loss and bringing down failure of transformers.

Involving an estimated Rs. 276.31 crore, the project will be implemented over the next three years, saving around Rs. 76.72 crore per annum to the utilities. Accordingly, the utilities programmed to spend Rs. 127.64 crore this fiscal year, Rs. 76.35 crore during the next financial year and another Rs. 72.32 crore during the 2016-17 fiscal year on bringing farm connections under the HVDS.

Energy Secretary Ajay Jain said the utilities were taking up all possible steps such as running power plants at optimum levels, maintaining adequate coal stocks and procurement of power from outside as and when needed to ensure adequate supply during rabi.

Asserting that there would be no compromise on providing seven-hour power supply to the farm sector, he asked the officials to ensure time-bound replacement of failed distribution transformers (DTRs).

Field officials had been asked to maintain sufficient rolling stock for timely replacement of failed DTRs besides conducting sub-station level meetings involving farmers and local public representatives to gather feedback on the power supply situation during rabi.

APGenco MD K. Vijayanand asked the officials to conduct frequent inspections on the power supply situation and ensure redress of consumers’ grievances on spot.

Government increases fines for Power theft

Government has increased the fine for homeowners and small shopkeepers who “steal electricity” from Shs295, 000 to Shs350, 000.

Persons or entities that illegally tap electricity for commercial use will pay Shs700, 000, up from Shs590, 000.

Industrial consumers, on the other hand, will pay Shs1.4 million, not the Shs1.1 million they are currently fined, should they be convicted of stealing electricity.

The new charges will start applying on January 15, 2015. On top of these fines, those convicted of power theft will also have to pay their “estimated unbilled consumption”.

“In order to discourage power theft and to reduce commercial losses, the [Electricity Regulatory] Authority [ERA] has revised the charges applicable,” Mr Benon Mutambi, the chief executive officer of ERA, said through a January 12 press statement.

Mr Sam Zimbe, Umeme’s general manager of corporate and regulatory affairs, told this newspaper during an interview last year, that each percentage loss that ERA factors in the tariff costs the government $3.5 million (Shs9.5 billion).

And, according to police records, at least 10 people in Bugisu region in the east, are electrocuted weekly as they tap electricity.

The revision comes years after electricity distribution company Umeme Limited urged the government to increase the fines to check power theft.

It remains to be seen how the new charges will impact on power theft given that some stakeholders attribute the power theft to high end–user tariffs, which the government has increased again.

Energy losses have reduced from 27 per cent in 2011, 26 per cent (2012) to 21.6 per cent in 2013.

The agreed regulatory targets for energy losses were 23.5 per cent in 2013, 20.5 per cent (2014) and to 18.6 per cent in 2015.

As of 2013, the commercial losses constituted just seven per cent of the 23.5 percentage losses.

This means the besides increasing the charges, the distribution company will have to invest in technologies that will reduce technical losses.

That could be achieved by on re-conductoring and re-configuring of transformer zones and by investing in load growth and network reliability.

Story By Daily Monitor’s Nelson Wesonga

65-yr commits suicide following Power theft accusation

Unable to bear the humiliation, a tea-stall owner in Jalpaiguri hanged himself to death after the state electricity department sued him of power theft and slapped a fine of nearly Rs1.5 lakh. Niren Tantra (65) was found hanging from a tree near his house at Paharpur More on Friday morning.

According to the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, Niren used to tap power illegally and sell it to houses and shops in the locality. This was why he had been handed with a bill of Rs1.46 lakh that included penalty for power pilferage for more than a year.

Niren had been running his tea stall in front of his house at Balapara since the past several years. His son, Apon Tantra, said, “My father used to draw power to the shop from our home connection. But when WBSEDCL officials objected to this about a year ago, he complied promptly and secured a commercial connection for the shop instead.”

“We have cleared all previous bills pertaining to the domestic connection. But we did not receive any bill for the commercial connection ever since we procured it,” he added.

According to Apon, his father had been summoned to the Jalpaiguri WBSEDCL office last month. “He was asked to pay Rs1,46,577 in dues for the period from December 23, 2013 to December 23, 2014. WBSEDCL officials also accused my father of drawing power illegally saying legal steps would be taken against him. Later, we learnt a police complaint had been filed by the power company,” he said.

Apon further said, “Since then, my father started suffering from depression. He avoided company and kept fretting about the huge bill slapped against him. He could stand the torture no more and eventually took his life.”

But WBSEDCL Jalpaiguri divisional manager Gobinda Talukdar insists Niren used to pilfer power. “We took steps according to the law. We will examine the case all over once again though.”

A senior company official said if a person is found tapping electricity, steps can be taken against him according to the West Bengal Electricity Act, 2003, and the West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (Electricity Supply Code) Regulations, 2013.(The Echo Of India)

Power theft drive to target 10k defaulters in GB Nagar

Delhi

NOIDA: The city's power discom has identified about 10,000 defaulters in Gautam Budh Nagar from whom it intends to recover an outstanding of Rs 32 crore in a six-week drive against power theft starting Monday, an official said on Friday.

"There are about 10,000 power defaulters, including people who have been illegally drawing electricity, in Gautam Budha Nagar. And, the outstanding is Rs 32 crore. There are 500 defaulters in Noida alone," Arvind Rajvedi, superintending engineer of Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL), told TOI.

However, he said that tracing all of them would be difficult and time consuming. "From the list that we have let out, most connections are either illegal or there are consumers who have left the city," Rajvedi said, adding that FIRs could be filed against untraceable defaulters. Officials said that during the first phase of the drive, defaulters will be given an opportunity to clear their dues and also new connections will be issued. In the second phase, the power discom is to let out at public places the names of those who would still fail to pay up the dues.


And, in the final phase, FIRs would be filed against the defaulters, followed by penal action by authorities.
The exercise is an effort towards recovering revenue losses faced by the power department and also to ensure UP government's directive for 2016-17 at ensuring 24-hour power supply for big cities, 22-hour supply for urban areas and 16-hour supply in rural sectors. (Times of India)

PVVNL drive against Power theft from Jan 12

Varanasi: India

Purvanchal Vidyut Viatran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) will launch a drive to check power theft from January 12 to February 28. The drive would be monitored directly by the office of the managing director of PVVNL. 

PVVNL managing director Dr Kajal instructed all chief and executive engineers to put a check on power theft while chairing a meeting of power engineers of Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Mirzapur and others on Friday to review the progress in revenue collection and drive against power theft. 

She instructed that all the junior engineers and linemen, who have served a period of five years or more, to be transferred to a different zone before January 12. For proper implementation, she asked to carry out the power theft drive in those areas where cases of power theft are rampant. She also asked the officers to ensure proper power connection to valid consumers and initiate strict action against invalid consumers. Also, the power meters of consumers were asked to be shifted outside their houses. Apart from this, Kajal also asked to check mobile phone towers located in all 21 districts and instructed to shift the transformers outside. She also asked to replace all the two lakh meters which are lying defunct, and a private company might also be involved for the same. 


All the connections which are being used with the help of invalid means like bamboo sticks to be replaced by proper establishment of poles, an estimate will be given to the consumers residing in those areas. Moreover, night patrolling will also be done to take stock of the power theft. 

In the second phase of the meeting, Kajal informed that information about power theft can also be given secretly to DISCOM office after which the engineers will reach the site for inspection. If the information is correct, then that person will be rewarded Rs 100 per kilowatt and anonymity will be ensured. 

During the drive, all the junior engineers will have to lodge a minimum of two FIRs daily otherwise they will have to submit a report which will prove that no power theft is happening in their areas. 

Meanwhile, Dr Kajal also asked the engineers to ensure requirements and items for separate connection should be made available by February 15 to the consumers who have submitted application form for a separate connection on January 1. She also informed that all separate connections will be done on 'first come first serve' basis. (Times of India)

Power Theft :Action hasn’t reduced cases.

Bangalore

India

The cases of power theft is on the rise in Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, and Kodagu districts despite the vigilance squad of the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company (CESC), Mysuru, unearthing theft every year and imposing huge penalties on erring consumers.

The squad has detected 696 power theft cases in 2014, an increase of 61 cases when compared to 2013. The cases had been registered under the Electricity Act, and back billing and penalties of Rs. 1.12 crore had been imposed on offenders.

Shankare Gowda, Superintendent of Police, vigilance squad, CESC, Mysuru, told The Hindu that many erring consumers had started paying up the back bills and penalties. The highest penalty of Rs. 5 lakh had been imposed on a consumer in Arsikere for illegally drawing the electricity line.

Citing a detection of theft, Mr. Gowda said an agency in Bellur village of Nagamangala taluk was illegally drawing power to a mobile tower. This was unearthed recently and the offender had already paid up the penalty of Rs. 3.74 lakh.

Most of the theft cases pertain to commercial establishments, the SP said, adding that power connection was immediately disconnected on detecting the theft and restored only after the person paid up the dues.

In reply to a question, Mr. Gowda said first-time offenders were let off with a warning after they paid the penalties. If the same person commits the theft again, the company pursues the case in the court of law for his or her conviction under the Electricity Act. By and large, second-time thefts are infrequent, he said.

Mr. Gowda said the cases last year had been unearthed during routine inspections, based on tip-off from the employees and the public. Some cases are detected through consumption pattern.

If the power consumption of an installation is exceptionally less despite opting for higher consumption, then such installations are inspected for theft, he said.(TheHindu)

Govt incurred loss of Rs 2,50,000 crore due to poor Power distribution: Piyush Goyal

Power Minister Piyush Goyal today said common man has to pay high tariff because of power theft and huge financial losses in the sector. Speaking during the launch of e-Book in New Delhi, the Minister said the electricity suppliers lose Rs 70,000 crore every year due to the poor transmission system. 

The Minister informed that due to poor distribution of electricity the government has already incurred an accumulated loss of Rs 250,000 crore . Mr. Goyal also said the government is committed to bring about a qualitative change in the power sector and ensure affordable 24x7 power for all households and industrial establishments in the country. 

The Minister also said the government has already granted Rs 1.1 lakh crore for around the clock and affordable power supply for the rural and urban India. The thermal -based electricity generation has increased by 15.8 percent form June to November 2014 as compare to same period of 2013.(Prasar Bharati)
 

Accused of Power theft, Gabbar gets power staff to pay him!

INDIA
BAREILLY: The name Gabbar still inspires terror, even though the Bollywood blockbuster in which he was a character, Sholay, is now over three decades old. Recently, a team of the state electricity department raided the premises of a man called Gabbar in Hajiyapur locality, after he was found drawing electricity illegally. 

Instead of paying the penalty for his crime, however, Gabbar accused the raiding party of fiddling with his electricity connection and causing a short circuit that damaged his expensive colour TV set. Local police arrived at the spot after Gabbar lodged a complaint, and the raiding party was forced to cough up Rs 3,000 as compensation for the burnt colour TV. 

After the power department staff escaped the clutches of Gabbar and his associates and returned to the safety of their sub-station, they contacted senior police officers and lodged a case of electricity theft. 

A team of power officials at the Shaidana power sub-station was acting on complaints they had earlier received while raiding the house in Hajiyapur on Wednesday. The team found that house owner Gabbar had illegally hooked on to an overhead electricity line through a cable running from his house. 

The team snapped the connection and uprooted the cable, leading to heated arguments. The house owner was soon joined by neighbours, who engaged in a wrangling match with the power department staff over the damaged TV set. 

The raiding party, however, denied that they had anything to do with the TV set. Policemen from the nearby Baradari police station reached the spot, and after listening to both parties, asked the power staff to pay a sum of Rs 3,000 in damages. 

Gabbar and his neighbours held the power staff virtually captive, forcing them to cough up the sum, sub-divisional officer Vinod Rana of the Shaidana power sub-station said. He added that since returning to their sub-station, they managed to lodge an FIR against three people under Section 135 of the UP State Electricity Code Act, 2005. Inspector Mohd Qasim of the Baradari police station said the power staff had indeed lodged an FIR against three people in this matter. (Times of India)

Owning up Power theft can spare FIR

LUCKNOW: Voluntary disclosure of power theft will spare offenders from an FIR being lodged against them. Ahead of the January state-wide drive to check power theft, UPPCL has ordered officials to lend a `patient' ear to consumers and redress their grievances.

"Driven by the objective, we urge consumers to speak up," said chief engineer, Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA), S K Verma.

There are enough cases where a landlord may not be aware that his tenant has rigged meter and committed power theft. In other cases, a consumer might have made rounds of LESA offices to get his meter rectified but no positive response from officers might have forced him to use 'katiya'.

Consumers now have a help at hand. They can contact concerned officers at camps being held all over the city and apprise officers of their cases.

Self-disclosure will not only save them from FIR but also charge half the amount of penalty. "If their compounding penalty is worked out to be 40,000, they might be charged only 20,000," said the official.

'Voluntary disclosure' of power theft is a lesser known provision under the Electricity rule book, which LESA would advertise from Thursday. Government has ordered FIR against consumers found guilty in power-theft during the upcoming drive.

(.Times of India)

Special police stations to check Power theft in UP

India
LUCKNOW: Chief secretary has ordered establishment of 'anti-power theft' police stations, on the lines of special courts, to check power pilferage in the state long struggling to meet its energy requirements.

To ensure 24-hour power supply in cities and 16-18 hour power supply in rural areas, UP will need 21,000 megawatt (Mw) power. The state will have to produce 10,000 Mw extra to meet this target. Presiding over a review meeting of energy department on Wednesday, the chief secretary said that anti-power theft police stations should focus on qualitative investigation of cases of power theft registered with them.

The gap between 'energy received' and 'energy sold' is termed as line loss. The gap could be attributed to factors like transmission losses due to the inefficient nature of the system, billing error losses, unregistered consumers (consuming electricity without meter connection) and rigged meters. UP at present witnesses around 25% line loss with some of the districts like Etawah, Mainpuri, Rampur, and Kannauj infamous for a much higher score. According to national standards, 5.18% is the permissible line loss. Unauthorised 'katiya' connections are one of the major causes of line loss in UP.

The chief secretary on Wednesday also directed removal of 'illegal' service cables from transmission lines and replacement of faulty, mechanical and substandard meters. Meters should be installed outside houses so that they are visible. He said that energy departments should coordinate with the intelligence department to expose gangs involved in meter-tampering in the state.

As many as 600 sub-stations of 33/11Kv should be completed by August-September 2016, he said. Besides, at least 850 sub-stations of 33/11Kv should be upgraded within the same time period, he said, adding that the drive against power theft starting from January 12 should be widely publicised.(Times of India)

AP Govt to act tough against power theft

Hyderabad, Dec 24 (INN): In order to minimize the losses and to provide financial relief to the DISCOMs, the Andhra Pradesh Government has emphasised the need for power utilities to go all out to prevent pilferage/theft of energy and commercial losses here after in the DISCOMs.

While fixing the responsibilities among the employee/officers of DISCOMs for reduction of commercial losses, the Energy Department has suggested top brass of DISCOMs to educate the general public/consumers the evil affects of the pilferage energy which in turn burdens the genuine consumers as well as DISCOMs.

Disclosing the above details, Energy Infrastructure & Investments Department Secretary Ajay Jain, while reviewing the performance of DISCOMs and initiatives taken for effective implementation of Power For All (PFA) prgramme, along with the Advisor Depart of EnergyRanganatham, with CMDs of DISCOMs H.Y.Dora and Seshagiri Babu, all Superintending Engineers/Operation of DISCOMs, through a teleconference has instructed the officials to make all out efforts to reduce the system losses to a level of single digit and eradicate theft of energy in the state.

The state cabinet, which met recently expressed its keenness in reduction of overall power distribution losses and to eradicate theft of energy in the state and assured full fledged cooperation and support to the power utilities to prevent pilferage of energy.

Jain stressed the need for setting up of special vigilance teams to make surprise checks and book cases in theft prone areas in the respective DISCOMs. The Joint Managing Director, Vigilance, APTRANSCO Sri. N Sanjay has also been instructed by Secretary to swing in special teams to conduct inspections in suspected areas and theft prone areas.

Keeping the importance of the issue, DPE and Vigilance wings of all operation circles in the DISCOMs are told to gear up and prepare time bound action plans and make all out efforts to prevent theft in their respective areas.

Jain stated that the entire commercial losses i.e, Theft of Energy, Unauthorized Use of electricity, improper metering, improper Meter Reading and billing practices have to be wiped out from the system.Source-http://www.telugupeople.com/

Power Theft-1.7%, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh discoms’ reports under scanner

Hyderabad: Discoms in both Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh are now busy revisiting the statistics they had finalised in their Annual Revenue Requirement reports, as some doubts have been raised on the accuracy of the reasons shown for the heavy losses.

While a thorough re-examination has already been sought by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, a similar exercise is now being taken up by AP energy ministry officials.

The ARRs have to be submitted to the Electricity Regulatory Committees of both states separately by January 8. Power charges will be hiked based on the reports and come into effect in the next fiscal year.

AP principal secretary of power Ajay Jain does not rule out the possibility of further extension for submission of reports. “Let us see whether the discoms can submit the reports by the deadline or not,” he said.

One of the main reasons for re-examination of proposals was said to be that the discoms had reportedly jacked up the figures with respect to supply of free power to the agricultural pumpsets.

The discoms have shown that the losses were solely due to free power supply, putting aside other major factors like, transmission and distribution losses, power pilferage, mounting salary bills, other establishment expenses etc.

Some officials felt that common man is being continuously targeted in the name of benefit to the farmers.

“Obviously, free power is the main contributor towards heavy losses, which have gone up to Rs 5,800 crore. How can we mitigate them? We are purchasing power for Rs 7 per unit and supplying it free for agriculture. There are 18.54 lakh working agriculture pumpsets in Telangana and 14.74 lakh in AP,” said  a TS official.

Transmission losses have been shown in 2014-15 as 3.24 per cent, while power theft is said to be around 1.7 per cent. As per the Indian Electricity Act 1910, power theft is a cognisable offence amounting to a deterrent punishment of three years of imprisonment, but the officials hardly book cases. Energy auditing is also not being done sincerely, according to the sources. More than three per cent of commercial losses are also adding up to Rs 1,100 crore annually, reports suggest.(Source-Deccan Chronicle)

No decline in power theft, reveals discom report

GURGAON: As power discom DHBVN looks back at the year that was, an internal report prepared last week on transmission line losses in the years 2013 and 2014 observed that there has neither been a decrease in power theft nor any significant hike in revenue in the past year in the Gurgaon operation circle. 

According to the data prepared by the DHBVN (a copy is with TOI) for the city, the highest power theft was reported from the suburban division, which has the most customers. In 2013, 4.98% of the power being supplied to the division was reportedly being stolen and in 2014 this figure went up by another 1.85%. Power theft in the city division saw marginal change. In 2013, about 8.82% of the power was being stolen. This came down by 0.30% in 2014. The Manesar division reported a decrease of 2%. 

The discom's comparative report for revenue collection in Gurgaon for the two financial years does not speak of a significant hike either. 

According to data from the DHBVN, the city division of the discom reported a revenue collection efficiency of 102.67%, which came down by 1% in 2014. Even the suburban division has reported a decline in collection efficiency by 2% apart from Manesar which reported a slight improvement in collection efficiency by 1%. 

DHBVN's general manager Sanjeev Chopra said, "It is true that in many areas of the city, the power supplied by us never reaches the actual consumer owing to many unauthorized colonies with residential and commercial units still illegally procuring power, especially in the ammunition depot area." 

However, he assured that with the new power substations expected to be ready by May, the power situation would definitely improve. "We are currently in the process of erecting four 220kV substations at Sectors 20, 57, 33 and Panchgaon, which will be ready by May."
Source-Times of India
 

Torrent to stop Power theft by laying wires underground

AGRA: To boost power supply in the city, the private electricity distribution company, Torrent, has decided to lay 5,500-km of overhead wiring underground. It has set a year for completing the task. The company has also decided to link the remaining 22 of the 41 substations to the control room. 

Torrent officials said this would not only result in saving human resources but also in resolving consumers' complaints in half the time taken now. 

"Our aim will be to lay 60% (5,500 km) of overhead wiring underground in 2015. Last year, we placed over 4,100-km of wires underground. It will help us in providing safe, reliable and uninterrupted power supply to consumers, besides reducing power thefts," said Bhupendra Singh, a Torrent spokesperson. 

Singh said that there are 41 substations under the company spread across the city, and out of these 39 have been computerized so far. Moreover, 19 of them can now be operated at the touch of a button from the control room. 

"It means that operations like switching on/off a feeder could be done with a click of a button, instead of this being done manually. At every substation, one officer along with four to five technicians are posted. But after the up gradation, they can be deployed in other important sections. Only security guards will be posted at the substations," the official said. 

He added that company plans to reduce the time taken to resolve the "no power complaint" to half the time taken at present. "The aim will be to bring the time from the present two-and-a-half hours to between 45 minutes and one hour. Moreover, we will also try to complete all the formalities required for giving a new connection from the present 20 days to just one week," Singh informed. 

In another initiative, the official said to deal with critical complaints of customers, zonal heads will hold office during 2pm to 5pm every Tuesday at three customer care centers in the city. 
Source-Times of India.

Power theft Illegal lighting continues to adorn all religious functions .

India.
Nagpur: Even as the state is facing 300MW shortfall in power generation, energy pilferage goes unchecked in Nagpur. The rampant power theft can be gauged from the number of organizers of religious functions openly stealing power from street light poles for illumination and decoration.

MSEDCL is ready to provide extra power to ensure people enjoy a well-lit festival, but is troubled by widespread theft. TOI had highlighted how religious organizations steal power from street light poles in the past too. The theft continues even after directions from MERC to MSEDCL to supply low/medium voltage electricity for temporary purpose during public religious functions like Ganesh Utsav, Navaratri, Eid, Moharram, Ram Leela, Shivaji Jayanti, Ambedkar Jayanti, Diwali, Christmas, Guru Nanak Jayanti etc, or areas where community prayers are held, for a period of up to one year.

This correspondent visited various localities on Thursday and found that many organizers of Eid functions to be held on January 4 are tapping into the supply for NMC street lights or from MSEDCL poles, without paying a single penny.

On State CID Office Road, Borgaon Road, Mankapur Ring Road and Central Avenue, thousands of bulbs have been used to decorate the streets. Throughout the year, stretches of city roads are illuminated with ornamental lights during all religious festivals.

At Central Avenue, from Dosar Bhavan Square to Agrasen Chowk, the organizer has decorated the entire stretch with incandescent bulbs. To power them, the organizer has hooked directly into street light poles. Neither NMC nor MSEDCL have bothered to check all this though it is in full public view.

"Power consumption of these religious organizers is quite heavy given the fact that huge stretches of public roads are covered. NMC's electricity department bears the loss during festival seasons," said a resident.

"If you light up just ten 100 watt bulbs, it is more than the entire consumption of an average household," pointed out an electric engineer, requesting anonymity. Imagine the consumption during festivals, where there are innumerable such bulbs. Apart from this, there are higher capacity halogens too, he added.

Former deputy mayor and BJP corporator Jaitunbi Ashfaq Ansari too admitted that this causes huge financial loss to the cash strapped NMC. She appealed to all organizations to avail the concessional tariff facility of MSEDCL, under which the power company provide power at a very loss cost.

Authorized consumer representative at MERC Avinash Prabhune disclosed that for all religious functions, MERC has provided concessional tariff of Rs 3.27 per unit of electricity and temporary connection can be legally obtained from MSEDCL or Spanco through hassle free procedure by paying Rs 250 per connection.

"Religious organizations should get legal connections for decorative lighting and functions so that proper message can be sent to the society for all communities. In the present crisis of electricity shortage and conservation, theft of electricity cannot be justified and should not be tolerated under any circumstances," he said.

NMC officials, as usual, assured to inquire into the matter. A couple of days ago, municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane had directed NMC's executive engineer (electric) Sanjay Jaiswal to lodge police complaints against organizers who were stealing power from street light poles. However, the civic chief's directive has failed to wake up the electric department. NMC spends over Rs 20 crore annually against energy bills of street lights.
Source-Times of India.

Andhra Pradesh to contain power pilferage

Hyderabad: 
POWER THEFT
In order to minimise the losses and to provide financial relief to the Discoms, the Andhra Pradesh government would soon set up a special mechanism to curb permanently the growing menace of power pilferage in the State.  

The power utilities in a recent survey identified that the commercial losses incurred by Discoms was  because of  theft of energy, unauthorised use of electricity,  improper metering, improper meter reading and billing practices.
Reports showed that power utilities were losing Rs 900 crore per annum on the basis of an estimate of even 3 per cent of Commercial losses at Rs 6 for every unit. If commercial losses are curbed, the amount would be realised for better prospects of the Discoms. .

Reviewing the performance of the Discoms here, State Energy Secretary Ajay Jain fixed the responsibility among the employees and officers of the utilities for the reduction of commercial losses. He suggested the heads of the Discoms to educate people the evil effects of the power pilferage which in turn burdens the genuine consumers as well as the utilities.   

Stating that a special vigilance teams would be formed to make surprise checks and book cases in theft-prone areas, he said he instructed the AP Transco Joint Managing Director N Sanjay to crack the whip against those who indulged in power theft. The Discoms were told to gear up and prepare time-bound action plans and make all out efforts to prevent theft in their respective areas.

The State Cabinet, which met recently expressed its interest in reduction of overall power distribution losses and to eradicate theft of energy in the State and assured full-fledged cooperation and support to the power utilities to prevent pilferage of energy.Source-the Hans India

Wi-Fi meters to check Power theft

LUCKNOW: UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) has started installation of Wi-Fi enabled modern electricity meters to keep a check on power theft. 

The meters, connected with a modem, will make it easy for UPPCL to keep a tab on units consumed and discourage meter rigging and manipulation of readings. 

The modem, like the one used for internet connection in homes, will have a chip to transfer the meter readings live to the control room of UPPCL. Officers need not visit the premises where the meter is installed to note down meter readings and generate bills. This is a move under the Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme (R-APDRP), an initiative of the Union power ministry. 

DLMS (device language message specification) meters, in the first stage, will be installed for high-voltage consumers in the state's A-list cities, Lucknow being one. 

High-voltage consumers are those with a meter load of 75 KW and above and are mainly commercial establishments. Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (Lesa) has identified 990 high-voltage consumers. 

By now, at least 250 consumers in the city have got new meters installed. "In Old City, we identified 113 high-voltage consumers and have installed meters on 63 premises," said Lesa superintending engineer of Circle I, Amit Srivastava. 

DLMS meters will establish a connection between metering equipment and the billing centre. Though internet connectivity might pose a problem, but, as and when it resumes, it will be very convenient for UPPCL to keep a check on consumers. 

Soon, domestic consumers, too, will be brought under its fold. 

Similar devices will be installed to establish a link between feeders and transformers connected to meters to know the exact input and output of units in a distribution system at every locality to check line losses. 

The first condition towards getting funds from the Centre for power reforms is to curb line losses. Power theft is one of the biggest reasons for line losses in UP. (Source-Times of India)

Andhra Pradesh Government to act tough against Power theft

Hyderabad, Dec 24 (INN): In order to minimize the losses and to provide financial relief to the DISCOMs, the Andhra Pradesh Government has emphasised the need for power utilities to go all out to prevent pilferage/theft of energy and commercial losses here after in the DISCOMs.

While fixing the responsibilities among the employee/officers of DISCOMs for reduction of commercial losses, the Energy Department has suggested top brass of DISCOMs to educate the general public/consumers the evil affects of the pilferage energy which in turn burdens the genuine consumers as well as DISCOMs.

Disclosing the above details, Energy Infrastructure & Investments Department Secretary Ajay Jain, while reviewing the performance of DISCOMs and initiatives taken for effective implementation of Power For All (PFA) prgramme, along with the Advisor Depart of EnergyRanganatham, with CMDs of DISCOMs H.Y.Dora and Seshagiri Babu, all Superintending Engineers/Operation of DISCOMs, through a teleconference has instructed the officials to make all out efforts to reduce the system losses to a level of single digit and eradicate theft of energy in the state.

The state cabinet, which met recently expressed its keenness in reduction of overall power distribution losses and to eradicate theft of energy in the state and assured full fledged cooperation and support to the power utilities to prevent pilferage of energy.

Jain stressed the need for setting up of special vigilance teams to make surprise checks and book cases in theft prone areas in the respective DISCOMs. The Joint Managing Director, Vigilance, APTRANSCO Sri. N Sanjay has also been instructed by Secretary to swing in special teams to conduct inspections in suspected areas and theft prone areas.

Keeping the importance of the issue, DPE and Vigilance wings of all operation circles in the DISCOMs are told to gear up and prepare time bound action plans and make all out efforts to prevent theft in their respective areas.

Jain stated that the entire commercial losses i.e, Theft of Energy, Unauthorized Use of electricity, improper metering, improper Meter Reading and billing practices have to be wiped out from the system.Source-http://www.telugupeople.com

New metering system in Arunachal to curb power pilferage

ITANAGAR: Power pilferage and non-payment of electricity bills in this Arunachal Pradesh capital will no longer be a cause of concern for the state government as it has introduced a unique metering system to make consumers more energy conscious. India The Pre-Paid Energy Meters and AMR (Automated Remote Metering) meters were introduced here last month. According to power department officials, the pre-paid meters will be fitted at the homes of about 32,000 consumers with a total cost of Rs 85 crore, including maintenance charge for a period of five years to be paid to the Udaipur-based Secure Energy Meter Limited, the implementing agency. "To check huge transmission loss and heavy losses incurred by the department due to pilferage of electricity as well as non-payment of bills, this pilot project has been initiated to overcome all these problems and enrich the state coffer," Power (Electrical) Minister Tanga Byaling told PTI. Source Economic Times

Electricity Theft -New city ordinance cracks down on electricity thieves

DOWNTOWN OKLAHOMA CITY -
Starting Friday there's a new city ordinance that will make it easier to crack down on crooks who steal your electricity. Investigators tell Fox 25 it's been hard to prosecute these thieves but this new ordinance will make it a whole lot easier.
“In the last year we noticed a big increase of individuals tampering with OG&E meters,” said Oklahoma City Police Detective Martin Stupka.
It's a growing problem in the metro and also a dangerous problem.
“We live and work with electricity every day and we have to be concerned with safety,” said OG&E Spokesperson Kathleen Oshea. “It's one of our core values.”
OG&E says one of the most common ways people steal electricity is by using jumper cables. They tell us that it's very dangerous and people risk seriously injuring themselves or getting electrocuted.
“One guy blew out his foot trying to hook up an illegal tampering of electricity,” said Stupka.
OG&E has had about 15-hundred cases of utility theft this year. That about $700,000 in losses but it's been hard to prosecute these crooks and get that money back.
“We've recovered less than half of what we've lost in these so you know it is difficult,” said Oshea.
This new city ordinance will change that. It's also the first time the police can not only go after the person who hooks it up but they can also go after anyone benefiting from the illegal electricity.
“It is a big cost to the company and of course it's one of those costs of business that does get passed on to our rate payers. So really it's everybody's concern,” said Oshea.
In the new ordinance, the punishment if you're caught stealing electricity will be $500 for each offense and $500 for each day of the offense. So one week of illegal electricity will cost you $3,500.(Source-Fox25)

Power theft & Smart Grid.

Basic benefits of smart grid technology
Northeast Group, LLC has released the findings of its Emerging Markets Smart Grid: Outlook 2015 report. The annual report's findings show which markets are most likely to invest in smart grid technology in the coming year.
Since the report's inception, investments in smart grid technology have been mainly in developed countries, particularly in North America, Western Europe and East Asia. In fact, countries in these three markets make up 88 percent of all installed smart meters.
Nations in a variety of smart grid development stages
This year's report shows 20 out of the 50 countries studied have some type of a smart grid goal, and about one-third of the nations have already put significant funds into developing smart grid infrastructure. The rest of the nations show the potential to quickly build their smart grid investments over the next decade.
Basic benefits of smart grid technology
This is good news because countries with emerging markets can benefit from smart grid technology in numerous ways, according to the report. The nations often have financial losses due to electricity theft, and increasing energy demand in the face of continuously unreliable grids. Implementing smart grid technology can not only increase the reliability of the grid, it can cut down on power theft, which will enable nations to better meet their energy demands.
Fundamental benefits of smart grids
While developed countries wish to improve their current electrical distribution systems, many communities in the world still face the basic task of bringing electricity to many of their citizens, The Atlantic pointed out. Since 1990, more than 1.7 billion people gained access to electricity for the first time, but billions still live without it. Smart grid technology provides an opportunity for developing nations to build reliable electrical distribution systems that can grow to meet the rising demand for energy. For example, India is investing $10 billion to develop a smart grid, which in the future will be better able to provide electricity to its growing population.
Smart grid technology also promotes the use of environmentally friendly energy generation so it will drive developing countries toward clean, renewable energy sources and away from power options that create climate and health issues, such as coal, according to The Atlantic.
Source:PennEnergy Research

POWER THEFT:Three fined Rs 37 lakh for theft of electricity New Delhi, Dec 17, 2014, DHNS: Three people, including a landlord and a tenant in south Delhi’s Tughlakabad and a factory owner in east Delh

Three fined Rs 37 lakh for theft of electricity

New Delhi, Dec 17, 2014, DHNS:

Three people, including a landlord and a tenant in south Delhi’s Tughlakabad and a factory owner in east Delhi’s Kalyanpuri, have been convicted of power theft by a special court. 

Two of them were jailed for three years, and the third for a year. Between them, they will pay fines totalling Rs 37 lakh.

The Special Court of Electricity, Saket, convicted both the landlord, Keshav Dev, and his tenant  Mukhtar for stealing over 27 KW of electricity for commercial purposes in Tughlakabad and sentenced them to three years of Imprisonment each under section 135 and 150 of Electricity Act, 2003. A fine of Rs 25 lakh was also imposed on them, said BSES.

In another case, Mukesh Kumar, a resident of Kalyanpuri, was sentenced by the special court at Karkardooma to one-year imprisonment and fined Rs 12.7 lakh.

According to BSES, Additional Sessions Judge, Special Court of Electricity, Saket, Rakesh Tiwari, said, “I am of the opinion that this is an economic offence wherein the society as a whole is the victim and the honest payer of electricity charges are the sufferers on account of the proved conduct of the convict.”

“Such convicts are getting unearned benefit at the cost of others and they deserve no leniency,” the judge said.

The BSES said that power theft in Tughlakabad was taking place through a fake meter since December 2011. The accused was billed Rs 11 lakh, but he refused to pay within the stipulated time and opted to go to court.

In 2007, Mukesh Kumar was caught stealing over 16 KW of electricity for industrial purposes, it added. A penalty of Rs 15.96 lakh was imposed, but he paid only Rs 1 lakh, BSES said.

(Source-Deccan Herald)

Smart Meters Will Help Curb Power Theft

Kamstrup has delivered 30,000 smart meters with prepayment functionality to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). The meters are connected with NURI Telecom’s prepaid AMR system using GPRS and Zigbee Alliance communication standards. The utility believes the smart technology will help reduce energy theft and revenue losses.
ECG has experienced numerous instances of customers tampering with their meters or bypassing the meters to prevent the utility from tracking actual consumption. Installing an automated meter reading system enables ECG to detect possible fraud by consumers at an early stage.
Kamstrup also reports, “The introduction of prepaid meters meets the challenge with customers not paying their debt, which has been an enormous problem for ECG. The prepayment system demands customers to pay in advance and thereby payment will only be for the exact usage.
Michael Owusu, who work in ECG’s metering and technical services department, notes, “The disconnection function is a great advantage, and we trust that the investment will bring us many savings on a daily basis, but most importantly it will lead to a more efficient business as failures and revenue losses are reduced to a minimum. We need to make this investment to ensure decreasing energy losses over the next coming years, where we are expected to reduce losses from 23.5 percent to 15 percent. We believe smart meters and metering systems will take us a big step forward on the road. By giving more detailed information about their consumption, we see that our customers are more aware of how and when they use energy, and this is resulting in a reduction of the energy usage.”
Kamstrup general sales manager Hans Peter Kyk adds: “It has been a great pleasure to work with both NURI Telecom and ECG on this project, and we are delighted to take part in the very important journey towards reduced losses in Ghana. In many ways this is a special project to us.”
(Source- Smart Meters - Smart Meter News and Information.)

Now, pre-paid meters to check Power Theft

India.
Meerut: In a bid to curb power theft, Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. (PVVNL) is planning to introduce pre-paid electricity meters. In the first phase distribution companies (discoms) will provide these meters to roadside vendors, makeshift shopkeepers and government offices. PVVNL will introduce these in Meerut, Morabad, Ghaziabad and Saharanpur zones. 

Director (technical) of Pashchimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. (PVVNL), Alok Verma, told TOI, "Just like telecom companies, we are going to provide prepaid meters to costumers. UP electricity regulatory commission has directed discoms to expedite the process of distributing pre-paid meters to government institutions using less than 45 kW. Any consumer with a pre-paid meter will also be entitled to a discount of 1.25%." 

Verma said that in the first phase, meters would be distributed across 14 districts in government offices such as those of the PWD, district administration, police, judiciary and Jal Nigam. 

"Pre-paid meters will benefit not only to those who pay their bills honestly but also discoms. Discoms will use the money to reduce losses, which it will get as electricity charges in advance through pre-paid meters. Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (MVVNL) has purchased 15,500 single-phase pre-paid meters and 18,550 three-phase meters for all five discoms in UP. 5,000 single-phase and 4,000 three-phase meters will be in our share. If we get a good response, we will ask for more meters. Indeed, people will check the tendency to misuse electricity as we still live in a time of power shortage and outages," he added. 

According to electricity department sources, line-loss has become one of the biggest challenges discoms face in UP and is one of the biggest causes of power-theft. Elsewhere, line-loss is assumed to be between 6-8% but many districts in UP face upto 40-45% line-loss(Source-Times of India)

HERC cracks whips on DHBVN to curtail Power Theft in Haryana

Haryana ,India:
In the recent past, there has been an unprecedented increase in Power thefts which has prompted the authorities to take the decision.
   Babus in Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) would have to stop loafing during work hours as Haryana Electricity Regulatory Committee (HERC) has instructed the department to submit a monthly performance review from now on.The babus might not be pleased with the decision but this step would streamline backlog projects that got piled up due to lacklustre attitude of officials.

The decision was taken in a meeting recently held by HERC in Chandigarh, and the officials have already dispatched letter to the department.“Now the circle engineers would be accountable to the department for the work that they have done in a particular month. The main reason behind the move is to curtail the massive increase in power theft the area,” informs a senior power official.
In the recent past, there has been an unprecedented increase in power thefts which has prompted the authorities to take the decision. Power theft not only results in power shortage, but it also results in damage of infrastructure. Infrastructure relay means requirement of more funds.

Normal standards set by the department for power theft in urban areas is 3 per cent on each feeder whereas this ratio is 10 per cent in rural areas. But urban feeders have been witnessing 13 percent power theft whereas rural feeders have seen a theft of 50 percent in the recent past, giving sleepless nights to DHBVN.

“Power theft is high in rural areas because of  the agricultural set-up. We can’t snap power connections as it would affect the agricultural produce,” explains the official.

In order to keep a check, the circle engineers would also have to submit montly reports about the steps taken from their end to ensure minimum power theft. This would also keep a check on corrupt practices as, according to sources, DHBVN officials have been helping people in stealing power in lieu of bribes.Further, the submitted report also needs to mention the number of complaints addressed each month by the engineer of a particular area.Inadequate power infrastructure is a major issue in the developing Gurgaon-II (sector-58-115)  where construction is in full swing. In June, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had announced an amount of Rs 2,688 crore for the development of power infrastructure in new sectors. The review report would also  monitor the progress in the development of the infrastructure in these newly developing areas.(Source-DNA)
 

Power Theft-AIMA affiliate suggests private distribution of power in UP

India.
Lucknow Mgt Association says power crisis in the state largely due to pilferage emerging from transmission glitches, poor distribution and theft, rather than shortage.
A professionals’ body on Wednesday suggested handing over power distribution in urban areas to the private sector for energy conservation and cutting costs.
Lucknow Management Association (LMA), an affiliate of the All India Management Association (AIMA), said much of the power crisis in Uttar Pradesh was attributed to power pilferage emerging from power transmission glitches, poor distribution and theft, rather than just power-generation shortage.

“Private power distribution companies have introduced modern technology in several cities that has negated possibilities of power theft and pilferage. The same model could be adopted in Uttar Pradesh,” LMA Secretary A K Mathur said here. The decision of the state government to hand over power distribution to private companies has so far met with little success, especially due to stiff opposition from state energy department employees.

Meanwhile, LMA is organising its annual convention on driving UP’s growth through power sector in Lucknow on Friday to brainstorm on vital energy issues in the state, which faces perennial crisis due to the widening demand-supply gap.  The state falls short of about 3,000 megawatt (Mw) during peak hours.

Of late, the power issue has been a major bone of contention between the Centre and the state government with each side blaming each other.(Source- Business Standard)

Power theft: Pregnant woman, widow sentenced till rising of court.

India.
Taking a humane view, a Delhi court has sentenced two women till rising of the court in a case of power theft noting that one of them is pregnant and the other a widow. 

Additional Sessions Judge  convicted Delhi residents Kamal Upadhyay and Nirmala Devi of the offence of power theft under the Electricity Act by putting a wire on a low transmission line but took a lenient view towards them and released both the women. 

"The accused are first offenders. Accused Komal is in advance stage of pregnancy whereas accused Nirmala is widow. Keeping in view all the facts coupled with submissions made by the accused, a lenient view is taken in their favour. 

"The accused are sentenced to undergo imprisonment till the rising of the court," the judge said. 

Rising of the court is a nominal sentence awarded to a guilty person who is not allowed to leave the court till it concludes. 

The judge also said the two women have paid the entire amount of their electricity bill of Rs 29,067 and this fact has been admitted by the discom's legal retainer in the court. 

According to the complaint, on October 5, 2012, the officials of the discom inspected their premises in Jharoda Kalan area in west Delhi and it was used and occupied by the two women. 

No electricity meter was installed there and the women were illegally indulging in direct theft of electricity from the pole of the complainant company with the help of wires which were connected to the premises' load, it said, adding that the connected load was found for domestic purpose. 

A case was registered against Kamal and Nirmala at Baha Hari Dass Nagar Police Station. 

At the time of sentence, Komal submitted she was in advance stage of pregnancy and has two daughters. Nirmala said that she was a widow and has to support her family as there is no one to look after them. 

They both said they have paid the entire bill amount and sought a lenient view in punishment. 

The leniency plea, however, was opposed by the counsel for the State.
(Source-Business Standard)

POWER THEFT.Police prevent power department from installing transformer

India
BAREILLY: A power department team which had gone to install a new transformer after receiving regular complaints of low voltage and frequent tripping faced opposition from a very unexpected quarter. 

Cops at Kankartola police outpost under Baradari police station refused to let the power officials do their work and instead drove them away. 

Locals alleged that rampant pilferage of electricity was going on at the nearby police colony which would be exposed once the transformer is installed

A police official, however, defended the move to ask the power department to leave saying the transformer was being set up too close to the staff quarters, posing a threat to those who live in the colony. 

The power department has approached senior police officials, who in turn have asked their subordinates to ensure that no such incident is repeated. 

The team, led by sub divisional officer (SDO) Shaidana power station had on Saturday gone to install a 250 KVa transformer near Kankar Tola police station along with necessary equipment like electricity poles and cables. 

However, as the team started digging pits for installing steel angles to mount the transformer, cops led by Kankar Tola police outpost incharge and some constables under Baradari police station reached the spot and stopped the work. 

Without citing any reason for this step, the cops asked the team of the power department to install the transformer at any other spot except the one chosen by them, said executive engineer, Shaidana power station, Nand Lal. 

He said that the new transformer would have improved electricity supply of neighbouring areas, including Kankar Tola, Subzi Mandi and Baradari, but sensing the mood of the policemen, the power department staff were left with no option except to leave the spot. 

Meanwhile, hearing the commotion, locals also rushed to the spot and accused the cops of sabotaging their chance to get round-the-clock uninterrupted power supply which has not been the case over the last few months. 

On the other hand, executive engineer, Shaidana, Nandlal has apprised his senior officials about the development who in turn have informed the senior cops including SP, city and sought his help in resolving the deadlock. 

Talking to TOI, inspector, Baradari police station, Mohd Qasim said, "We have only objected to installing the transformer on safety grounds as family members of police personnel live at staff quarters in the vicinity. The power department is adamant on installing the transformer close to the staff quarters which may pose a threat to residents of the staff quarters and their families which is why we expressed reservation. The power department should select a spot which is safe and free from such hassles."(Source-Times of India)

POWER THEFT World Loses $89.3 Billion to Electricity Theft Annually, $58.7 Billion in Emerging Markets

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Electricity theft is a widespread problem across the world, especially in many emerging market countries. Currently, the top 50 emerging market countries lose $58.7bn per year due to electricity theft, compared with just$30.6bn in the rest of the world, including the largest industrialized economies. These 50 emerging market countries will cumulatively invest $168bn over the next decade in smart grid infrastructure to combat theft and improve reliability, according to a new study published today by Northeast Group, LLC.    
The annual Emerging Markets Smart Grid: Outlook 2015 study found that reducing theft, or "non-technical losses," in these 50 countries – including the BRICS – is an increasing priority for utilities and regulators. The study highlights key trends in power infrastructure modernization across the developing world.  
"The fourth edition of our annual study highlights the transition towards smart grid infrastructure as electric utilities are realizing it's the most effective means for reducing non-technical losses," said Ben Gardner, President of Northeast Group. "India alone loses $16.2bnper year, followed by Brazil with $10.5bn and Russia with $5.1bn. By 2024, emerging market countries will be spending $29bn per year on smart grid infrastructure to combat this theft, boost reliability and improve the financial sustainability of utilities."
Northeast Group's study profiles each of the 50 developing countries, forecasts smart grid investment and highlights key trends for 2015. The study found that electricity prices have risen 17% over the past year—increasing the incentives for smart grid investment—and that vendors have shifted focus from their legacy businesses to smart infrastructure offerings. Swiss vendor Landis+Gyr is the current smart meter market leader in emerging markets, with ADD Grup, EDMI, Elster, GE, Iskraemeco, Itron, Kamstrup, NES (Echelon), Secure Meters, and Sensus all also active in multiple countries.
The 217-page study includes a smart grid regulatory country index that ranks countries and regional forecasts from 2014-2024. These forecasts cover smart metering, distribution automation, wide area measurement, home energy management and information technology. Profiles of each country are included as well as details on key vendors and market trends. (Source-PRNewswire)
 

POWER THEFT-PSPCL told to pay Rs. 50,000 for causing mental harassment

INDIA
Permanent Lok Adalat (Public Utility Services), SAS Nagar, has directed Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to pay Rs. 50,000 compensation for “mental harassment” caused to a resident of Kheri Jattan village resident after the company accused him of stealing power and disconnected his commercial electricity connection.
Advertisement
Dismissing a notice issued by the sub-divisional officer and executive engineer of PSPCL, Lalru, to Jagdish Singh the Permanent Lok Adalat headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal also directed the company to pay `10,000 towards litigation costs. However, if the company restores Singh’s electricity supply within 15 days, it would not be liable to pay the compensation, the order said.
In August 2012, Singh’s electricity meter had burned out due to a technical fault, which the company replaced. However, on December 3, 2013, the company issued a notice which stated that the company, upon checking the previous meter, found that Singh had committed power theft by tampered with the meter. The notice told Singh to pay `47,903 and cut his power supply when he refused to comply. The forum, in their order, said there was no evidence that Singh had tampered with the meter. 
“The meter was removed in Singh’s absence. It was not put in a box (by the company) nor was it jointly sealed or signed by the applicant.  Moreover, the ME Lab did not issue any notice to the applicant about the date of testing as required under the Electricity Manual and Regulations. The meter remained with the officials for more than one year,” the order said, adding that the company failed to produce officials’ affidavits affirming that the meter was tampered with. The order said the company also failed to lodge a police complaint of the theft, failing to prove its case. The order came after efforts to reach a compromise between the parties failed. Singh, meanwhile, has also been given an option of recovering the compensation from officials at fault.(Source-Hindustan Times)

IR meters not tamper proof

Hyderabad: With an aim to check pilferage, the electricity department replaced old meters with double sealed infra-red meters in several parts of the city. Despite that, around 100 cases of theft have surfaced in the city in the last six months.

Skilled technicians, offering their services for around Rs 1000 per household, assuring that resetting will lower the electricity bills, are tampering with the meters to show lower reading.

“Although common users are unable to break the seal of the meters and tamper with them, certain technicians, who have the expertise to do so, are offering their services.

Several such cases in old city areas have come to our notice. These technicians are able break open the seal, insert instruments to reset the meter and replace the seal.

Suspecting something unusual about the sudden low reading, we sent such meters to the MRT labs and discovered the theft,” said P. Nagabhushanam, CI central circle, TS Transco vigilance cell.

“Officials had replaced regular meters with infrared ports placed at the transformers in several high theft prone areas like Asifnagar, Ranigunj, Golconda and Azamabad division, with the aim of reducing the tampering. However, it came to our notice recently that consumers are tampering with them with the help of expert technicians.

This is said to cost around Rs 800 to Rs 1000 and shows a lower reading. The technicians are constantly on the move and have remained unidentified so far,” added the official. He added that customers caught for tampering had been lured by these “experts”(source-Deccan Herald)

Power theft in Haryana amounts to Rs 33 crore

A total of 25,630 cases of power theft have been reported in Haryana during the current fiscal so far, with the authorities recovering Rs 33 crore as penalty from the offenders.

 "Officials checked 1,47,317 consumer premises and detected 25,630 cases of power pilferage upto January during the current fiscal," a spokesperson of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam today said.He said Rs 33 crore out of the total amount of penalty imposed on the offenders has been recovered so far.Electricity meters of 26,933 consumers were found defective during the checking, the official added.

 The erring consumers were found to be stealing electricity either through direct connections, or by tampering with the power meter and managing fake meter seals, he said, adding police have so far lodged 298 FIRs in this connection.

 In order to minimise the possibilities of power theft, the Nigam is mulling special camps in villages to release on-the-spot connections to domestic consumers, the spokesperson said.(Source News 24)

Power Thieves! You Are Being Watched!

KOCHI: Power theft has been eating into the revenue of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). However, recently after the KSEB announced reward for those providing information about people stealing power, it has been able to achieve some breakthrough in the issue. But as it always happens in every case, some people use this opportunity to settle personal scores. The board, however, pointed that the  though it sometimes gets such fake calls, most of the calls are genuine and they have been able to nab the culprits.
The  AEE with anti-power theft squad of KSEB at Ernakulam said that before the rewards were announced, they used to get around 30 calls providing information about power thefts in a month from Ernakulam district.
“However, these days after the rewards were declared, we get at least 30 calls per day. It is true that some use this opportunity to settle personal scores, but in most cases the information is authentic. Since we are receiving a lot of information about power theft from the public, checking has been increased and a large number of cases are being detected,” he said. Though KSEB has not rewarded any of the informers yet, the paperwork regarding this will be completed soon. KSEB had promised a reward of `50,000 or five per cent of the fine amount, which is lesser, for information regarding power theft.
“The reward will be given when KSEB collects the entire amount from the person who has been stealing power. The paper work for rewarding  the informants is taking place,” a KSEB official said.
Ernakulam, which is the business hub of the state is the highest electricity consuming district in Kerala.
As per available data, consumption of electricity is 1,500 million units per month by the entire state. In this, 300 million units are consumed by Ernakulam district alone, which is one fifth of the consumption of entire state. Per day, electricity consumption is 55 million units in the state and 10 million units in Ernakulam district. Ernakulam district has 21 extra high tension consumers. In the state, there are around 50 extra high tension consumers. Similarly, there are 1,156 high tension consumers and 12.38 lakhs low tension consumers. KSEB receives `35 crore as revenue from the extra high tension consumer each month in Ernakulam. Similarly, high tension consumers generate revenue of `50 crore and `83 crore from the low tension consumers in the district.
Rishi Raj Singh, Chief vigilance officer of KSEB said that since electricity consumption in Ernakulam is very high, the theft cases are also high here.
“Considering this we conducted three day long special drive and collected `1.57 crore from Ernakulam district alone. Since there are several industries and commercial units operating in the district, theft cases are high here. The squads in the district have  been directed to continue drive,” he said.(Source-The New Indian Express)
 

Show Political Will, Treat Power Theft as Perfidy

India
The Union cabinet has cleared a slew of projects worth `253 crore to tackle rampant theft of electricity by rolling out metering in cities and upgrading old distribution networks. This was long overdue and prime minister Modi had promised during the Lok Sabha election campaign that he would provide uninterrupted power to the whole country which he is striving to fulfill through these measures. As chief minister of Gujarat, Modi was credited in 2005 with tackling power shortages by clamping down on theft, and by repairing the finances of local distribution companies hit hard by unpaid bills.
Under the new scheme, the government will roll out meters on distribution transformers, feeders and for consumers in urban areas. It will also strengthen sub-transmission and distribution networks. The projects will help cut technical and commercial losses and improve collection efficiency. Transmission losses and power thefts account for nearly 30 per cent of power generated. The World Bank has pointed that India’s grid losses due to poor wiring and theft are amongst the highest in the world. Comparable losses are 5 per cent in Australia, 6 per cent in China and the US, and 16 per cent in Brazil. There are two kinds of power losses: Technical loss caused by a faulty power transmission system (old and inefficient transformers and leaky distribution lines), and non-technical or commercial loss, as a result of power theft, non-payment of electricity bills, unbilled usage of electricity, etc. The NDA government is focussing on both aspects.
Implicit social and political sanction is one of the most important reasons why commercial power loss is so rampant in India. Power supply is an important, if not sensitive, poll plank; the authorities are reluctant to penalise defaulters; and consequently, the public has become used to the idea of free or cheap electricity, even if it means irregular supply. This must change and the government must show the political will to treat power theft as an anti-national act.(Source-The New Indian Express)
 
 

Power Theft-Burnt transformers with power theft links will not be replaced.


India :
PUNE: The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd has taken a tough stand against power thefts from agricultural transformers. If such transformers burn down due to overload from illegal connections, they will not be replaced till such connections are snapped. Cases of power theft and unauthorized use of power will also be filed against offenders under section 135 and 126 of the Electricity Act 2003.The distribution company has said regions with higher percentage of power thefts also have frequent transformer burn outs. Each transformer costs between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.50 lakh. Detailed guidelines were issued to the power company's field staff about steps to be taken when they receive complaints about a transformer burn out.

"All unauthorized connections have to be removed and wherever necessary action should be taken under section 135 and 126 of the electricity act," the circular said, adding that help from elected representatives should be taken in such cases. The transformer should be replaced only after all illegal connections are disconnected.The field staff has been directed to check if all farmers availing supply from a transformer have installed capacitors as per rules on their agricultural pumps to improve energy efficiency. A burned out transformer should be replaced only after verifying the capacitors, the circular said. Top priority will be given to replacing a burnt transformer in areas where the bill recovery is more than 70%. In keeping with the policy, the distribution company on Wednesday started dispatch of 600 transformers to its divisional offices with instructions that they be used as replacements only in areas where farmers pay their bills regularly. "In case a transformer fails within 15 days of replacement, the junior engineer of that area will be held responsible and immediate disciplinary action will be initiated. It will be assumed that illegal connections were not removed and capacitors were not fit by farmers taking supply from that transformer," the circular said. A transformer will not be replaced for the third time under any circumstances and the chief engineer of the distribution company should be informed about such cases, it added.
Henceforth, every section office of the distribution company will display a board with information about all the burned transformers, bill payment amount and arrears due. The distribution company has also initiated detailed scrutiny of power supply feeders that report high power loss and high transformer failure rates.Sources in the distribution company said such steps were necessary to ensure that farmers who pay their bills get eight hours supply during the day and 10 hours supply during the night as per the protocol.(Source-Times of India)

Power theft case: 5 witnesses not examined as CBI fails to produce record - See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/bhushan-industrial-corporation-power-theft-case-5-witnesses

In an unusual development, five witnesses in the case of power theft against Bhushan Industrial Corporation could not be examined in a city court on Saturday because the CBI could not produce the relevant record.

Taking note of the CBI’s lapse, Additional District and Sessions Judge Vimal Kumar asked the agency to take a “firm stand as to whether the record which is not traceable (on Saturday) can be traced or not”.

Further, the court said “the witnesses shall be summoned only after CBI takes a stand regarding the record on or before 25.11.2014”.

The accused in  the case, which was adjourned to December 6,  include Brij Bhushan Singhal, managing director of BIC, and officials of the Bhakra Beas Management Board and the Electricity Department.

The court had summoned nine witnesses for examination. However, the statement of only one witness could be recorded.

One witness, Sukhwinder Singh, was dropped as “repetitive” by the CBI counsel, summons for a second witness could not be served due to change of address and a third moved an application for exemption as his wife was unwell. Records pertaining to the other five witnesses could not be traced by CBI officials and the counsel.

In its order, the court said, “Prosecutor submits that without the record, which is not traceable at the moment, no prosecution witness can be examined. Counsel for the accused submits that the record to be shown to the witnesses, P P Wahi, Bharat Kumar, K G Khanna, Inderjit Sharma and Narinder Singh is not traceable. So the prosecution should take a firm stand.”

The court recorded that the CBI should make it clear if the witnesses were to be examined or given up.

The court had framed charges against Brij Bhushan Singhal on February 22, 2006, in the case involving power theft amounting to Rs 30.65 lakh between April 1985 and July 1988.

The accused had “wilfully and fraudulently” prevented the meter from duly registering the supply from D-3 feeder of the Bhakra Beas Management Board sub-station in Sector 28, from where power was supplied to BIC.

They allegedly caused a loss to the UT Electricity Department, as also the Haryana State Electricity Board by siphoning off 1,17,45,906 units of power in a criminal conspiracy.

 

Patiala traffic police station fined Rs 75000 for electricity theft Punjab,India

Patiala – In a surprise raid conducted by The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), the Punjab traffic police station has been slapped a fine of Rs 75,000 for alleged electricity theft.
According to media reports, the action came a day after the traffic police challaned some vehicles of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited ( PSPCL). Some police officials were of the view that the PSPCL authorities raided the police station in retaliation to challans of their vehicles.
Chief Engineer Paramjeet Singh Khaira, however, said, “Our team conducted a raid at the Patiala traffic police station and found that the power load there was 6 kW more than the sanctioned load. A fine was imposed on the police authorities for that violation. I don’t understand why the two issues are being related. They issued a challan, we paid the fine and the matter was over.”
He said the PSPCL also had a complaint-handling procedure. If the police department had any apprehensions, it could submit an explanation within 15 days and the issue could be reviewed, he added.
Though SP Traffic Pushpa Devi confirmed that she issued 12 challans for government vehicles a few days back.
Patiala SSP Hardial Mann said he was unaware of any fine being slapped on the department for power theft.
Source- SinghStation
 

Power Theft- A major issue, N.R. Narayana Murthy, Infosys co-founder

India

The  most important problems that innovative science can help solve for India are Institutes such as IISc., for instance, could focus on how to build better quality roads by spending as little as possible… roads that can withstand huge rain. Or how to reduce theft of electricity, reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. This country is a lab for the maximum number of problems.

See full story : http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/govt-should-take-a-backseat-in-higher-education/article6595907.ece(Source-the Hindu)

Power Theft-Regulatory commission to monitor the Discom

India

Babus in Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) would have to stop loafing during work hours as Haryana Electricity Regulatory Committee (HERC) has instructed the department to submit a monthly performance review from now on.The babus might not be pleased with the decision but this step would streamline backlog projects that got piled up due to lacklustre attitude of officials.


The decision was taken in a meeting recently held by HERC in Chandigarh, and the officials have already dispatched letter to the department.“Now the circle engineers would be accountable to the department for the work that they have done in a particular month. The main reason behind the move is to curtail the massive increase in power theft the area,” informs a senior power official.


In the recent past, there has been an unprecedented increase in power thefts which has prompted the authorities to take the decision. Power theft not only results in power shortage, but it also results in damage of infrastructure. Infrastructure relay means requirement of more funds.Normal standards set by the department for power theft in urban areas is 3 per cent on each feeder whereas this ratio is 10 per cent in rural areas. But urban feeders have been witnessing 13 percent power theft whereas rural feeders have seen a theft of 50 percent in the recent past, giving sleepless nights to DHBVN.


“Power theft is high in rural areas because of  the agricultural set-up. We can’t snap power connections as it would affect the agricultural produce,” explains the official.In order to keep a check, the circle engineers would also have to submit montly reports about the steps taken from their end to ensure minimum power theft. This would also keep a check on corrupt practices as, according to sources, DHBVN officials have been helping people in stealing power in lieu of bribes.


Further, the submitted report also needs to mention the number of complaints addressed each month by the engineer of a particular area.Inadequate power infrastructure is a major issue in the developing Gurgaon-II (sector-58-115)  where construction is in full swing. In June, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had announced an amount of Rs 2,688 crore for the development of power infrastructure in new sectors. A total of 37 sub-stations were proposed in the new sectors as per the master plan and till now land has been allotted for only 10(Source-DNA)

TOPPERS IN POWER THEFT

A perusal of the official figures for the past two years suggests that the Jaipur Discom topped the list of power theft.
According to the Discom’s figures, the T&D loses that were 18.39 per cent during 2012-13 shot up to 28.13 per cent of the total electricity available during 2013-14, whereas the EESL audit report put it at as high as 30.51 per cent (for 2013-14). 
Similarly, Ajmer and Jodhpur Discoms reported a hike from 19.85 per cent in 2012-13 to 21.03 per cent in 2013-14, and from 17.32 per cent to 21 per cent during the same period respectively. 
However, the audit revealed that during 2013-14 the actual T&D loses for Ajmer and Jodhpur were 24 per cent and 26.58 per cent respectively. A huge jump in loses as also discrepancy in figures by any reckoning. 
Conceding the fact that the audit found a loss of over 30 per cent during 2013-14, the managing director of the Jaipur Discom, BK Dosi, said that the figures were being studied and special efforts would now be needed. 
When presenting the revised budget for 2013-14, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had then told the state assembly that the total debt on the three discoms, as on March 31, 2014, was to the tune of about Rs 75,000 crores. 
They not only topped the list of debt-ridden discoms, but their burden was about half of the total debt on all the discoms of the country. 
This not only shows the inefficiency of the power sector of Rajasthan, but is also indicative of the possible future burden on consumers. 
Rajasthan Discoms, in fact, are reportedly preparing for an annual hike of around 23 per cent in their tariffs. And the burden is mostly to pass on to the domestic and industrial consumers as the agricultural consumers have been kept insulated from this by the political leadership, irrespective of the party in power, for electoral reasons. 
Even those farmers who have been enjoying the fruits of canal irrigation systems are not being made to share the burden of development. The shocking state of affairs is exascabated by the fact that the discoms, while in the process of hiking tariffs, have failed to provide power - especially in rural parts of the state. 
Statistics show that the power demand has increased to 2192.27 lakh units - an increase of 50 per cent over 2013. In this light, the increasing T&D losses seem all the more inexcusable. 
The audit has made it clear that the state government must crack down on the Discoms and force them to provide more efficient means of power to the people. 
Local reports suggest that rural areas are still facing power cuts of about four to six hours in a day. But now with this study the government can ensure that errant discoms can no longer take away power from people. 

POWER THEFT-REWARD FOR INFORMERS

KOCHI: In a special drive conducted from November 10 to 12 against various electricity thefts and anomalies, the Anti-Power Theft Squad of the KSEB collected Rs 1.57 crore from Ernakulam district alone. The squad collected Rs 8.61 crore from the theft and anomalies detected from August to November 5, 2014, across the state this year.
ADGP Rishi Raj Singh who is serving as the Chief Vigilance Officer of the KSEB said power theft and other kinds of anomalies are increasing in the state. He said that squads comprising four officials each have been dedicated for the inspection activities in every district.“In the special drive conducted in Ernakulam district, Rs 1,57,62,550 was collected as fine. Around 13 squads in which 80 officials were included conducted checking at different parts of the district. As many as 667 inspections were conducted from which 31 power theft cases and 84 anomalies were detected. Since Ernakulam district consumes one fifth of the entire electricity consumption in the state, the drive started here first. The drive would be extended to other districts,” he said.
As far as the entire state is concerned, 6,255 inspections were conducted in which 235 theft and 665 anomalies were detected and Rs 8.61 crore was collected as fine from August to November 5, this year.The most common type of electricity theft detected was related to misuse of tariff. Some take electricity connection for agricultural purpose and divert it for domestic use. Some divert domestic connection for commercial purpose. Tampering with the meter is also common here.“Similarly some people do unauthorised extension like taking a connection for one house and extending it to other. The other common theft is unauthorised additional load in which electricity in high load is used at the residence.
“Several government establishments also practise irregularities and all the squads have been directed to conduct checking even at government offices and institutions,” he said.
Rishi Raj Singh said that, compared to other states, the illegal diversion of electricity is less here. “In Kerala only 10 per cent of generated electricity is diverted. In other states, average electricity diversion is more than 20 per cent. Interestingly, most of the electricity diversion is done by the rich persons here. Many diversions are made by commercial establishments who consume large quantities of electricity,” he said.
The Kottayam unit of the Anti-Theft squad which detected power theft of Rs 40 lakh would be given reward by the KSEB Vigilance wing. The Kollam unit with Rs 25 lakh and Kannur unit with Rs 12 lakh came second and third.
On Wednesday, the Anti Power Theft squad detected electricity theft from a commercial establishment in Perumbavoor. The owners of the establishment has been asked to pay Rs 36.5 as fine.“Once electricity thefts and anomalies are detected, we disconnect the supply. The supply will be restored only after paying the fine,” he said.
Reward for informers: Rishi raj
Rishi Raj Singh, Chief Vigilance Officer of KSEB announced a reward for the person giving information about power theft to the Anti-Power Theft squad. He said that any person giving tip-off would be given Rs 50,000 as reward or five per cent of fine amount would be given as reward. The names of the person who give information would be kept confidential. The information can be passed on to the squad over phones 0471-2444554 or 9446008006. People can also pass the information using whatsapp mobile application.
 

Residents protest against false case of power theft

India

 Residents of a colony today protested outside a power station here, alleging that power officials demand bribe from them while allotting new connections or checking meters. 

Dozens of people from Chaman Vihar Colony protested outside the power station for nearly four hours. 

They alleged that power officials demand extra money from them for new connections. People also alleged that while checking meters, officials demand bribe, threatening to implicate them in false case of power theft. They also alleged that the transmission lines in the area are very old. 

The protest was called off after nearly four hours when SDO Sushant Mishra reached the spot and assured people of solving their grievances.

(Source -Business Standard)

Electrical distribution: Reduce losses on distribution networks

 Electric distribution: Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, and Awesense Inc. have signed an agreement to commercialize complementary offers to reduce network losses in electricity distribution grids. Under the terms of this agreement, both groups will combine their expertise in order to design and propose integrated solutions enabling utilities to reduce ongoing grid losses and recover lost revenue, helping them achieve more reliable and profitable distribution grids.

Awesense Inc. develops products and software for increased grid efficiency by identifying losses, reducing risk of overloads, leveraging data from assets and reducing revenue recovery time from metering errors or electricity theft. Schneider Electric develops, manufactures and sells electrical distribution, critical power supply and control equipment as well as network automation and grid management software enabling its utility customers to operate reliable, secure and efficient networks.

This agreement will enable Schneider Electric to integrate and sell Awesense’s True Grid Intelligence (TGI) cloud software and line sensors, as well as associated engineering & technical services. The solution identifies losses on all grid topologies with overhead or underground conductors. Awesense Inc. will benefit from Schneider Electric’s commercial footprint with utility partners across the globe, and specialized teams who are actively engaged in improving network efficiency.

“This agreement will create a complete loss reduction solution, bringing together our complementary offers and enabling utilities worldwide to increase grid efficiency by analyzing data from smart meters against data from suspicious network assets through losses audits,” said Frédéric Abbal, EVP of Schneider Electric’s Energy Business.

“We are very excited to partner with Schneider Electric in tackling the problem of unidentified losses,” said Mischa Steiner-Jovic, CEO of Awesense Inc. “Utilities lose over $200B each year to distribution losses, which has an enormous impact on the environment and the economic performance of power companies everywhere.(Source-

Radio station owner said among 711 arrested for electricity theft

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) is reporting that 711 persons have been arrested between January 1 and October 15 for the illegal abstraction of electricity.

JPS has been carrying out multiple operations across the island, with the support of the security forces, in addition to conducting meter audits and account investigations.

The parishes with the highest number of arrests for electricity theft are St James with 128 arrests, followed by St Elizabeth with 118 arrests and St Catherine with 112 arrests.

According to a company release on Saturday, a community radio station owner/operator in St James was arrested during the week when a meter bypass was found powering the small media entity. The radio station had been disconnected since February of this year for an outstanding balance, but was discovered this week to be receiving supply, via an illegal connection, the release said.

The release said that in Kingston, a cold storage operation was recently discovered to be stealing electricity to the tune of $500,000 per month.

( Source- JamaicaObserver)

Man accused of electricity theft acquitted

INDIA
Additional sessions judge has acquitted a factory owner booked under the Electricity Act (EA) for allegedly committing electricity theft.

On the complaint of SDO Manoj Grewal, Surinder Kumar of Ambala Cantt was booked and arrested under sections 135/151 of the EA and a fine of Rs. 1,84,005 was also slapped on him.
In his complaint, the SDO had alleged that a vigilance team of electricity board inspected the premises of the accused on February 9, 2012, and he was found committing theft of electricity as the meter was working slow on all three phases and the seals on the meter were found in a doubtful condition.
The defence had argued that the accused was falsely implicated, adding that the meter which was checked by the officials was temporarily installed by the electricity officials since his earlier meter was taken away in an earlier checking.
It also argued that when the temporary meter was installed on October 18, 2003, it was not checked and no report had come on file about the condition of the meter on that day.
The defence said that information sought under the RTI revealed that the meter was not sent to the laboratory for testing.
While giving the accused the benefit of doubt, the court observed that the circumstances clearly showed that the prosecution from its evidence was unable to prove that the accused tempered with the meter or committed the theft.(Source-Hindustan Times)
 

POWER THEFT:Slum stole power for seven years, causes Rs 42-crore loss

BANGALORE
INDIA
It was not so much a power grab as it was picking the grid up, slinging it under your arm and sauntering off into the sunset. 

It's not secret that Power minister DK Shivakumar and his men have been fighting an uphill battle against power theft, but recently, they cracked a theft that would have Danny Ocean purring. 

Over 50 Bescom officials swooped down on Karnataka Slum Clearance Board's (KSCB) quarters in Kudlu near Electronics City where they found that about 1,000 homes illegally drew around 1,000 kilowatts a day, causing a loss of about Rs 50 lakh every month. And if you though that was bad...they've been doing it for seven years. 

The raid came close on the heels of Shivakumar's recent 'zero tolerance' policy to power theft and was a major breakthrough, said officials. 

The raids are being carried out parallel to various other measures like Bescom's recent measure to audit energy transmitted by fixing meters to transformers and to plug power theft at the individual household level. 

The raids came about after a month-long investigation by a vigilance team led by Asifulla Khan, an assistant executive engineer with Bescom. The first of the raids managed to cover only 368 homes. 

"In a preliminary inquiry, it is found that the power has been illegally drawn since 2010. Over 272 units allotted in 2010 drew electricity illegally. Another 96 units drew electricity illegally a year after they were allotted. In the initial inquiry pertaining to these units, the amount of loss is found to be close to Rs 1.5 crore. The executive engineer and assistant executive engineer have been booked instead of the residents as it's their duty to ensure all basic facilities are provided before allotting and letting the beneficiaries occupy it," Prakash Gowda, SP (vigilance), Bescom told Bangalore Mirror. 

The electricity was illegally drawn from a main line that supplied power to a nearby IT company, officials said. However, the magnitude of the theft is said to be much more than what's found, as it was stopped midway due to protests. "Only around 400 units were raided out of over a 1,000. The theft began in 2007 -- perpetrated by those living in illegal homes and legal ones -- the guesstimated electricity drawn illegally is around 1,000 kilowatt a day causing a loss to the tune of over Rs 50 lakh every month. Further probes in other phases will bring a clear picture. KSCB officials, who should ensure occupancy only after all basic facilities have been provided legally, have failed to do so," an officer told Bangalore Mirror. 
The raids will go on 

Shivakumar maintained that the drive would go on and the theft wouldn't be tolerated. 

"We have adopted a zero tolerance policy on power theft. The government has announced a Rs 2,000 cash prize for informers. Besides this, officials carrying out major operations will be provided incentives. All these steps are being carried out to address the power theft issue effectively. Recently, we warned people who had not paid their bills for over 30 years. We are doing all possible things to check instances of power theft and these raids are part of it. This will be carried out in an intense manner across Bangalore and the state in days ahead," Shivakumar told Bangalore Mirror.


THE PENALTY
The KSCB officials are booked under section 135 of Electricity Act. It states that in case of illegaltapping/theft and usage of electricity less that 10 kilowatt, the fine imposed on first conviction shall not be less than three times the financial gain on account of such theft of electricity. On account of such theft in second or subsequent conviction, the fine imposed shall not be less than six times the financial gain. If the theft exceeds 10 kilowatt, the fine imposed on first conviction shall not be less than three times the financial gain. And in the event of second or subsequent conviction, the sentenceshall be imprisonment for a term not less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine not less than six times the financial gain. 
(Source-Bangalore Mirror)

Man absolved of Power theft, meter tampering charges

India
Permanent Lok Adalat (PLA) has given major relief of Rs. 37,491 to a resident of Mandi Gobindgarh by quashing charges against him levelled by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).
The PSPCL had directed the petitioner to pay charges for power theft and for tampering with the electricity meter. Ruling in favour of the petitioner, the PLA also held the PSPCL responsible for not following its rules and regulations in the case.
Subhash Kumar had filed a petition saying that the PSPCL had raised an illegal demand of Rs. 77,062 for electricity charges, following which his mother had filed an application before the deputy chief engineer of Khanna, who in turn reduced the fine from Rs. 77,062 to Rs. 17,491 plus Rs. 20,000 as the compounded fee, which brought the amount payable to Rs. 37,491. The petitioner then challenged the fine before the the PLA. Clarifying its stand, PSPCL replied that the meter in question was replaced with a new meter. The PSPCL further stated that the changed meter was sealed as per rules and was checked in the ME laboratory on June 6, 2013, and found that the meter had been tampered with and the reading, counting and security cover were missing and the consumer had stopped recording the actual consumption.
The PSPCL added that following the violation, it issued a notice to the consumer on June 7, 2013 and after objections raised by the consumer, a final hearing had taken place on July 15, 2013. The amount had then been reduced from Rs. 77,062 to Rs. 37,491.
However, PLA chairman PD Goel observed that PSPCL failed to provide sufficient evidence that the meter was removed, packed and sealed in the presence of the petitioner as per rules laid by it.
 
The PLA further observed that the PSPCL submitted a self-serving affidavit of the engineer, Balbir Singh, which was not sufficient evidence as he neither checked the meter in the ME laboratory nor was he a member of the committee. It also observed that the ME lab report did not bear the signature of the consumer, so PSPCL had violated its own rules and regulations.
Further, the PLA also observed that the meter was installed outside the house of the consumer, therefore, the consumer could not be held guilty for committing power theft as it was the duty of the PSPCL to conduct checking to avoid power theft.
(Hindustan Times)
 

Flat-owners sore at govt robbery of tax-payers

Single-source electricity connections or smart electricity meters, increased property tax in reviewed formula and inception of conveyance deed (CD) has emerged as a major issue for the 40,000 strong population of owners/allottees of flats in over 300 group housing societies in Mansa Devi Complex, sectors 20, 22, 25, 26, and 27, which fall under the PANCHKULA assembly constituency. MANVEER SAINI catches up with residents to check their pulse towards elections.

Panchkula: "For the past two years, we had been fighting the battle against single source connection forced upon us by the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC). Following this, we have been now served fresh notices about the replacement of existing meters by pre-paid smart electricity meters," said Subhash Chander Sachdeva, the president of a flat owners' body in Mansa Devi Complex.

And this has come with a heavy burden of redefined property tax, as well as conveyance deed (CD) forced on the residents. Most of the flat owners are retirees and have invested their entire bank balance in getting the house. Original allottees will be forced to pay Rs8,000-10,000, and those who bought the houses on resale will have to shell out about Rs3-5 lakh, depending upon the value of the flat. Referring to property tax, BB Sharma, an office-bearer of the Sector 20 flat owners, claimed that property tax is working out to be more than that of a house of 350 square yards owned in other sectors. "So far as electricity is concerned, flat owners are the only group targeted by the electricity department to cover up their losses incurred in power theft in the rural belts," he said.(Source-Times of India)

Hydel project MD arrested for power theft, released on bail

INDIA-A top official of a mini-hydel project in Uttarakhand has been arrested in connection with a 10-month-old power theft case. 

Managing Director of a hydro-electricity project was arrested here yesterday and sent to jail on charges of illegally consuming electricity at the company's guest house without applying for proper power connection, a police official said. 

Meanwhile, the company approached a local court today and obtained bail. 

The power theft case surfaced after a power corporation raid at the hydel company's guest house in Raini village of Chamoli district. 

The corporation had lodged a criminal case of power theft against the hydel company at Joshimath police station in January besides slapping on it a fine of Rs 3.20 lakh, Joshimath police station SHO said.
(Source-Business Standard)

Zimbabwe: Power Utility in Prepaid Meters Dilemma

Nearly 100 000 houses in Harare and Bulawayo have looped connections that are not compatible with prepaid metering technology, making it difficult for Zesa to install new units on them.The houses are found mostly in old suburbs such as Highfield, Mbare, Old Mabvuku, Epworth in Harare while Bulawayo has areas such as Makokoba, Mpopoma and Iminyela. The looped connection is a system where many houses are connected to one bulk meter.
Power theft, according to Zesa officials, is also high in these suburbs.
This comes as the power utility has installed 532 000 prepaid meters countrywide at a cost of $71 million since August 2012 and is preparing to switch to smart meters to curb the circumvention of the billing system by consumers.
According to the Zim-Asset prepaid meter target base, Zesa has to install 800 000 meters, 500 000 of which will be prepaid meters, while 300 000 will be smart meters.
Zesa spokesperson, Mr Fullard Gwasira, yesterday told The Herald that outstanding installations premises were predominantly in old suburbs. "The outstanding installations encompass mostly the older suburbs which have looped connections that are not compatible with the prepaid metering technology," he said.
"In Harare, there are 32 000 such customers whilst Bulawayo has 55 000 consumers on the looped system. ZETDC is working towards ensuring that those suburbs have electricity systems that are in sync with the prepaid metering technology so that these consumers are serviced." He said power theft, which is costing Zesa $10 million monthly, would be minimised through the installation of smart meters.
The smart metering technology reports back to the centre any power theft or meter by-passing by consumers unlike prepaid meters.
"The project will commence once due processes by the State Procurement Board have been finalised," Mr Gwasira said.
"The power utility is determined to ensure that it offers a quality service to all its consumers, and the conversion of power supply from post-paid to prepaid systems in one such initiative which has been implemented." The smart metering project would be rolled out without the power utility carrying out a pilot project.
Said Mr Gwasira: "ZETDC is going to roll out the installations without going the route of a pilot project as it has been established that the system is already proven and it would be to the advantage of both our consumers as well as having revenue protection mechanism for the power utility.
"Such a win-win position makes it a sound business move to roll out the project." Smart metering is common in Europe but a number of African countries such as Botswana, South Africa and Malawi have adopted the same technology.
Mr Gwasira said meters were being installed on poles in areas that had high cases of meter tampering.
"In areas that have low tampering of prepaid meters, the utility is not using the pole mounting strategy at the moment, though this position may be reviewed in future," he said.
"In the meantime, alternative security systems that I am not at liberty to disclose, have been deployed to ensure that meters are tamper-proof and instantly give feedback once any criminal activity has been attempted to consume electricity for free."
 (Source -All Africa.com)

Aminabad reports max cases of Power theft

 INDIA -LUCKNOW: At least 300 consumers have been found drawing power supply directly from transformers during Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration's (Lesa) drive to physically verify connections. About 150 such consumers have been found in Aminabad alone which reports maximum cases of power theft, unmetered and unledgerized consumers.

Out of 400-odd unmetered consumers, 145 have been identified in Aminabad. The area also has 117 unledgerized consumers. The ongoing drive is meant to verify each and every consumer and note down details of consumers who have not paid their bills so that action can be taken against them. Officials said the drive will continue "at least till the purpose is met." The slow pace of the drive, said an official, is because of manpower crunch.

The drive, which started on September 1, requires a sub divisional officer (SDO) for physical verification of connections. Every SDO has to check consumers drawing supply from two feeders every day. Considering that on an average 1,000 to 1,500 consumers draw electricity from a single feeder, a huge number of consumers need to be checked daily.(Source-Times of India)

Blackouts cast shadow over PM Narendra Modi's economic recovery

NEW DELHI: NarendraModi took decisive action as chief minister of Gujarat state to secure round-the-clock supplies of electricity. Now, as Prime Minister, he is under attack for failing to avert a national power crisis. 

More than half of India's thermal power stations have less than a week's supply of fuel — the lowest levels since mid-2012 when hundreds of millions of people were cut off in one of the world's worst blackouts. 

Coal stocks at thermal stations have hit critical levels as payment disputes escalate, unleashing power cuts that could choke off an economic recovery before it takes hold and hurt Modi's prospects at forthcoming state elections. 
Financial metropolis Mumbai was plunged into darkness for most of Tuesday, amid a row between private generators and regional distributors that is symptomatic of an industry mired in debt and arrears of at least $100 billion. 

It's a headache for Modi that experts say will only get worse. His government is resisting political pressure for a bailout, just two years after a rescue by the last government that it denounces as a "farce". 

"The moment I start with financial assistance for one state, all the states will be asking me," power and coal minister Piyush Goyal told reporters on Wednesday as he marked a rocky first 100 days in the job. 

"States have to improve their own systems. I can't fund their coal purchases," said Goyal, who is mediating in payment disputes in an attempt to mitigate the power crisis. 

Prithviraj Chavan, chief minister of Maharashtra, has from state capital Mumbai pointed the finger of blame at Modi, who won election by a landslide in May with promises of economic reforms, new jobs and dynamic growth. 

"The centre is responsible," said Chavan. He added that he urged Modi two weeks ago to call crisis talks on the power industry, but says New Delhi "has not taken serious note". 

Maharashtra is one of several states that are at odds with New Delhi on power and coal supplies, and will soon hold elections. BJP hopes to boost its strength in the upper house of Parliament, where it lacks a majority. 

Achilles' heel 

Since Modi took power, coal stocks at thermal power stations that generate three-fifths of India's power have nearly halved to just six days' cover. Of 100 plants, 56 are now 'critical' with less than a week's supply. 

The shortages have arisen not because India lacks coal — it has reserves of 61 billion tonnes. Nor does India consume much power: per capita use is one-seventeenth of the US level, and 400 million Indians have no electricity at all. 

What India does have is a mismatch between the regulated price at which power is sold and the cost of producing it, which is typically 20-30 per cent higher. 

As a result, the power sector is caught in a debt trap, leaving generators unable to scrape together the cash to buy fuel from Coal India, a state behemoth that successive governments have shied away from restructuring. 

"We have a bizarre situation where there is demand for power from distributors without the ability to purchase. Generating capacity is stuck without a contract or the fuel," said Debasish Mishra, a senior director and energy expert at Deloitte. 

The situation "might precipitate quite fast into a crisis," said Mishra, urging the opening up of coal production to competition and amending power tariffs to properly take into account the cost of fuel. 

Modi model 

Modi tackled a similar power crisis in 2005 as CM of Gujarat — a state with a population the size of Britain — with measures that experts say would work in India today. 

His state government assumed existing power company debts, freed the firms of populist pressures that kept power tariffs artificially low and clamped down on rampant electricity theft. 

As a result, Gujarat is now a surplus power producer. 

Doing the same at a national level would, however, be tough as responsibility for power is shared between the 'centre' and India's states. The problem is a lot bigger too. 

The industry has racked up bank debts of 5 trillion rupees ($84 billion), according to central bank figures. Debts owed by distributors totalled $18 billion in 2012, the year of the last rescue. Coal India's receivables are $1.4 billion. 

Worse, the World Bank estimates that annual losses in the Indian power sector could rise to $27 billion by 2017 without action to tackle wasteful subsidies, power theft and political meddling.
Source-Times of india
 

FIRs on power theft three times more than 2013

NEW DELHI,INDIA

The national capital witnessed a spike in the number of power theft cases for first four months of the current fiscal year, with the number of FIRs registered against offenders being three times more than the corresponding period last year.

The power distribution utility, Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL), has logged 201 FIRs of direct power theft in the period between April and July, this year. The number of FIRs registered during the same period last year was 69 cases, which is about a 200 per cent increase.

The discom, which supplies electricity in North and Northwest Delhi has registered these FIRs across five police districts of its operational area, accounting for 703.12 KW of connected loads. In terms of value, stolen electricity is worth more than Rs.1.82 crore. The Outer Delhi district accounts for a maximum of 85 FIRs, followed by Southwest police district with 55 registered cases. Of the 201 FIRs, a total of 58 FIRs are related to cases worth more than Rs.1 lakh and up to Rs.14 lakhs.

To crack a whip on such violators, the discom has been using technology intervention to track power theft in its area of distribution. The utility has installed automated meter reading-based energy systems at Distribution Transformers (DT) level and carries energy audit of all the transformers on a regular basis. This helps in identification of areas in terms of energy mismatch and hence provides actionable inputs for enforcement teams.

“We are determined to fight the menace and are taking all efforts, including employment of technology for the same,” a TPDDL spokesperson said.

Reliance-owned BSES has also been cracking down on electricity theft in its distribution area. In the last 18 months, around 84 people have been convicted by special city courts in Dwarka, Saket and Karkar-dooma for power theft with a cumulative penalty of around Rs.5.6 crore.

A senior BSES official said that of these convictions, 44 people have been sent to jail — 38 for rigorous imprisonment and seven for simple imprisonment — for terms varying between six months and three years.(Source-The Asian Age)

UP losing Rs 500 crore power revenue to thieves every year

LUCKNOW:INDIA 'Katiabaz' may depict a feisty electricity pilferer who assumes the role of savior to Kanpur's 'needy' citizens but the fact is Uttar Pradesh loses a whopping around Rs 500 crore to the menace every year, with the power corporation's staff being party to the crime. The amount is about half of what the UP government plans to spend on accelerated economic development programmes in 2014-15; around 70% of the government allocated funds for modernisation of police force; one-third of the allocation made towards Lohia Gramin Awas Yojana and around one-fifth of the total amount proposed for the maintenance of roads. 

Power theft takes place right under the nose of the authorities across the state, from electrified villages to the state capital, in the industrial hub Kanpur, or the prime minister's constituency Varanasi and even in Etawah the home town of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. In fact, Etawah accounts for the highest pilferage—72%. It means only one out of four consumers pay their power bill. 

UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) authorities admit that the menace of 'katia' connection accounts for around 5% of the total power pilferage in the state. In fact, it is hard to estimate the extent of power pilferage through Katia connection. Experts point out that it is essentially noted for those consumers who do not have an electricity meter. ``But there have been instances where people with meters used a Katia connection to draw power,'' said a senior official in UPPCL. Source-Times of india

Power theft rampant inside Jagdalpur central jail; officials face steep fine

Raipur .Chhattisgarh

                                     The vigilance department of electricity Distribution Company claimed that they found out electricity thefts inside Jagdalpur central jail during an inspection of the meters on August 2.According to information received, the devices fitted in the jail premises were consuming 76 kilowatt electricity whereas they were entitled for usage of 100 watt electricity.The team found out that various devices used in the jail for training prisoners like printing press, wood works, dress making, computer systems and also, several high voltage bulbs lead to the high consumption.

                        They said the jail administration will now have to bear the cost of the extra electricity consumption. Moreover, they also found usage of electrical pumps and have slapped an additional fine of Rs 72,000 on them.
Source- Chhattisgarh

POWER Theft-Electrifying Screenings of Katiyabaaz

India
.Phantom's next film Katiyabaaz talks about electricity theft and portrays various facets of how the life of many people get affected by electricity or the lack of it. 
Vikramaditya Motwane loved the film and met the directors Farhad and Deepti to talk to them about the film in details. The entire Phantom team has been going all out to support the film. They are keen to show the film to people from the electricity board and have been reaching out to them personally. They have also extended an invite to Anil Ambani (Reliance Energy) to come and watch the film.   They will be hosting a special screening for Anil Ambani and Tina Ambani along with their entire senior management team.
Katiyabaaz is a story based out of Kanpur but has a universal appeal. It underlines howIndia looses crores of rupees every year due to the theft. 
 Vikramaditya has been closely looking into the film and wants to ensure that it gets its due. He has been chalking out ideas for marketing the film and wants to ensure it is available for audiences at large. Vikramaditya Motwane confirms the news and shares "Katiyabaaz is a documentary about electricity theft. There is substantial theft of power in Mumbai and we are keen to show the film to Tina and Anil Ambani as they are owners of power in Mumbai.  We would also like to show the film to electricity boards and their employees across India. "(Source-Timesof India)
 

HC asks state how it plans to stop theft of power during Ganeshotsav

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Friday asked the state what measures it intended to take to prevent electricity theft during Ganeshotsav.

A division bench of Justice P V Hardas and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai was hearing a PIL by activist Ketan Tirodkar that said festival organizers steal power from poles as well as residential and commercial connections.The judges asked if the special squad of police and municipal officials was formed as directed by the high court in 2010 on a PIL on electricity theft by hawkers.(Source-Timesof India)

FIRs against 32 pvt power officials

AGRA (INDIA) The Shahganj police has lodged FIRs against as many as 32 officials and workers of private power distributor Torrent Power Ltd, acting on a complaint from locals who were allegedly manhandled by a team of Torrent workers. The power company officials have also lodged a counter-complaint against locals. According to residents, employees of Torrent Power Ltd tried to forge power bills of several houses in Hameed Nagar and Kedar Nagar on Aug 6.
 The locals' attempt at resisting the malpractice ended in a scuffle with the Torrent team. Several persons, including women and children, were injured in the fight. "They forcefully removed electronic meters from our houses and alleged that we are indulging in power theft. Our women and kids were hurt badly in the scuffle," said Nizakat Ali, another resident of Hameed Nagar. 
On the other hand, senior Torrent officials said they had specific information regarding power theft from the two localities. The officials claimed they came to know that the residents were illegally tapping power from the MSP box of the underground wire system. When they went to investigate, locals got into a heated exchange and shoved them around. 

Sunil Kumar, station officer, Shahganj, told TOI that the FIRs from the locals name some of the 32 torrent employees, while others are unidentified. Kumar further informed that Torrent officials of zone 3 have also lodged an FIR against more than 150 unidentified men from the area for manhandling them. 
 Agitated locals, feeling cheated by the police, gheraoed SSP Salabh Mathur's office on Saturday and demanded immediate probe into the matter. They accused police of siding with Torrent and delaying action against the guilty. Rinku Pathan, a lawyer and complainant, alleged that the senior officials and workers of Torrent misbehaved with women who denied them entry into their houses. S S Sharma, vice-president, Torrent Power Ltd, said an inquiry has been set up to identify the role played by Torrent employees in the matter.
(Source-Timesof India)

POWER THEFT IN BOKARO,INDIA

BOKARO: Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC) has expressed concern over Bokaro Steel Limited's apathy to check rampant power theft in the township.

The members of JSERC on Wednesday asked the Bokaro Steel Limited (BSL) to replace defective meters and install cables to avoid illgal tapping of power lines. Power theft has led to huge losses and caused inconvenience to the residents, rued a JSERC employee.

A public hearing was organized in the area on Wednesday where the residents complained of illegal abstraction of electricity in the area. The hearing was called to discuss tariff revision in the township. The Steel major had proposed a hike in tariff rate per unit. However, the residents opposed the proposal and sought a crackdown on electricity theft, instead. The hearing was chaired by T Munikrishnaiah and Sunil Verma, members of JSERC at Kala Kendra.
"Voltage problems, power cuts are some of the problems that we, the legal occupants of the township, face every day. The company should address these issues before increasing the tariff," an ex-employee of BSL said. The shoddy redress system and poor maintenance of the electricity meters should also be taken care of, he added.

Rajender Vishwakarma, general secretary of Bokaro Plot Holder Welfare Association (BPHWA), said: "The illegal occupants of the area tap power lines right in front of the BSL officials but they have never done anything to check the menace," said Vishkarma.

Munikrishnaiah directed BSL to take immediate steps to stop electricity theft. "BSL should draft an effective strategy to reduce transmission & distribution (T&D) loss. This financial year, the board permits only 10% T&D loss as per the norm, the extra cost would be borne by the BSL," he said.

However the BSL officials said the management is serious in checking the menace and would take steps in line with its policies. The company is all set to install two 250 MVA transformers to improve electricity supply in the township. Besides, 5,000 new electricity meters will be installed in the six months, an company official said.(SOURCE-TIMES OF iNDIA)

Narendra Modi hails MahaVitaran's distribution loss reduction model

India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not only praised the Maharashtra model of power distribution, which has successfully cut down distribution losses substantially, but he might encourage other state governments to take cue from the western state.  

The State-run Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran)’s loss has fallen to 14 per cent in 2013-14 from as high as 35 per cent in 2004-05. This was possible after MahaVitaran launched a slew of measures, including constant anti-theft drives, photo meter reading, installation of distribution transformer centres and feeder metering and action against erring employees.

Besides, it set up dedicated police stations for handling theft , energy accounting of feeders, mass meter replacements, tracking doubtful consumers, shifting meters in the front of the house and restrict supply in theft-prone areas. The state distribution utility also established an all-women Damini Squad to check irregularities in meter reading.


A MahaVitaran official told Business Standard:  ''Power theft was one of the most serious issues before the restructuring.   Earlier, MahaVitaran was having only 36 flying squads but now, another 125 were added. MahaVitaran has detected Rs 10 crore worth thefts in May and Rs 16 crore worth thefts in June across the state through such anti-theft drives.'' Further, the official informed that MahaVitaran established six dedicated police stations at Kalyan, Pune, Nagpur, Latur, Jalna and Nashik to handle the power theft cases quickly.
The official said MahaVitaran has installed high quality meters at all necessary system points and interconnecting points. The photo meter readings of these meters were taken. The distribution transformer centers were metered, as one of the important factors in the energy audit. Further, MahaVitaran's information technology department has made a list of doubtful consumers on the basis of their connected load and actual consumption.
(Source-Business Standaed)

PSPCL fines 502 consumers for power theft in Punjab

India.
With Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) acting tough, 502 household, commercial and agricultural consumers were caught stealing electricity from April to June. Around Rs. 1.5 crore was realised as fine from them.

The corporation has made special investigation squads which conduct checking in its four circles - east, west, suburban and Khanna.
Chief engineer, PSPCL central zone, Ludhiana, Rashpal Singh said, “Electricity theft is a big burden on the corporation. We have observed in the past that because of kundi connections, many times problems of short circuit, overloading or damaging of wires took place, causing inconvenience to consumers as well as the corporation. Now, with the start of this drive, the corporation is seeing good results as many defaulters have been caught and heavy fine has been imposed for violating the norms,” added Singh.
From April 1 to June 30, total 23,000 household and commercial connections were inspected. In this, 484 consumers were caught stealing electricity and Rs. 1.27 crore was realised as fine from them. Besides, 492 consumers were found whose consumption load was more and were fined to the tune of Rs. 57.33 lakh.
With paddy growing season on the threshold, the PSPCL teams also visited the rural areas to check illegal tubewell connections. From June 10 to 30, the corporation inspected 7,009 agricultural connections, of which 18 consumers were found stealing electricity and Rs. 21.61 lakh was realised as fine from them. In the rural areas, inspection teams found that most people were using electricity more than the approved load and thus, 4,591 consumers were fined, and Rs. 4.18 crore was under the voluntary disclosure scheme for overloading.
The PSPCL has enforcement wing and operation cell which conduct raid to check electricity theft. These wings fine the consumer who is found stealing electricity, but when consumer does not pay the fine, the case is referred to the anti-power theft police station of the PSPCL, where a legal case is registered.
From January 1 to June 30, total 204 cases under power theft have been registered, said inspector Baljinder Singh. He said compound fine was being levied on the defaulter. “In case a defaulter does not pay here too, then the case is referred to court, which could double or even triple the fine if found guilty, the accused can get imprisonment of up to three years.”
The chief engineer appealed to the public to stop power theft. He said the theft caused a lot of problem not only to the PSPCL but also to consumers as it could lead to short circuit or overloading or any other problem.(Source-The Hindustan times)

248 power theft cases registered in huge crackdown

India.
New Delhi
Continuing its crackdown against power-theft in the city, enforcement teams of electricity distribution utilities BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) carried out simultaneous multi-location mass-raids in East, West, South and Central Delhi. Following the raids, nearly 900 KW of power-theft load was unearthed, and as many as 248 cases were lodged against the offenders.
In East and Central Delhi, the discoms’ enforcement teams booked a total 110 cases for power-theft and unearthed power-theft load of 425 KW in Krishna Nagar, Nand Nagri and Daryaganj divisions. “Krishna Nagar saw the maximum power theft load of 115 KW being unearthed,” a senior BSES official said.
In East Delhi, the surveillance teams were accompanied by police personnel, as teams in past have often come under attack from the unscrupulous elements while undertaking such mass-raids. “At times, in case of the non-availability of police personnel in adequate numbers, it becomes difficult to undertake a raid in many areas. It has been observed, whenever the police support in adequate numbers is available, BSES was able to curb power-theft in difficult areas too,” the official said.
For increased effectiveness of the drive and to crackdown on electricity theft, the raids are usually carried out late at night or in early morning hours, and in particular on Saturdays and Sundays. “To begin with, this campaign will continue for a period of three-months and over 150 identified areas are being targeted across South, West, East and Central Delhi,” the official noted.
The discoms are relying on modern analytics and technology for greater effectiveness. Energy input data from over 11,000 Distribution Transformers and the 33 lakh consumer metres is being collated and analysed using sophisticated tools, by a centralised team and power-theft locations have been narrowed-down significantly.
(Source-Asian Age)

BSES Cracks Down on Power Thieves, Registers 248 Cases-Power Theft in Delhi

Cracking the whip on "power thieves", enforcement teams of BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) unearthed power theft load of nearly 900 KW and registered 248 cases today.

The enforcement teams of the power companies inspected multiple locations in East, West, South and Central Delhi.

West Delhi recorded 94 cases of power-theft registered and 315 KW of theft load traced while South Delhi saw 44 such cases and power-theft load of 145 KW was found.

The raids were conducted in Punjabi Bagh, Vikaspuri, Mundka and Palam divisions in West and Sarita Vihar, Vasant Kunj, Saket, R K Puram and Nizamudin divisions in South.

Maximum number of cases (40) were booked in the Punjabi Bagh division followed by Mundka (21), Vikaspuri (17), Palam (16), Sarita Vihar and Vasant Kunj (11 each).

In East and Central Delhi, 110 cases of power-theft were registered power-theft and 425 KW of power-theft load was unearthed from Krishna Nagar, Nand Nagri and Darya Ganj divisions.

The enforcement teams were accompanied by Delhi police personnel during the exercise.

"BSES teams often come under attack from unscrupulous elements, while undertaking such mass-raids. At times, in absence of the non-availability of police personnel in adequate numbers, it becomes difficult to undertake a raid in many areas," said a BSES statement.

Over 2.5 lakh cases have been booked by BSES discoms since July 2002 till now and power-theft load of over 7.65 lakh KW has been unearthed.

BSES has appealed to its consumers to report power-theft on 399 99 707 (BRPL) and 399 99 808 (BYPL).

The campaign against power-theft will continue for next three-months and over 150 identified areas are being targeted across South, West, East and Central Delhi(Source-Outlook)
 

APCo-Power theft detection

An increase in electricity thefts is costing Appalachian Power Co. (APCo) and its customers millions of dollars, according to a company official.
In a press release issued by APCo Tuesday afternoon, distribution operations president Phil Wright said Appalachian has had more than a million dollars worth of detected electricity stolen since 2011. While some monetary losses are recovered through prosecution, he noted power customers bear the cost of other losses when thefts are not detected.
“We want the public to know that we take the issue of electricity theft seriously,” Wright said. “It’s hazardous to those attempting it and a costly practice for our customers. If you see something suspicious, say something and do something.”
 (Source-The Southwest Times)

4,500 apply for electricity connection in Agra in week-Power Theft detection Follow up

AGRA: INDIA
After the district administration announced recently that it would take stringent action against people found stealing electricity through 'kundi' connections after July 10, over 4,500 people have applied for new electricity connections, in just one week. 

The electricity department also disconnected power supply to 20 villages of Agra district where it was found that although electricity was consumed, there was not a single household with a legal connection. 

Officials in many villages in Fatehpur Sikri and other tehsils of Agra found that only about 10% of the connections were not 'kundi' ones. 

"During our surveys, if TV, fridge and other appliances are found in households, strict punitive action will be taken under the Electricity Act," the official said. 

The action in Agra district came after the UP chief secretary instructed strict action against illegal electricity connections. The local administration began an awareness drive, and set a deadline of July 10 after which strict action, including lodging of FIRs and seeking jail terms for defaulters, will begin. 

District magistrate Pankaj Kumar said, "Our campaign has started to show results. Residents are queuing up at electricity offices to get new connections. Many have also applied for increasing electricity load capacity." 

The district magistrate said, "People should avoid going to jail for lighting up a Rs-10 bulb. Many cases of electrocution have been reported due to such illegal activities." 

NP Singh, managing director, Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd, said, "Steps will be taken to upgrade power supply in the areas where people have come forward to take new connections. Also, new wires will replace existing ones." 

Singh said a target has been fixed to regularize power supply in UP by 2016. 

Given the positive results of the campaign, the district magistrate has asked officials to put on hold checking activity in areas where people have been coming forward to take new connections. 

Meanwhile, an FIR was lodged against a man named Ramswarup at the Malpura police station on Wednesday for obstructing power officials who were at work. (Source-Times of India)
 

Power Theft -Only 25% consumers pay electricity charges in Ex-Chief Minister’s Constituency

LUCKNOW: While large parts of Uttar Pradesh suffer unbridled power cuts, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's constituency Etawah doesn't merely get 24x7 electricity; at least 72% of its people get free power through pilferage.

While chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has been issuing directions to power officials to curtail line loss, in his own hometown, Etawah, sources in Dakshinanchal Distribution Company said only one out of four consumers of electricity is paying for it. Not that the rest of the state is too far behind; other districts report 35% to 50% power theft.

Discom officials said while division-1 of Etawah registers over 72% pilferage, division-2 sees 59% loss through filching of electricity. Officials have been unable to control high losses even as arrears continue to mount in the district. Authorities admit the losses have been rising ever since the district was categorized 'VIP district', qualified for 24-hour electricity.

Discom sources said the total number of registered consumers in Etawah is around 1.1 lakh whereas the population that ought to be charged for power is around 4 lakh. Power theft has spiraled particularly in villages of this Yadav-dominated district ever since SP came to power in 2012.

The high pilferage has led to red-faced officials gearing up to carry out a drive to register power consumers in Etawah. Dakshinanchal Distribution Company managing director Prabhu Singh said there is a dramatic shift in the government's stance. "Our focus is to curtail losses to the extent possible. And we are getting all the political support for that," he said.
On Monday, at least 45 teams of vigilance departments were roped in by the distribution company to reconnoiter the Etawah district.

The exercise will go on for two days. Singh said all 17 subdivisions in the district will be provided at least two vigilance teams. "These would assess the load in each home and commercial building and submit a report. On its basis, action will be taken against consumers," he said.


Singh said it was two weeks ago that the discom decided to take on erring consumers. He said the discom has spread the word about the drive in which erring consumers would be taken to task under section 135 of the state electricity Act 2003. This appears to have worked. In the last one week, the number of registered consumers has risen by nearly 12,000. This is almost 10% of the total registered consumers in the district.

"We hope to get good response," Singh said, adding that help was sought from the administration as well as police in carrying out the drive. A senior official in the energy department said if the VIP districts are taken to task, power theft would decrease substantially. Besides Etawah, the power department will carry out similar exercise in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency, Varanasi. In all, 168 towns with a population of over 30,000 people are proposed to be covered under the drive.
Source-Times of India

PSPCL officials held captive during raid to check Power theft

 
 
 
PSPCL officials held captive during raid to check Power theft
FEROZEPUR:INDIA
 Officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), including an executive engineer (XEN), a sub-divisional officer (SDO) and other field staff, had to face the wrath of residents of Kot Bishen Singh village of Ferozepur district in the wee hours of Saturday morning where they had gone to check the incidents of power theft. PSPCL staffers were allegedly manhandled by villagers who snatched their cellphones and held them captive for many hours. They were when police appeared on the scene.

In his complaint filed in Mamdot police station, SDO Sartaj Singh stated that a PSPCL team led by XEN S P Singh was carrying out raids to check power theft cases during the ongoing paddy transplanting season. He alleged that when the team reached Kot Bishen Singh village, it detected an illegal kundi (hook) connection from a single phase transformer to the house of sarpanch Sat Pal. "After making a video of the violation and disconnecting illegal power connection, the PSPCL team was returning when Sat Pal, along with his associates, encircled it and assaulted the members," alleged the complainant.

The SDO further alleged that Sat Pal and his associates blocked PSPCL team's way by parking several vehicles on the road. "They snatched our cellphones and deleted video clips of the power theft," he alleged.

Meanwhile, XEN Singh managed to make call to police and a team from Mamdot reached the spot and the hostages were freed. Confirming the incident, SHO of Mamdot police station Jaspal Singh Dhami said that a case under sections 353, 186, 342, 356, 201 and 149 of IPC and Section 135 of Electricity Act, 2003, had been registered against Sat Pal Singh and others(Source-Times of India)
 

POWER THEFT AND UNWILLINGSNESS TO PAY ELECTRCITY CHARGES

GHANA:The Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Reverend William Hutton Mensah, has bemoaned the high rate of theft of electric power and customers’ unwillingness to pay their bills promptly as challenges that were affecting the work of the company.

He stressed that the theft of electricity was a serious issue that had led to huge losses within the system. Rev. Mensah expressed the concern at the inauguration of a district office for the ECG at Akyem Oda.

He said the ECG had worked hard to bring down the losses that were being incurred by the system from a high of 27 per cent in 2011 to about 23 per cent in December 2013. He said the ECG was currently collaborating with the Ghana Police Service and the Judiciary to apprehend and prosecute culprits who stole power.

He disclosed that special courts had, therefore, been established to handle the theft cases. Rev. Mensah said the business of supplying electricity was capital intensive and as such there was need for customers to pay their bills in full to empower ECG to serve them better.

He re-echoed the call for energy conservation, and appealed to Ghanaians to switch off air conditioners, deep freezers, fridges and all high-consuming electrical appliances during the peak period between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and also when the World Cup matches were being played.

He revealed that 45 additional communities in the Oda area had recently been connected to the national electricity grid through the National Electrification Programme, bringing the total number of connected communities within the Oda Municipality to 128.

He said the ECG office in Oda, which was financed under the Ghana Energy Development and Access Project (GEDAP), stood as a testimony of the company’s resolve to deliver quality service to customers.

Rev. Mensah revealed that the ECG had a target this year to complete and inaugurate 21 modern district offices and a number of customer service centres and regional offices, some of which were at advanced stages of completion.

The acting General Manager of the ECG in the Eastern Region, Mr A. Anokye Abebreseh, earlier in a welcome address, observed that the opening of new regional and district offices across the country was an indication of the changing face of the company.

The Queen of the Akyem Kotoku Traditional Area, Nana Akua Asantewaa, who chaired the function, expressed concern over the intermittent power outages in the country which, she said, were collapsing many businesses. She, therefore, urged the management of the ECG to take realistic measures to reverse the trend.(Source-http://www.ghanaweb.com/)

Statewide drive to check power theft from July

LUCKNOW:INDIA  The UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) would begin a drive to control power theft across 168 towns and cities of the state from July 1. The drive will take into account sensitive as well as not sensitive feeders providing power supply to consumers.

According to a circular issued by the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) on Thursday, a sub-divisional officer and junior engineer will take on consumers engaged in power theft using 'katia' connection that aids power usage by-passing the meter. Action will be taken under section 135 of the Electricity Act 2003.

The UPPCL will also be installing meters in residential/commercial premises of unmetered consumers. Also, corporation will be seizing old mechanical and semi-electronic meters. The new meter will be installed outside the premises.(Source-the Times of India)

POWER THEFT-IN INDIA

Bhubaneswar, May 30: Authorities’ aim to check power theft has suffered a setback as the state electricity theft control cell has never been operational since it was set up in 2012 due to lack of the government support.

Perturbed by the loss of Rs 3,200 crore per year on account of power theft, the state government had set up the cell. The government had appointed retired IPS officer Amulya Kumar Mohanty as the head of the vigilance wing to regulate functioning of all the 34 energy police stations across the state. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s concurrence was obtained for the nodal officer’s appointment. A gazette notification was also issued to this effect.

But, the nodal officer heading the department has quit the organisation.

Besides, the nodal office, set up on the premises of the Grid Corporation of Odisha (Gridco), the state had also established four offices in four regions — Chainpal in Angul, Jharsuguda, Rayagada and Barbil to activate the anti-theft cell.

According to the arrangement, the cost of the zonal-level electricity theft control cell was to be borne by the respective distribution companies.

While the Central Electricity Supply Utility (Cesu) was to bear 40 per cent of the burden, the Northern Electricity Supply Company (Nesco) had to share a burden of 20 per cent of the expenditure. Similarly, the Western Electricity Supply Company (Wesco) and the Southern Electricity Supply Company (Southco) were to share a burden of 20 per cent each of the entire expenditure.

The distribution companies would have to place the funds before the chairman-cum-managing director of Gridco for payment of remuneration to officers and employees of the state electricity theft control cell by 25th of each month.

But no infrastructure, including the required manpower, inspector, computer assistant and home guard, was provided to the nodal office. Even no vehicle and phone was given to it.

“After Mohanty left, the post has been lying vacant,” admitted a senior Gridco official, adding that an ego clash among senior officials had led to the collapse of the theft control cell.

In another development, the regional head of the Chainpal in Angul had also quit the office.

“No advertisement has been issued till date to head the offices at other regions. The theft cell has been lying defunct,” said an official.

Now, the state’s transmission and distribution loss along with its commercial loss has been pegged at 38 per cent. “If we save 1 per cent power theft, the state can save nearly Rs 80 crore per annum on this front. On the other hand, if raids reduce power loss by 10 per cent, the state can save at least Rs 800 crore,” he said.

While senior officials kept mum on the issue, newly appointed energy minister Pranab Prakash Das, who is at present in Mumbai, said: “I am new to the department. I will certainly look into it after I return.”(TELEGRAPH)

Odisha ingot casting plant found stealing power, slapped Rs 11.3 crore fine

An ingot casting plant owner has been slapped a penalty to the tune of Rs 11.32 crore by North Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Limited (NESCO) on Saturday for allegedly stealing electricity. NESCO sources said the Chaitanya Industries private limited located in the industrial hub at Kalinganagar in Jajpur district allegedly stole 33 KV of electricity from NESCO. The power theft was detected after an enforcement team raided the plant on Saturday night. The department conducted a raid at the plant and found that it was involved in power pilferage. The modus operandi of the power theft was innovative. The illegal wire was placed alongside the XLPE cables hooked with underground PVS pipes. The plant was slapped with a fine Rs 11.32 crores for stealing electricity for over a year. An FIR has been registered against its owner, said Ananta Narayan Bisoi, executive engineer of NESCO at Jajpur Road. “On routine, the plant had to pay around Rs 70 to 80 lakh each month as power usage fee but the meter readings had been too low. The plant was paying around Rs 35 Lakh each month as power fee. We smelled foul play and a raid was conducted following which the ‘crafty’ theft was exposed,” the NESCO official said. “We found that the machineries in the factory, including the blast furnaces, were being run on illegal power supply. The electricity supply to the plant has been suspended, the official added.Source-Odisha Sun Times

Zimbabwe: Zesa Efforts to Curb Power Theft

Zesa Holdings is conducting countrywide door to door pre-paid meter inspections to curb power thefts.
The power utility is reportedly losing an estimated US$10 million monthly to energy theft.
At least 277 people have been arrested so far for power theft.
In an interview with The Herald recently, Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira confirmed the inspections were underway.
"These are ongoing random inspections and as Zesa we have built-in mechanisms developed to protect against energy theft," said Mr Gwasira.
He said some of the mechanisms include the business survey reports which help identify metres that are either not purchasing power or have low purchases.
"When these are identified, teams are deployed to investigate and remedial action is taken," Mr Gwasira said.
He said Zesa's Revenue and Protection Unit monitors the usage and those stealing energy are easily detected.
Mr Gwasira said no revenue was ever lost by tampering with meters as there is a formulation in place to recover whatever is deemed owing.
"Customers found in breach are immediately disconnected to protect the utility. To date 277 people have been arrested and jailed for theft of power," he said.
Zesa Holdings will fork out more than US$100 million to install 300 000 smart units as it moves to dump the two-year-old prepaid meter system.

Source http://allafrica.com/stories

MSMEs in North India facing severe power crisis: Assocham

The MSME sector accounts for 8 per cent of the country's GDP and employs over 8 crore people.
Several micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in northern India are on the verge of closure due to severe power crisis in that part of the country, industry body Assocham today said.
"The worst affected states are Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi, thereby threatening the livelihoods of thousands of workers," the chamber said in a statement.
In Uttar Pradesh, power cuts exceed 10-12 hours a day and in the absence of corrective measures, units would have to curtail their production, it said.
Besides, industrial units in Jammu & Kashmir are also suffering from a power shortage, it added.
"Power theft, leakages and transmission & commercial losses were the main reason for power deficit in these states," it said.
The chamber said the government should take steps like transfer of surplus power from the captive units to the state grids to fight power shortages in short-run.
"Use of non-conventional sources of energy, especially for domestic usage and street lightning, is another short-term solution," the statement added.
The MSME sector accounts for 8 per cent of the country's GDP, 45 per cent of its manufactured output, 43 per cent of its exports and employs over 8 crore people.
Source-The financial express

ADDING COLOUR TO POWER THEFT

The pylon on Park Avenue First Street with bunches of cables hanging from it resembles a person in the ICU with too many wires attached to him to sustain his life. This in effect symbolises the deep trouble being encountered by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) in curbing organised power thefts with socio-political contours.
The EB post cable on Avenue Street is among the innumerable overhead cables that are being illegally tapped to power tens of hundreds of homes in Thiruvalluvar Nagar off Taramani and other residential neighbourhoods near Perungudi MRTS Station and Kallukuttai in suburban Chennai. Although most inhabitants are poor, a few houses boast of amenities like dish antennas.
The mode of power theft is simple and open. A metal hook with attached wire is slung over the overhead electricity line to draw power. Though official figures are unavailable, rough estimates say that at least 2,000-plus homes are illuminated in these neighbourhoods by illegal electricity.
One striking aspect about the open theft is the ‘ingenuity’ of the local people. People use colour-coded wires to identify the endusers.
Similarly, the hook also has colour specific holders to help distinguish the userlocation.
This is done to ensure that people do not crowd the same place to draw power.
Kandanchavadi, Velachery East and VSI Estate offices of TNEB bear the burnt of the power theft and are often left to battle hard to balance the situation and ensure power to legal consumers.
As for residents of Park East Avenue Main Road, Taramani, they suffer for no fault of theirs. An elderly person rued that the people were forced to put up with sudden surges and falls in power because of the largescale theft.
But why should anybody steal power? Officials say that people have constructed houses on unauthorised land, rendering them ineligible for power connections. Government and state-run educational institutions own the land, approximately measuring three hectares.
The situation is not very different in Kannagi Nagar, Okkium Thoraipakkam where slum dwellers have been relocated from other parts of the city.
Roughly, about 4,000 households have connections, but several thousand more live on illegal energy.
But officials are not ready to accept it.
“That was the situation some time back. Now almost all the connections are regularised and they pay for what they consume,” a top official of the TNEB said.
Revenue and TNEB officials say that the government would end illegal power tapping besides settling the issue of ownership of land in Kallukuttai and Thiruvalluvar Nagar.
The government was considering a variety of options, including resettling the residents in other more suitable places, an official said.
A resident of JJ Nagar in Kallukuttai, said a court order in 2006 entitled them to power connections from the TNEB. “Despite the order, we have been deprived of power connection,” he claimed.
But local power officials say that they have an unenviable task to deliver. “It’s always a dicey situation. Whenever we take action to stop power theft, we incur the wrath of the local people apart from fire fighting with the political functionaries. We give up as we don’t want the problem to snowball into a law and order situation,” an official reasoned, adding that stopping such large-scale power theft was in the hands of the government.
Hook (44 %) Undoubtedly, ‘hook’ or ‘kokki’ in Tamil is the most ‘popular’ method of stealing power. Under this method, a hook is put on the main power line to tap energy. From mass social gatherings in villages to political meetings, this is the favourite method to pinch power
Reverse connection (9%)
Similar to meter bypass, reverse connection involves routing power straight to the consumer load by manipulating both the energy supply wires and the meter. However, this procedure is quite complicated
Meter bypass (17%)
Bypassing the meter is the other popular trick. This is done through manipulating the energy supplying wires. Power would be straightaway fed into the ‘outgoing’ line from the ‘incoming’ route and the meter will not record the energy consumption
Miscellaneous (3%)
The most modern ‘innovation’ is operating the meter through a remote control. An electronic chip or diode is placed inside the electronic static meter by tampering with the seal. According to the user’s choice, the meter can be run or stopped through the device
Seal tampering (15%)
By tampering the meter, the disc mechanism is fudged using certain mechanical tools. As a result, energy consumption is not recorded in the meter
Circuit meddling (4%)
This is another tack through which the functioning of the circuit is compromised, ending in reduced power readings in the meter
Coil breakers (4%)
The current or pressure coil inside the meter is cut and a sleeve is introduced to make the wiring appear normal. In some cases, foreign materials are introduced to reduce the efficiency of the meter
Meter tilting (4%)
This ‘good old’ method is used only in rural areas. If the meter box is tilted sideways, the disc stops rotating and the meter does not record the consumption
Fewer squads to check pilferage
* Since 1999, there has been 84 per cent rise in the number of detection of power thefts and a 53 per cent rise in collection of penalty by the TNEB. In fact, the Board has come a long way after being sluggish during the eighties and the nineties in apprehending energy thieves and stopping power theft
* Still, the Enforcement Wing of the Board needs more personnel as unscrupulous elements invent new techniques to steal power. According to the Enforcement Wing’s own estimates, vigilance teams need to be strengthened in many towns, including Salem
* Strangely, from 25 squads of nine members each in 2000 throughout the State, the number of teams now has come down to 17
* The prime responsibility of the vigilance officials is to detect thefts and collect penalty to compensate “at least to some extent” the heavy losses the board incurs due to pilferage and thefts
Precision meters
In view of malpractices, the Board has phased out the old analog and whole current boxes. Now, it is the precision meter that is in use in domestic connections. These meters record even the minimum power consumptions by light electrical appliances, unlike the analog boxes.
Recovery of data related to consumption pattern on a daily basis is also possible through these meters
Two lakh units gone every month
In quite a number of places in the State, power is stolen in bulk. In Thiruvalluvar Nagar near Perungudi MRTS station and Kallukuttai in Chennai, about 2,000 houses are powered by illegal energy. Approximately, about 2,00,000 units of power are consumed by this locality every month.
One major problem faced by the Board officials in dealing with such situations is political interference. Though the offenders could be booked under the Electricity Act, 2003 and a heavy fine imposed, it is usually not done
“If one individual does it, we take action. When people come together in hundreds and oppose our action, the situation becomes messy. It could result in a law and order situation,” an official said
 

3200 Core loss in Orissa due to Power theft

Bhubaneswar, India
                                                       wings clipped by   Government
 Authorities’ aim to check power theft has suffered a setback as the state electricity theft control cell has never been operational since it was set up in 2012 due to lack of the government support.
Perturbed by the loss of Rs 3,200 crore per year on account of power theft, the state government had set up the cell. The government had appointed retired IPS officer Amulya Kumar Mohanty as the head of the vigilance wing to regulate functioning of all the 34 energy police stations across the state. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s concurrence was obtained for the nodal officer’s appointment. A gazette notification was also issued to this effect.
But, the nodal officer heading the department has quit the organization.
Besides, the nodal office, set up on the premises of the Grid Corporation of Odisha (Gridco), the state had also established four offices in four regions — Chainpal in Angul, Jharsuguda, Rayagada and Barbil to activate the anti-theft cell.
According to the arrangement, the cost of the zonal-level electricity theft control cell was to be borne by the respective distribution companies.
While the Central Electricity Supply Utility (Cesu) was to bear 40 per cent of the burden, the Northern Electricity Supply Company (Nesco) had to share a burden of 20 per cent of the expenditure. Similarly, the Western Electricity Supply Company (Wesco) and the Southern Electricity Supply Company (Southco) were to share a burden of 20 per cent each of the entire expenditure.
The distribution companies would have to place the funds before the chairman-cum-managing director of Gridco for payment of remuneration to officers and employees of the state electricity theft control cell by 25th of each month.
But no infrastructure, including the required manpower, inspector, computer assistant and home guard, was provided to the nodal office. Even no vehicle and phone was given to it.
“After Mohanty left, the post has been lying vacant,” admitted a senior Gridco official, adding that an ego clash among senior officials had led to the collapse of the theft control cell.
In another development, the regional head of the Chainpal in Angul had also quit the office.
“No advertisement has been issued till date to head the offices at other regions. The theft cell has been lying defunct,” said an official.
Now, the state’s transmission and distribution loss along with its commercial loss has been pegged at 38 per cent. “If we save 1 per cent power theft, the state can save nearly Rs 80 crore per annum on this front. On the other hand, if raids reduce power loss by 10 per cent, the state can save at least Rs 800 crore,” he said.
While senior officials kept mum on the issue, newly appointed energy minister Pranab Prakash Das, who is at present in Mumbai, said: “I am new to the department. I will certainly look into it after I return.” (Source-The Telegraph)
 

92% Mewat households draw illegal power: Survey

INDIAN POWER THEFT
 
 
Lok Sabha Elections 2014Power tariff
GURGAON: A recent survey by the discom in Mewat has exposed the rampant theft of power in the district, causing the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam massive losses running up in crores.

In a startling revelation, the survey has found that a massive 92% of the 9,690 households in Mewat are drawing power illegally, with only 808 having valid connections.

The survey was conducted after reports of more than 29 discom feeders in the Gurgaon operational circle, most of them in Mewat, contributing to over 50% losses to the DHBVN.

According to the DHBVN general manager, Sanjeev Chopra, revenue loss from Mewat alone is almost equal to the total losses reported from seven power circles in Haryana.

According to the survey, only 8 of every 100 households in Mewat have proper power connection, while the other 92 draw electricity illegally without a meter. "All our efforts to convince residents of the 19 villages in the district, where power theft is rampant, to apply for valid connections have been in vain", said Chopra.

"We conducted village-wise open durbars to convince people. On many occasions, the discom staff were even beaten up by householders. We can't do much," Chopra said.

When asked, DHBVN managing director, Arun Kumar, said that after all efforts to convince residents of rural areas failed, they separated Mewat from the Gurgaon circle and Palwal from the Faridabad circle, and clubbed the two under a new operation circle in Palwal in December.

"We created a new circle as the superintending engineers of Gurgaon and Faridabad were having a difficult time managing both urban and rural areas," said Kumar.

"This will help them focus more on Gurgaon and Faridabad operations, while the new circle will work towards cutting down losses in rural areas," Kumar added.

Gurgaon and Faridabad have, meanwhile, become the districts having the highest number of defaulters among urban domestic consumers. According to a report with the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Faridabad circle tops the list with defaults amounting to Rs 140.63 crore followed by Gurgaon with Rs 83.03 crore. The other three districts among the top-five defaulters include Hisar, Rohtak and Panipat. Hisar urban domestic consumers have defaults worth Rs 35.83 crore, followed by Rohtak and Panipat with Rs 33.38 crore and Rs 29.91 crore respectively. Haryana has over 45 lakh consumers.

Arrears of the state's two power distribution companies - DHBVN and UHBVN - have touched Rs 4,850 crore from 14.70 lakh consumers in urban and rural areas.
sOURCE-tIMES OF iNDIA
 

   http://www.tamperfinder.com/upload/6290861-1-Sarah-el-Masry.jpg
 

Delhi Discoms launch major drive to check power theft

New Delhi-India
Power discoms BYPL and BRPL have launched a major drive against power theft under which 500 raids are to be conducted across the city over the next three months.
For increased effectiveness of the drive and to detect power-theft of various types, the raids are being carried out round the clock with the two companies saying they are determined to punish those involved in such acts.
The campaign will continue for a period of three-months and over 150 areas will be targeted across South, West, East and Central Delhi.
"The intensity and effectiveness of the campaign can be gauged from the fact that in the first few days of the drive alone, over 3,800-KW or nearly 4-MW of power-theft load has been unearthed and over 1,000 cases have been registered," said a BSES official.
Some of the areas where raids were conducted in the last few days include Tilak Nagar, Palam, Nangloi, Jaffarpur, Bindapur, Munirka, Tigri, Mehrauli, Harkesh Nagar, Govindpuri, Jamia Nagar, Sangam Vihar, Kalyanpuri, New Ashok Nagar, Gazipur Village, Trilokpuri, Raghubar Pura, Gandhi Nagar, Daryaganj, Chooriwalan Chandni Chowk, New Qasabpura Paharganj and Karawal Nagar.
To ensure protection to the raiding teams, assistance of Delhi Police is being taken, the official said.
"Looking at the seriousness of the offence, Delhi Police have also started registering spot FIRs against power thieves, even arresting them on the spot," he added.
To undertake these enforcement raids with greater accuracy, the discoms are relying on modern technology.
"Energy input data from the over 9,500 Distribution Transformers (DT) is being collated and analysed by a centralised team and power-theft locations are being narrowed down significantly," he said.
Since July, 2002, BSES discoms have booked over 2.5 lakh cases and unearthed a power theft load of over 7.65 lakh-KW. Source-DNA

Power thefts, poor upkeep feed outages

INDIA GURGAON: Power outages are making the lives of residents miserable and the power discom, DHBVN, is crippled despite claims to the contrary.

Gurgaon is supposed to be a no-power-cut zone and DHBVN claims to be making efforts to pump up its infrastructure. However, overloading, local faults stemming from poor maintenance, and electricity thefts to the tune of crores of rupees, have hit the discom hard.

Residents of both old and new Gurgaon, forced to sweat it out in this summer month of May, have given up on the issue as authorities claim power cuts are a daily affair owing to frequent local faults which in turn were because of overloading. R S Rathee of Gurgaon Citizens' Council said that he, along with representatives of different localities and authorities, had met DHBVN's chief engineer who blamed it on local faults and maintenance work. "I was told some line is being repaired and the situation will be better in two days. It did turn better, but a new fault came up later," said Rathee.

Arun Kumar, the discom's managing director, claimed that there was no shortage supply from DHBVN. "We have adequate supply to meet Gurgaon's demand but power is being lost in transmission even before it reaches homes owing to which we have been incurring losses too. The substations in Sector 43 and 51 are always overloaded. This causes many of the outages and I have sanctioned the installation of additional transformers there which should be done by the end of the month," he said.

Kumar explained that losses during transmission occurred mainly due to damaged infrastructure and electricity theft. "We are doing our best to check local faults by installing additional transformers to bifurcate the load, putting up new cables and feeders where needed, but overloading is causing faults," he said.

Sanjeev Chopra, DHBVN's general manager, told TOI that the discom had installed about 400 transformers

. "This work is time-consuming and we have no option but to cut supply while maintenance work is on," he said.

Chopra too had a similar explanation for the frequent outages and said that power theft has a role in overloading transformers. "The case of the power theft in illegal buildings around the IAF Ammunition Depot is an isolated example of how theft is causing losses to both DHBVN and regularized consumers there," he claimed.

A new plan is in the works, said Chopra, to replace existing meters where the load supplied is between 10kW to 50MW with smart meters by December. "The load can be wirelessly controlled from our control centre in these new meters through which optimum distribution can be maintained. It will reduce chances of overloadingthat lead to these faults."

Though DHBVN claims to be putting all possible measures in place, when asked why the discom had to wait till the onset of summer to take such remedial steps, Kumar said, "Issuing of tenders, installation and maintenance of existing infrastructure is a slow process. Doing these zone by zone takes time,"Source-Times of India

KSEB Ex-Staffer Gets a 'Shock' for Power Theft

INDIA-A former Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) employee has attracted a hefty `3.24 lakh as fine for power theft, making it the highest such penalty imposed on an individual consumer by the KSEB. The accused, Ponnappan (Consumer no: 18578) of Muvattupuzha, had ‘looped’ a wire from the service line to his house.

“Looping is a process by which you bypass the electricity meter and that’s illegal,” KSEB Chief Vigilance Officer N Ramachandran said. The theft was brought to light by the utility’s Anti-Power Theft Squad (APTS), Ernakulam Wing, on Tuesday.

The case comes under the KSEB’s Muvattupuzha No. 1 Electrical Section.

Last month, the KSEB had fined Dr Abdul Rasheed of Thiruvananthapuram district `1.18 lakh for using agricultural connection electricity for domestic purposes.

That had been the biggest fine imposed by the KSEB up to then. In 2013-14, the APTS had identified 386 cases and slapped a total fine of `38 crore. The KSEB had collected `25 crore as fine in 2012-2013, and `17 crore in 2010-2011.(Source-The New Indian Express)

Power games: Electricity used to win elections in Uttar Pradesh

In a country where electricity is stolen or not billed to the amount that can light up all of Italy for a year, an American researcher has claimed that power is used as a tool to influence elections, particularly in the largest state of Uttar Pradesh.

Based on a case study of the state, the University of Michigan in a research paper said that during elections, electricity is used to win votes.

In the research, published in the Energy Policy journal, the university researcher found that power losses increased by three percentage points just before the polls.

“The paper offers a political explanation on electricity loss and why it persists in plain sight,” said Brian Min, assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan.

“In short, elected political leaders benefit at the polls when their constituents receive more electricity,” he added.

In UP, 29% of all power sent out from 1970 to 2010 was never billed for, presumably lost to theft, billing irregularities, and technical losses.

This cumulative loss amounts to some 300 million megawatt-hours, enough to power all of Italy or South Africa for a year, the research claimed.

Min said the study shows that incumbent candidates are more likely to win re-election in areas where power losses are allowed to increase.

“Political factors affect line losses in ways that technical and economic factors alone cannot explain,” said Min, who analysed data from the 2002 and 2007 elections in UP. Rates of line loss in UP are higher today than they were in the 1970s, despite policy interventions, regulatory reforms and increased efforts to prosecute power theft.

Line losses were highest in western UP, home to strong political families. In Hathras and Mainpuri districts, 50% of the power is being lost or not billed. In contrast, the lowest line loss was in Gautam Budh Nagar at 13.6%, which includes Noida, a commercial area with many multinational company offices.

According to the study, the immediate need to win votes overlooks the systematic challenges that take money and time to solve.

“Politicians focus on getting their constituents electricity... But the government has not been able to address the investments needed to build new power plants that might alleviate the power crisis,” Min said. Rural areas don’t have meters and usually pay a flat rate for electricity.

The study suggests that meters should be used in the countryside because that might reduce the partisan manipulation of the energy sector. Before elections,many villages are limited to 12 hours of electricity per day. But during the vote, the supply goes up to 18 hours or more without any change in revenue, the study said.Source-The Financial Express

Rampant Electricity Theft Leads to PLN's Loss

Teraspos -  Rampant electricity theft has made Garut regency branch of state electricity company (PLN) in West Java suffer nearly Rp 1.8 billion or 6 million kwh/ month in losses.
"We has suffered as many as Rp 1.8 billion in loss due to rampant electricity theft," said Garut PLN spokesman Wahyudin on Friday (25/4). 
There are two kind of electricity theft carried out in our regency; raising power from 450 watts meter to 900 watts without PLN’s permission and installing the cable into the power grid.
In response to the electricity theft, PLN will impose sanctions on the perpetrator. They have to pay for the use of the power grid for a month. If the sanction is violated, then PLN will report it to law enforcement in order to be processed. Courtesu-teRapose.com

Power Theft: Domestic Consumer Fined Rs 1.2 Lakh

                                  Misuse of agricultural connection has landed an electricity consumer in the district with what could arguably be the biggest fine slapped by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) for power theft on a domestic consumer.
 Dr Abdul Rasheed (consumer no: 7337) under the Kaniyapuram electrical section has been fined a whopping Rs 1.18 lakh for using agricultural connection electricity for domestic purposes.
‘’This could be the largest fine slapped on a domestic consumer for power theft. Usually, the big fines range between Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000,’’ a KSEB spokesperson said.
 An inspection by the KSEB’s Anti-Power Theft Squad (APTS) on April 25 under the instructions of KSEB chief vigilance officer N Ramachandran revealed the misuse, the KSEB said in a statement.
 In recent years, the squads have strengthened vigil across the state and have identified a large number of cases of irregularities and thefts.
In 2013-14, the APTS had identified 386 cases and slapped a total fine of Rs 38 crore. The KSEB had collected Rs 25 crore as fine in 2012-2013 and Rs 17 crore in 2010-2011.   In the last financial year, the KSEB had identified 19 cases of irregularities in residential apartments in the capital city alone. This had yielded fine to the tune of Rs 1.90 crore. Compared with that, the present fine of Rs 1,18,776 is a rare case.
 The APTS had found that agricultural electricity - which has a far lower tariff - was used to operate air conditioner and other home appliances inside Rasheed’s house. The case was deemed power theft as the electricity meter in the house was defunct at the time of inspection.
Courtesy  Express News Service – THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

DT METERS TO CHECK POWER THEFT

INDIA.
As the number of power theft and faulty-meter cases are increasing in Faridabad Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) started installing DT meters on the transformers which will help detect power theft in the area. 
Recently in a drive conducted by the vigilance team of DHBVN many power theft cases came to the fore. The team scanned all the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad’s (MCF) tube wells in NIT near Hanuman temple. It was found that many people had connected direct line to these tube wells without any legal connection. The vigilance team slapped the fine of Rs 10 lakh to the guilty.
A case of power theft was also registered against RP Singh, a resident of Sector 30 as he made some alterations inside the electronic meter. In another case a resident of Sector 45 has directly hooked a line from pole no. 81.
Gaurav Gupta, a resident of Sector 45 said, “The power thieves in our area have laid the cable under soil and hidden it. People are stealing electricity from pole no. 132 from past many years. These people use electricity in unauthorised jhuggies. Also, behind house no. 854 people living in jhuggies are stealing electricity.”
Therefore, in order to keep an eye on the rising cases of power thefts DHBVN has installed DT metres on the transformers. These DT metres will detect power theft cases in the area. Apart from this vigilance directorate of the Haryana Power Utilities has started an online system for submitting complaints under the Criminal Investigation Management System (CIMS). All the officials have been directed to lodge online FIRs against power theft cases within 24 hours. 
Executive engineer, vigilance, DHBVN, Vijay Yadav said, “Our teams take immediate action in case of power theft complaints. I will solve the case of Sector 45.”

 Measures taken to stop power theft
•In order to stop power thefts, DT meters have been installed on the transformers. In the second phase, billing of these transformers will be done on which DT meter is installed. Through transformer billing one can easily check the monthly consumption. After this, the electricity bill of the consumer and the transformer will be compared. This way it will become easy for the electricity department to check the areas where electricity is being misused.
•The DHBVN will then solve theft cases in their respective circle offices within 15 days. Earlier people used to make appeal at the District court. But now, the general manager has been appointed as a reviewing officer of his respective circle and he will reply to the consumer complaint within 15 days.
•DHBVN has also launched the “theft informer scheme” under which a person giving information of theft of electricity and the employees who detect the theft will be rewarded. The informer will be given 20 per cent of the realised penalty amount.Source-Dinink Jagaran,City Plus

POWER THEFT-FENCE EATING CROPS.PSPCL patronizing Power theft for ruling party

CHANDIGARH: Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) is patronizing power theft in favour of ruling party which is a clear case of violation of election code.
Nirmal Singh Add. Superintending Engineer PSPCL Sangrur has alleged that Deputy Chief Engineer Enforcement Amritsar is patronizing power theft to favour the ruling party. He has been on same post for the last four and half years though the maximum tenure on sensitive posts is three years.
Nirmal Singh in his letter of April 4 to CMD of PSPCL has claimed that he has given a number of affidavits against the official but PSPCL chose to look other way as the official has got political support of ruling party. All his affidavits have been ignored by PSPCL management.
Nirmal Singh has demanded immediate transfer of Deputy Chief engineer Enforcement as he is aligned to ruling party and is misusing his position to influence the voters.
Source-Punjab News Service

POWER THEFT-Suspected Power thief shot at in Govandi

MUMBAI:INDIA A habitual offender was injured after two unidentified men on a bike shot at him early on Saturday at Govandi. The bullet pierced the victim, Mohammad Raees Ansari's, thigh. He was hospitalized and is stable. The Shivaji Nagar police suspect that the shootout could be a result of a dispute over Power theft and its unauthorized supply in slum colonies.

Ansari (36), alias Pappu Kalia, is a Govandi resident and has a lengthy past crime record of around 20 offences. He has been externed out of city limits twice, in 2005 and 2006. Most of his record pertains to body offences like murder and attempt to commit murder. On two occasions, he was also held by the crime branch but is out on bail in most of the cases lodged against him.

On Friday night, Ansari went out with his friends for a meal. He was headed back home post midnight after dropping off his friends to their respective houses. He was on his bike and had reached Road number 7 at Bainganwadi in Govandi when the accused came up from behind. The accused were also on a bike and the pillion rider was armed. He fired a round which pierced Ansari's thigh, before the duo fled. Caked in blood, Ansari continued to ride till a friend's house. His friend rushed him to the Rajawadi Hospital where Ansari was treated. The Shivaji Nagar police was also informed.
Source-Times of India

Marijuana and Power Theft

http://www.tamperfinder.com/upload/498108GROW--Pic-
You could have hit the indoor marijuana growing operation on Crom Street with a dodgeball. 
                            Literally. That’s because the house that the Manteca Police Street Crimes Unit raided on Wednesday morning was just 150 feet away from Stella Brockman Elementary School. Officers pulled more than 300 pot plants and a pound of processed marijuana from the residence that had been completely overhauled specifically for its illegal purpose. 
                       And immediately after the detectives arrested the house’s two occupants – 27-year-old Trieu Vo and 38-year-old Vinny Tran, both of San Jose – they called up the Manteca Code Enforcement Officer and PG&E out of fear that the makeshift power-stealing operation could go up in flames at any time. 
                          Crews that responded cut the power to the house and later determined that more than $20,000 worth of power had been hijacked by illegally bypassing the electrical monitoring box outside the home. Inside a series of extension cords and outlet boxes nailed to a wall provided the juice needed to power the potent lights required to trick the pot plants into thinking they were outdoors. An air filtration system sent the potent smell up through the roof ducts to avoid detection. 
                                According to Manteca Police Department Lt. Tony Souza, grow houses like the one shut down on Wednesday have become more elaborate in recent years not only in their scope – which includes removing portions of the inside of the home to make room for growing equipment – but also in attempts to make it seem like nothing out of the ordinary is going on. 
                                 Occupants, Souza said, often make attempts at coming and going during normal hours so neighbors don’t suspect anything. They have gone as far as to install electronic light timers to give the impression that people are home even when they aren’t. 
                            The theft of electricity, he said, can be extremely dangerous not only for those living in the grow house but for the unsuspecting as well. 
                               “There was definitely a potential for a fire hazard that could have jeopardized that house and other houses in the area,” Souza said. “There’s an extremely high yield on those plants when it comes to money because they have multiple grow seasons in a single year when they’re indoors. 
“But what concerned us was the proximity. That was alarming.”
                            Later that same night, detectives served a search warrant at the suspect’s houses in San Jose and discovered another six pounds of marijuana that was already packaged and ready for sale. Altogether the processed pot, the 328 plants and the equipment used to grow it were valued at somewhere between $350,000 and $500,000 – not counting the house. 
                                      Both men are being held at the San Joaquin County Jail on charges of marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale, theft of utilities, keeping a place to sell controlled substances and conspiracy to commit a crime. Bail for each of the men is set at $250,000. A bail hearing to ensure that no portion of the money posted is obtained illegally is also required before they can be released. 
Source-Manteca Bulletin.com

Shocking: Over 60 per cent power theft reported in 500 Delhi areas

New Delhi: Power theft in the range of over 60 per cent is being reported in 500 areas of the city including industrial hubs, slums, unauthorized colonies, rural parts, residential and commercial regions.
 
It is costing the state government a big sum as a result.
 
A large number of power theft incidents are reported in the 160 areas in the BSES Rajdhani’s Jafarpur division. 
 
Over 60 per cent power loss due to theft cases are being reported in these areas.
 
Ghitroni in the Vasant Kunj area reports 70 per cent electricity pilfering.
 
Commenting on the problem, BSES spokesperson said the discom has already apprised the state government and DERC about the entire situation.
 
He also added that through the medium of company’s website, the whole affair has been brought into the public domain.
 
The busiest area of Delhi, Nehru Place (a posh part of Delhi) reports about 30 to 35 per cent pilferage of electricity. 
 
As per a survey conducted by the power company, several complaints are arising out of these 13 areas of Nehru Place namely Vikaspuri, Tagore Garden, Punjabi Bagh, Janakpuri, Dwarka, Nangloi, Najafgarh, Mundka, Jafarpur, Vasantkunj, Saket, RK Puram, Hauz Khas, Sarita Vihar, Nizamuddin, Nehru Place, Khanpur, and Alaknanda.
Source-daily Bhaskar.com

Power theft :Jammu and Kashmir issue: Farooq Abdullah says he was misquoted.

Union Minister Farooq Abdullah today said a section of media had misquoted his remarks on power theft in Jammu and Kashmir.

"I am sad that I was misquoted by the media. I had spoken about power theft in the state," Farooq told reporters here during a function.

"I had said that it is unfortunate that we buy power for nearly two-three thousand crore but we are not able to get that money back because there is a lot of pilferage of power. Many of our people are stealing power," he said.

"It (pilferage of electricity) happens all over the country. Biggest transmission and distribution losses are in Jammu and Kashmir," he added.He alleged that since the elections were near, "a newspaper tried to create misunderstanding in the minds of the people by publishing this".

On PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti's demand for apology, he said it was Mufti who should apologise for "spreading lies".PDP members, led by Mufti, today created ruckus in the J&K Assembly and trooped into the well of the house demanding an apology from Farooq.The moderate and hardline factions of Hurriyat too criticised the purported remarks of Farooq Abdullah.

                                 The parties "should go for self-introspection instead of levelling wild allegations", the moderate Hurriyat headed by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said in a statement here.It said the remark was in fact an attempt to put a veil over the "failure" of the state government. Source-the Financial Express

DISCOM facing loss of Rs 3 crore every month due to Power Theft

City power supply to be in private hands
Ujjain: Even after the recovery being done by DISCOM in the city at regular basis, DISCOM has been facing the loss of Rs 3 crore every month. The loss is being observed due to technical loss at some extent. DISCOM ASE KK Sharma informed Free Press that about 35 percent power is being stolen in some localities of the city. DISCOM has made certain efforts to stop the power theft by conducting drives in the city for last few months. There are 58, 000 power consumers in western zone of the city while there are 48, 000 consumers in east zone. Recovery was done comparatively more in east zone rather than west zone. About Rs 6.86 crore was recovered till the month of February. DISCOM officials face problems in stopping power theft in slum areas of the city.
People misbehave with DISCOM officials and employees when they conduct inspection in their houses. If police department assures security of officials and employees, recovery could be hiked. ASE Sharma also told that some consumers demand for installments to pay their bill. With the recovery drive, consumers stand in long queue at DISCOM office to pay electricity bill. Power theft percentage was 75 in west zone which was lowered down to 40 percent. Likewise, the percentage which was 60 percent was dipped down to 35 percent.
These are some practical reasons due to which DISCOM is going to privatize the power supply in the city. Employees will be appointed in month of March and will be trained. Assel Company will take responsibility of power supply in the city.
Source.The free press journal

MSEDCL to punish regular bill payers if Power theft is not stopped by anti socials.

NAVI MUMBAI: At a time when students are taking their board exams, the Maharashtra State Electricity Development Company Limited's (MSEDCL) has decided to continue with load sheddings and even extend the duration, if need be. This has come as a shock to the villagers under Panvel, Gavan and Pargaon feeder system.

MSEDCL, instead of curtailing the blackout hours, has threatened to increase load shedding hours from eight to 12 in 25 villages on the outskirts of Panvel and Taloja, if consumers fail to clear the outstanding dues, to stop theft and illegal connection in the Panvel, Gavan and Pargaon feeder units even during the ensuing SSC board exams where hundreds of students will suffer from power breakdown, affecting more than
25 villages. They have also formed three special squads to crack the whip on increasing power theft. The squads have launched a manhunt to trace the source of losses by undertaking door to door inspection of suspicious homes.

"It is not fair to snap power supply at such a crucial juncture of our careerWe will be left in a lurch from revision of syllabus," said a class X student Mohit Gulve.
People from more than 25 villages on the outskirt of Panvel and Taloja may face 12 hours of load shedding soon, in place of the prevailing 8 hours, if the latest development in power provision is any indication in MSEDCL circuit

MSEDCL has warned consumers in these villages, coming under 'F' group of power supply, to stay away from illegal connections, use of power putting direct hookshooking, extending connections from their meters to neighbours, power theft, meter tampering and non-payment of bills.After registering huge commercial and distribution loss in these pockets over the last few months, the MSEDCL had sensed rampant power theft which prompted it to take stern action by threatening consumers to enforce load shedding here.

"In the last few months, our record shows that the our revenue collection has hit an all time low due to power theft in these three areas. If the situation continues to remain like this, we will be forced to declare load shedding for at least 12 hours," said an officer.

But genuine consumers are crying foul who have no fault but to bear the brunt of power cut for other miscreants.

"We will not allow MSEDCL to do injustice to regular bill payers. They can punish the defaulters and those who fetch power illegally," said a villager.
Source-Times of India.

Power thefts on the rise in EPDCL

INDIA
VISAKHAPATNAM: The Eastern Power Distribution Company of AP Limited (EPDCL)'s reputation as the discom with the lowest aggregate transmission and commercial (AT&C) losses, formerly known as transmission and distribution (T&D), losses seems to be under threat. All thanks to the rise in instances of power thefts.
According to the latest performance reports of the detection of pilferage of energy (DPE) wing of the discom, which supplies power to the five coastal districts of Srikakulam, East and West Godavari, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam, a total of 2,187 cases of power theft were detected after inspection of 71,931 connections from April 1, 2013, to February 20, 2014 as against 2,069 cases of power theft for the entire fiscal of 2012-13.
Till February 20 this year, the discom imposed nearly Rs 275 lakh by way of fines on the 2,187 errant connections as against the fine of Rs 270.91 lakh mopped up last fiscal.
 
What is more interesting is that for the first time in the history of EPDCL, the vigilance wing detected a serious power theft case in East Godavari district and imposed a fine of nearly Rs 80 lakh, which is the highest in the history of the discom. The errant consumer was Aruna Industries, a rice mill at Pasalapudi village of Rayavaram mandal in East Godavari district.EPDCL had filed a case against the mill's managing partner, Subba Reddy, under Section 135 to 139 of the Electricity Act 2003 (theft of energy) in the last week of December 2013.
DPE superintending engineer E Surya Prakasa Rao said that their wing generally categorizes the cases into two types - power theft and 'other than theft cases.' According to DPE norms, power theft comprises consuming energy without having authorized electricity meters or drawing power without paying a single penny to the energy supplier. The other than theft cases include malpractices involving electricity meters like tampering of meters or paying less than the actual consumption. Incidentally, this fiscal as on February 20, the total number of malpractice or other than power theft category cases detected were only 7,456 as compared to 11,365 last fiscal.

"We have now intensified enforcement raids, including raids on suspicious power consumers, to check illegal practices. The raids will be vigorous soon," said Surya Prakasa Rao, appealing to the people to file a complaint with the DPE if they come across anybody indulging in power pilferage or other illegal practices. The complaints can be filed through the DPE number 9440812809, he informed.

Power theft and malpractice cases play a vital role in calculating a power company's AT&C losses. EPDCL's AT&C losses are much better than other discoms across the country, said Surya Prakasa Rao. The AT&C losses of EPDCL for 2012-13 were 6.4%, down from 17.91% in 2000-01.Source-the Times of India
 
 

Dark hours: Maharashtra may face load shedding, if Power Theft continues

Dark hours: Maharashtra may face load shedding, if Power Theft continues 
 
Dark hours: Maharashtra may face load shedding, if Power Theft continues
THANE: Residents of Kalwa and Kharegaon may face load shedding on the lines of power cuts imposed in Mumbra, Diva, Kausa and Sheel owing to rampant power theft. Currently, the above mentioned areas face three-hour load shedding everyday.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd's (MSEDCL) special squad, in the meantime, detected 34 power theft cases and collected a staggering penalty of Rs 9.56 lakh. This was unearthed during the month-long special drive promulgated by MSEDCL, after suspecting illegal connection leading to low revenue collection.

MSEDCL has apprehended to bring in load shedding if the situation continues unabated, warning consumers to discourage such theft and people involved in the racket.

During the month-long drive MSEDCL ground staff inspected various vulnerable pockets where they sensed some touts indulging in fishy business to tamper with connection and extend lines to illegal users.

The areas being watched were Kalwa, Kharegaon, Vitawa, Anand Nagar, Shanti Nagar, Budhaji Nagar, Surya Nagar, Ishwar Nagar and Ganpatipada.

"We came across cases where illegal extension was given to the nearby areas, causing direct distribution and commercial loss to the exchequer. Out team unfolded the thefts cases and collected a staggering figure. We will continue this drive further.

If the loss is not curbed, then we will put these areas under load shedding before summer sets in," said Dhananjay Pawar, public relations officer of MSEDCL.

Jayawant Jadhav, a Kalwa resident said, "It will be unfair to impose load shedding in the whole area for some crooks that dupe the power provider. The MSEDCL should punish defaulters and thieves for indulging in power theft instead of imposing power cuts and punishing us for no fault of ours."

During the month-long drive conducted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) to detect power thefts, a penalty of Rs 9.56 lakh was collected. MSEDCL has said that if the thefts continue to take place and the commercial loss is not curbed, then load shedding will have to be imposed
Source-Times of India
 
 
 
 

Power Theft-Sincere consumers pay for Power pilferers too

HYDERABAD: Genuine power consumers in Hyderabad not only pay for the power that they use but also for those consumers who steal power. Customers who promptly pay their electricity bills are bearing the burden of an additional 12.5 paise per unit every month. With a revision of power tariff on the cards, genuine bill-paying consumers' tabs are likely to get bigger, thanks to vote bank politics and meek CPDCL officials.
The unwarranted additional burden on bill-paying consumers is mainly because of unaccounted power pilferage in Hyderabad South, which comprises the Old City and other areas. Power enforcement officials are doing little to reduce pilferage. If the enforcement officials bring down pilferage even by 1%, the power utility could earn Rs 9.75 crore every month.
Of the 1,875 million units input supplied in Hyderabad South circle between December 2012 and November 2013, 897 million units could not be billed, implying that it was tapped illegally by defaulters and non-customers, according to an internal audit by CPDCL, which was also submitted to the state energy department.
The loss incurred by CPDCL in Hyderabad South alone during the last one year was pegged at Rs 466 crore, while the overall loss of the power utility, which has jurisdiction over seven districts, was Rs 2,342 crore. After Hyderabad South, Medak was the worst performing district with an accumulated loss of Rs 300 crore.
The state government and distribution companies have, to offset their losses, decided to pass on this burden to genuine bill-paying consumers by including the loss while fixing tariff itself. The existing burden of 12.5 paise per unit is likely to increase steeply in the coming days as losses were increasing significantly in the CPDCL jurisdiction when compared to other distribution centres in the state. The best loss-making distribution company of the four power utilities is East Power Distribution Company Limited.
According to a CPDCL official, if the state government gives them a free hand and supports their drive against power pilferers, the power bill of every consumer might reduce significantly. In the 11 circles under CPCDL, the revenue increase would be Rs 174 crore.
When contacted, CPDCL chief vigilance officer K Muralidhar Rao told TOI: "Of the 20 feeders in Hyderabad South, 16 have been loss making for the last several years. We are increasing enforcement squads and trying to reduce power theft, but more needs to be done."
With political parties resorting to vote bank politics, officials dread to crack down on those who pilfer power and often do not even have enough support from local police.Source-Times of India
 

AAP waives off power bills and closure of Power Theft

NEW DELHI-INDIA
24,000 people who took part in an AAP campaign against inflated electricity bills from paying 50 percent of the bill amount for that period.

It also decided to consider closure of power theft cases filed against some consumers during the Congress regime, which the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had accused of being hand-in-glove with power discoms.
The government has decided to waive 50 percent off the power bills for those who did not pay from October 2012 and did not submit the bills until December 2013, Delhi Minister Manish Sisodia said.
He told the media that the penalty imposed on these people for delayed payment would also be scrapped.

According to the power department, 24,036 people had resisted payment of their "inflated" bills till December 2013.
Sisodia said these people who did not pay their bills were part of the "Bijli Paani Satyagraha" launched in October 2012 in Delhi. The total amount waived off comes to Rs.6 crore.

"The chief minister, in keeping with his promise to provide relief to the people who had agitated against high electricitytariffs and inflated bills, decided to provide them 50 percent relief on outstanding arrears," said a statement from the chief minister's office.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced the exemption and added the amount due from these people would be paid by the government.
The AAP launched the "Bijli Paani Satyagraha" in which Kejriwal had appealed to people to stop paying their power bills, which he had alleged were highly inflated.(Source-Newstrack India)
 

Power Theft- AAP accuses ex-NCP corporator

 
NAVI MUMBAI:INDIA The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has accused Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ravindra Ithape from Nerul of indulging in Power Theft.

                               The AAP alleged that the former NCP corporator used streetlights to procure power supply for his daughter's marriage function. Ithape's wife Surekha is the sitting NCP corpoartor from Nerul. When the AAP activists observed that power supply for the function is being taken from the streetlights, one of them lodged a complaint with the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL)."We have video footage of the power theft, which we have uploaded on YouTube. We have even forwarded the link footage to the power supply company," said Mayur Panghaal, an AAP member.                        
                             Meanwhile, an officer from the power distribution company's flying squad admitted that they had received a complaint from AAP"On Monday night, we received a complaint about power theft. Our vigilance officer visited the site on Tuesday morning and observed that the connection was taken from the streetlight," said the local MSEDCL official.

                             He clarified that they had given the streetlight connection to the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC). "The local civic body is the appropriate authority to deal with the issue. We have asked the complainant to take up the issue with the NMMC," he addedWhen asked if AAP will pursue the issue, Panghaal said, "We will forward the video footage to the NMMC commissioner. If the civic body fails to take action on the local NCP leader's alleged involvement in power theft, we will take the case to logical end in 'AAP style'."
                   Reacting to the allegations, Ravindra Ithape said, "The issue has been resolved, as the connection has been restored."
Power theft is one of the issues which the Maharashtra government has failed to handle with iron hand, say political observers.Source-Times of India

Power Theft Madhya Pradesh with 114 illegal transformers and 400 electricity Poles

INDIA. BHOPAL: In a case of power theft, 114 illegal transformers were installed along with 400 electricity poles to supply power illegally to villages in Rajgarh district. A probe found officials of the discom, private contractors and consumers to be hand in glove in the scam that led to a loss of about Rs 40 lakh. Central region power distribution company has suspended four officials and lodged FIRs against at least two private contractors in the connection, so far.


                        The incident came to fore during investigations by senior officials of discom who found a wide gap in power consumed and billed. "A probe was held during January and inspections are still on," superintending engineer of Rajgarh circle, R K Sharma told TOI. "Initial estimates suggest power theft to the tune of around Rs 40 lakh through these transformers. These are basically 25 KVA transformers and so far 165 consumers have been identified and they are being served recovery notices," Sharma said. "To install transformers one needs permission from power distribution company as well as power inspectorate, but no such permissions were taken in these cases and contractors installed electricity poles at various villages in the district, under Rajgarh and Biaora tehsil and electricity was supplied through it," said Sharma.
                      "After a month-long probe we have registered FIR against two contractors - Naval Kishore Singh and Mahesh Gurjar in Khiclipur and Sothalia police stations. However a total of 8 such contractors are identified and process for lodging FIR against others is underway," Sharma said adding, "Besides these, assistant engineer of distribution company Rahul Thakre, junior engineer Sandeep Namdeo, line inspector Kanwarlal Chouhan and lineman Tara Singh have been suspended".

                           The probe so far has revealed that contractors were kin of the field staff, he said."These illegal connections were used by farmers for running motors for irrigation," Sharma said.Now we have written for cancellation of licenses of accused contractors, he said. Recovery process is underway, once recovery is done we will try to regularize these transformers, he said.

 Source-Times of India

GPL sweating over Power theft

GPL sweating over Power theft

Operational and commercial losses continue to cripple the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds told the natural resources parliamentary sectoral committee on Wednesday.

GPL is experiencing a 31 per cent loss in electricity owing to theft. This is a “great embarrassment,” Prime Minister Hinds told the committee chaired by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) parliamentarian Rupert Roopnaraine.

Between Coldingen and Bygeval on the East Coast of Demerara, there is a 37.1 per cent loss in electricity, while from Sophia to Coldingen, there is a 43.9 per cent loss. In Sophia’s A to E Field, a 42.2 per cent loss in electricitywas recorded at the end of March 31, 2013.

Collectively the communities of Tucville Well, Sophia Well, South Ruimveldt Park east of Penny Lane, Festival City, North Ruimveldt, South Ruimveldt Gardens, Roxanne Gardens, Guyhoc Park, and Ebenezer Drive accounted for a loss of 60 per cent, the highest recorded during that period.

However, the prime minister said he was pleased that there are other communities that are recording lower losses. Garden of Eden, Nandy Park, Edinburgh, Windsor Forest and Kitty were among these communities.

According to Hinds, from the overall 31 per cent in losses, 17 per cent is commercial losses while an average of 14 per cent is technical losses.

He also contended that there is a loss of approximately five per cent due to the GPL staffers who aid in the theft of electricity or the loss of electricity.

Bypass

“Thirty-one per cent is loss both in transmission and all the other things that may be non-transmission from meters reading wrongly perhaps low, meters reading lower than they should, meters being doctored in any number of ways – bypass, multiplying factor being recorded, and there is direct connection to the network,” said Hinds.

GPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bharat Dindyal said the company has been registering the experiences of territories such as South Africa, The Dominica Republic and Jamaica in tackling electricity theft. The implementation of the prepaid meter programme was based on a similar programme in South Africa.

Dindyal said when the prepaid meters were introduced during the period 2009-2012, GPL was convinced that the technology was working in the best interest of the company and consumers, but of recent, the company has been experiencing problems with residents attempting to bypass the system.

In 2009, losses peaked at 44.3 per cent; from 2010 to 2012, they remained at approximately 31 per cent. The Field Services Department has been executing a series of raids with thousands of illegal connections being detected.

However, of the more than 2000 persons GPL had arrested over the past six years for illegal connections, approximately 1248 cases are still pending.

As a consequence of the lack of stern penalties, perpetrators reconnect their illegal electricity connections within one week of disconnection.

Source-Guyana Times

Discom starts drive to check rural power theft to conserve it in summer

NOIDA: India-In order to conserve power during summer, Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL), the discom of Greater Noida, has embarked upon a drive in rural areas to rein in electricity pilferage. The drive has been undertaken so that the misuse of electricity is clamped down upon and urban residential sectors get their full supply quota.

The discom has registered around 100 FIRs on charges of electricity theft at different police stations of Greater Noida as part of the drive, which is being undertaken by a number of specialized teams formed by NPCL, including technical staff.

NPCL officials informed that an awareness drive was also being undertaken to educate people about the dangers of using electricity supplied through illegal connections. Teams formed by the discom are conducting camps in individual villages in which those detected to have taken illegal connections are provided opportunities to avail of valid metered connections.

"Four camps have been conducted so far. Those stealing electricity for use are being provided with alternative measures to avoid legal hassles," said Samarjeet Mohanty, manager, NPCL.

Through the camps, the discom is offering legal connections to those who have been found guilty of using illegal connections. Cases are being registered against those who are not availing of legal connections following these opportunities.

Officials informed that the discom is trying to cover as many villages as possible to detect illegal connections as part of the ongoing drive that will continue till the end of February.
Source-Times of India

Power Theft--Nearly 50% of power in Hyderabad's Old City pilfered, thanks to politicians.

HYDERABAD: Nearly 50% of power supplied to the Old City is unaccounted for. Despite suffering Rs 69 lakh loss daily, ostensibly due to power pilferage, the Central Power Distribution Company Limited (CPDCL) enforcement wingofficials dread to crack the whip on 'power thieves' due to political interference. Also, location of meters inside houses has been hampering vigilance checks.Recently, when CPDCL enforcement wing (who are drawn from police department) went to Hasan Nagar in Rajendranagar along with local police to nab second-time offenders besides penalizing them for drawing power illegally, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri, who represents Charminar constituency in the Assembly, landed at the location and directed officials not to collect penalties. "Our team went to register cases against persons indulging in power pilferage at Rajendranagar under a feeder, where nearly 87% is illegally tapped.
                             However, the MLA came to the location and said that since Milad-un-Nabi is round the corner, he asked the team to come back after January 14. Since the situation was tense, with no other option, the officials returned empty-handed,'' chief vigilance officer (CVO) K Muralidhar Rao told TOI. "This is not an isolated case, but the norm in the Old City with interference of local politicians. Since the last few months, we have been focusing on the Old City and any person committing second offence is being remanded," the CVO added. With most customers fixing meters inside their houses, the CPDCL officials have been finding it difficult to monitor them for pilferage. "Fixing meters inside is against rules now. When enforcement officials visit residences randomly to verify whether meter is tampered or not, they raise objections over 'other men' entering their houses.
                             When we insist that they put up the meter outside, they never get it done," another official said.As a result, the number of cases registered against culprits is much less compared to the amount of power pilferage in the Old City. Till a few months ago, the CPDCL officials never even used to bother to register a second offence case, since they never ever revisit the same locality again. So, the first offence cases were many, but hardly any booked for the second offence. The officials said when customers are caught pilfering power they have to pay for the energy already consumed used besides face criminal offence, henceforth.source-Times of India

Power theft- Kejriwal Govt’s move to withdraw Power theft cases must stand court scrutiny

A loan and dues waiver virus runs in the bloodstream of political parties. This virus gets virulent ahead of polls. Ruling parties have reaped rich electoral harvests by succumbing to various forms of 'waiver viruses'. 

On the eve of the 2009 general elections, the UPAgovernment unveiled a gigantic Rs 52,275 crore loan waiver scheme for small and marginal farmers. With a smile and twinkle in his eyes, finance minister P Chidambaram had challenged his opponents: "Please stand up and be counted. Are you for or against farmers?" No one stood up to get counted as anti-farmer. 

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, a new outfit with a spectaculardebut under its belt, appears to have caught the 'waiver virus', which has chronically stifled the country's economy. 

Politically, Kejriwal government's decision to waive off unpaid electricity dues from March last year should not raise eyebrows. It is a done thing for politicians, especially the chief minister, to appease his constituency. AAP, one can say, has the largest constituency - the aam aadmi or general public. 

But it is both socially worrisome and legally unpalatable to withdraw cases of power theft. Those who stole electricity have already burdened the law abiding aam aadmi. That is because no power distributing company will let go of the cost incurred for purchasing the electricity which was stolen. They accounted for it by increasing power tariff on those who regularly paid their bills. 

Socially, what message will this send? Will this not encourage stealing national resources? Will this not further tax the taxpayer to appease those who deliberately did not pay their power bills? 

How easy is it for the Kejriwal government to withdraw prosecution against those booked for theft under Electricity Act, 2003? Section 135 of the Act provides for imprisonment up to 5 years for theft of electricity and specifies that Criminal Procedure Code
 will govern the penal method to be employed by the courts. 

To withdraw prosecution, the Kejriwal government has to first send the cases to the public prosecutor expressing its intent to give a clean chit to those accused of stealing electricity. 

The prosecutor, under Section 321 of the CrPC, has to agree with the government that withdrawal of prosecution against the thieves will serve public purpose and that it will be in the interest of justice. 

Once the PP agrees with the government's decision, she/he has to make an application before the court concerned and truthfully tell the entire story behind withdrawal of theft cases. And then, both the PP and the government will stand scrutiny for the decision before the court, which will be the final arbiter. 

The procedure to be followed for withdrawal of criminal cases against accused was discussed by the Supreme Court in Abdul Karim vs state of Karnataka and others [2000 (8) SCC 710]. 

The SC had reprimanded Karnataka government for succumbing to forest brigand Veerappan's demand for dropping of charges against his comrades in exchange for matinee idol Rajkumar, who was held hostage. 

Referring to the deceitful manner in which the Karnataka government had taken the trial courts for a ride, the SC had said, "The public prosecutor has to be straight, forthright and honest and has to admit the arrangement and inform the court that the real arrangement is to ultimately facilitate the release of these accused from judicial custody by not opposing the bail applications after the withdrawal of TADA charges. The arrangement as set out above has neither been disputed nor is it capable of being disputed. It is well established that real purpose for withdrawal of TADA charges was to facilitate the grant of bail to the accused. In such circumstances, why the camouflage? Why is it not so stated in the application filed under Section 321? In fact, it is a deceit. These are the questions for which there is no plausible answer. No court of law can be a party to such a camouflage and deceit in judicial proceedings." 

Would it not be considered camouflage by courts if the Kejriwal government decides to reward those accused of stealing electricity on the expansive ruse that they were part of the people's movement against faulty metres? Why should the benefit accrue only to those who stole electricity? Can a public prosecutor, true to his salt, agree to such a decision? 

The court had in Abdul Karim case said, "It does not appear that anybody considered that if democratically elected governments give an impression to the citizens of this country of being lawbreakers, would it not breed contempt for law; would it not invite citizens to become a law onto themselves. It may lead to anarchy. Governments have to consider and balance the choice between maintenance of law and order and anarchy." 

The Kejriwal government must think over the message it will send to the masses, majority of whom had paid their power bills in time, by such waiver and withdrawal of electricity theft cases. Source-Times of India

Café owner faces jail for theft of £25,000 worth of electricity

united Kingdom
A MAN caught stealing electricity for 12 years – avoiding an estimated bill of almost £25,000 – is facing jail.

Tahar Hadjouj, 58, of Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, has admitted abstracting electricity at the Paradise Café without authority at Blackfriars Crown Court.

He was caught when a police officer noticed the meter had been tampered with. The officer was taking part in a drive against the handling of stolen mobile phones and anti-social behaviour in Blackstock Road.
Source-Islingtomn Tribune

Electricity company officials found a small hole had been drilled in the meter to slow down the disc that recorded electricity consumption.

Inspection showed the main junction box had been wired directly into the mains so electricity used would bypass the meter. Effectively, no electricity used in the café had been paid for since 2002.

Custodial death OF ELDERLY PERSON ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF POWER THEFT

INDIA-PATNA:
 Bihar Human Rights Commission
 on Friday took suo motu cognizance of news reports of custodial death of an elderly person arrested on electricity theft charges in Jehanabad district on Thursday night and sought an action taken report (ATR) from Magadh range DIG by January 28
The rights panel's acting chairperson said, "News channels on Friday morning reported death of an elderly person who was locked up atShakurabad police station in Jehanabad district on charges of power theft. The cause of death was reported to be police officers' misbehaviour with the man as well as extreme cold conditions prevailing there."The commission directed Magadh range DIG B S Meena to initiate an inquiry into the incident and its related aspects by Jehanabad SP and submit an ATR to BHRC by January 28, when the case is listed for next hearing.
                   Raising another collateral issue, the BHRC also asked principal secretary, home, to review the adequacy of winter protective gear, including blankets, available in police lock-ups in the state. "I have also asked the principal secretary, home, to order a review by the police headquarters whether police lock-ups are adequately equipped to offset the effect of biting cold in winter and take corrective steps, if needed," Neelmani said, adding the home department should apprise the commission about the issue on or before February 14.
SOURCE-TIMES OF INDIA

POWER THEFT-Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal does a U-turn on power waiver, says matter under consideration

New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwaltoday did a U-turn on his controversial 10-month waiver to power subscribers in Delhi, saying the matter is still under consideration.
 
In a controversial move, the Delhi Chief Minister had on Friday announced exemption for people who had defaulted on their electricity bills and withdrawal of cases against those booked for power theft since March 23 last year. 

Mr Kejriwal had made the announcement while launching his campaign against private power firms in the national capital who now face an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

The opposition BJP had slammed his proposal, calling it anarchist.

"The move will spread anarchy," Harsh Vardhan, who was the BJP's chief ministerial candidate against Mr Kejriwal, said.

"What if we ask people not to pay their power bills?" Mr Vardhan said, adding, "Shouting slogans and governance are two different things." SOURCE-NDTV
 

Electrocution of Sophia lad highlights dangers of Power theft – GPL

The electrocution of eight-year-old Joshua Regis of Plum Park, Sophia, Georgetown, late last year was caused by illegal live electrical wires channelled through a waterway, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) has said.

It said the tragic incident has once more highlighted the danger to life and limb that this practice poses.  The power company, in extending its condolences to the family of the deceased, lamented the increasing incidence of electricity theft and urged members of the public to act responsibly in reporting any instance of this illegal activity.

According to GPL, the prevalence of illegal connections, often done in collusion with persons purporting to be GPL staff, is the single biggest problem faced by the power company, both in terms of revenue lost, the overloading of the power lines and the possible loss of lives and damage to property.

Reports on electricity theft can be made to HOTLINE 592-225-5251. For more details on how to easily access legal electricity, call 592-226-2606.

Moments after leaving his home to catch fish, Regis, an Enterprise Primary School student, was electrocuted after he came into contact with an illegal connection.

According to reports, the lad, who loved fishing, was warned not to leave the house, but he left without his mother’s knowledge, with a bucket and fishing hook in his hands.

He went to a nearby trench where he secured a hook, but slid in the mud during the process. In an attempt to stop his slide into the trench, he reportedly grabbed and held onto the live wire and was electrocuted.

Source-Guyana Times

Kenya Power to audit 2mn connections to prevent Power Theft

NAIROBI, Kenya,– Kenya Power has begun a countrywide meter inspection exercise aimed at ensuring that customers receive correct bills, and at the same time secure the company’s revenue.
Speaking during launch of the exercise at Industrial Area, Nairobi, the company’s Installation, Inspection and Fraud Control Deputy Manager for Commercial Services, Thagichu Kiiru says the inspection will target about 2 million customer installations in domestic, industrial and commercial customer segments.

Kiiru revealed that the company loses about five percent of revenue every year attributed to theft of electricity and hopes to reduce the loss by one percent this year.
He says besides contributing to loss of revenue for Kenya Power, compromised metering equipment through tampering and bypassing has often led to incorrect bills for customers, and may lead to electrical accidents.
He also revealed that the company also suffers about 18.6 percent on technical/system losses per year which is being addressed by building bigger substations and re-conductoring of the existing lines.
“Our aim as a utility company is to supply safe, quality and reliable electricity to our customers all the time. It is therefore, within the legal and professional ambit of duty and responsibilities of Kenya Power as a company to carry out regular inspections to ascertain adherence to proper wiring and operational and safety practices at the customers’ premises,” he added.
The exercise starts with large power customers who are about 5,000 and contribute 60 percent of the company’s energy sales.
Over 50 percent of the large power customers are based in the vast Nairobi regions, with the Industrial Area and the Central Business District having the highest concentration.
“The exercise is destined to continue throughout the country after today’s launch targeting the company’s over two million installations. We will therefore send our inspectors to customers premises and we urge all to fulfil their contractual and statutory responsibility by allowing them to carry out their work,” he said.
The exercise will then go to domestic customers in the coming months.

The company’s security reports indicate that illegal connections have been the major cause of electrocutions and slum fires which have been on the increase in the recent past.Source-The Business and Tech

How to manage Power Theft and losses up to 69%-Load shedding ?

Nine districts of Maharashtra are facing loadshedding for up to eight hours every day due to production, transmission and distribution losses that are up to 69 per cent.
“Jalna, Aurangabad, Nanded, Osmanabad, Beed, Parbhani from the Marathwada region and Jalgaon, Nandurbar in Khandesh and Washim from Vidarbha are the worst districts with maximum losses up to 69 per cent,” an official from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) said. The losses are not only technical or commercial, but also due to power theft and non-payment of electricity, which are the major issues in the districts, the official said.
It has been the policy of the government to carry out load shedding in areas with the maximum transmission and distribution losses. “There is about six to eight hours of loadshedding in the regions considering the highest losses, power theft and non-payment of bills,” the official said. However, in the rest of Maharashtra, there is no loadshedding at present, he claimed.
On a query if the government would be able to provide more power to the regions, the theft issue would not occur, the official replied in the negative. “Non-payment of bills is also a major issue in the area. So even if the government provides more electricity, there is no guarantee of the payment,” he added. The people must be made aware to pay for electricity, he said.
The state has an average of 15 per cent losses, while Mumbai has the lowest losses with 11 per cent where the distribution system and payment is good, the official said.
Ashok Pende, consumer representative at Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) said, “The government would need various approaches to tackle the different problems in order to make the state load shedding free in the true sense.”
 Source-The Asian age

Hyderabad tops Power theft list in Andhra Preadesh

Hyderabad: The old city of Hyderabad has the dubious distinction of registering the highest number of electricity thefts in the state. Electricity worth as much as Rs 252 crore is stolen every year.
“Though cases of power theft are found in other parts of the state, it does not exceed 12 per cent of the total power consumed in an area. Whereas the total power theft in the old city alone accounts for a whopping 47 per cent,” said Y. Nagi Reddy, joint managing director, vigilance and security, AP Transco.
“The power theft in SPDCL limits (Tirupati headquarters), NPDCL limits (Warangal), on an average is around 10 per cent. The lowest is in EPDCL (Vishakapatnam) limits, according to information revealed in an RTI request,” said A. Punna Rao, convener of the Praja Energy Audit Cell.
Curbing the rampant power theft in the area is a big challenge to APTransco officials, and one in which they are failing. Tampering with electric meters and bypassing connections are two common methods of evading payment
According to officials, the theft is rampant in South Circle areas, including Barkas, Kazipura, Chandrayangutta, Edibazar, Hasan Nagar, Pahade Shareef, Mehdipatnam and other slums surrounding the Charminar.
“Most houses in these areas have tampered with the electricity meter or bypassed connections. And they don’t use just basic electricity equipment like light, fan and TV; most of them have electric heaters for cooking, and air-conditioners. Since the equipment is substandard, the power they consume is much higher,” said A. Ramakrishna, SE DPE, CPDCL.
Power officials say they are physically intimidated if they try to rectify the meters.
“Our linemen and inspectors are terrorised. In many cases they have been manhandled and assaulted. Most of the meters are installed inside the houses and they do not allow inspectors inside. When we took up work to shift the meters outside the houses, there was stiff resistance. Police is unwilling to accompany our officials, claiming that it is a sensitive area,” said an APCPDCL officer.
Source-Deccan Chronicle

Homeless man charged with stealing electricity

STAMFORD -- A homeless man living in his minivan was charged Thursday morning with theft of electricity after plugging the extension cord that runs his heater into an outdoor electrical plug of a West Side business one too many times, police said.
Douglas Higbee, 56, of no known address, was charged with sixth-degree larceny and released after signing a promise to appear in court.
Sgt. Robert Shawinsky said just after 7 a.m. Thursday a manager from Advance Auto Parts at 305 West Ave., called police to report that a man was stealing the company's electricity.
The man told police he had warned the owner of the green minivan in the past that he would have to call police if he saw him plugged into the outside electrical receptacle again, Shawinsky said.
Police also found out Higbee had made the rounds of a number of other businesses in the recent past, but no complaints were made because people took pity on Higbee and were trying to work with him, Shawinsky said.
Higbee admitted to police he used his 1998 Chrysler Town and Country minivan to plug into Advance Auto Parts in the past and that he usually clears out before the manager gets there at 7.
Higbee told police he lost his home in a divorce.
Because Higbee's van was not registered or insured, police towed the vehicle, Shawinsky said.
SOURCE-CTPOST.COM

Delhi-560 Cr.subsidy per annum, Power Theft 11%-Tata Power not Worried

India -Delhi-560 Cr.subsidy per annum, Power Theft @ 11%-Tata Power not Worried about tariff reduction

Tata Power is not worried about the 50% cut in power charges in Delhi from today. Their power distribution unit, called Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), serves 4.5 million consumers in one distribution circle in the city.

The chief executive of TPDDL, Pravir Sinha talks to Katya B Naidu about power subsidies and governments:

Is there a cause of worry that NDPL will suffer losses if there is a tariff cut?

No. The move is, in fact, good for the customers. The government will pay up for the gap with subsidies.

Will you receive timely payments of subsidy? Or, will it become a regulatory asset on the balance sheet when tariff orders get delayed?

We are already getting subsidy from the government for our customers who consume less than 100 units which is Rs 1.20 a unit and for those who consume between 201-400 units which is 80 paise.

The payments are always made on time, every quarter. We get around Rs 53 crore every quarter for these subsidy. After the tariff cut, the annualised outgo would be Rs 800 crore. Of this, we will get paid around Rs 250 crore every year.

Do you think that tariff cut is drastic, and it is an unusual move to cover it with subsidy?

All state governments give subsidies. Punjab and Uttar Pradesh give huge subsidies and under-write it to state distribution companies. The Delhi government paid around Rs 570 crore this year.

Will Delhi government be able to sustain power subsdies?

Power subsidy is a welfare measure which is given by states depending on their financial strengths. Except for Chhattisgarh which does not give a subsidy because it is power surplus and makes money from it, all others give subsidies. There isn't a single state that does not. Subsides are actually good for consumption.

Do you think pilferage will reduce as power rates go down?

We have already reduced pilferage from 53% to 11%. It is already the best in the country. There is no other distribution entity which has reduced this much, in a short period of time, as we did. We will continue to work on reducing power theft.Source –Business Standard
 

Power theft: Karnataka High Court relief for woman

Bangalore:India  A 37-year-old woman from Gulbarga almost ended up behind bars over charges of ‘electricity theft’, but for high court intervention.
However, the high court ordered her to pay the interest amount of the outstanding bill, to the electricity supply company.
A lower court had held her guilty under Section 135 of the Indian Elec­tricity Act, 2003 with S.379 of IPC (punishment for theft), while ordering her to undergo three years of simple imprisonment, along with directions to pay the fine of Rs 11,27,088 as loss to Gulbarga Electricity Sup­ply Com­pany (Gesc­om).

The court wanted her to pay three times the amount she owed to the power company.
The advocate of the accused argued in the high court that Gescom had issued a notice as a one-time settlement to compound the offence for Rs 3,50,000.
“When such a letter is issued by the respondent themselves, except for the delay on the part of the accused in compounding the offence, it ought to have liberally considered to accept the amount that is due of Rs 3,75,696.”
After conviction order was passed in the year 2010, the accused had deposited Rs 4 lakh. “As per the statute, fine prescribed is three times the amount of misuse.
The misuse is calculated at Rs 3,75,696,” the woman pleaded before the HC, seeking leniency to compound the offence at this stage pursuant to the Gescom notice.

Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh, who struck the order of the lower court, ordered: “Since an amount of Rs 4 lakh was deposited in 2010, even assuming that interest is charged at 6 per cent on Rs 3,75,696, the accused is directed to pay another Rs 20,000 towards interest amount for the remaining two years.”

The accused has been warned to pay the interest amount in three months, which shall be transferred to Gescom, to be adjusted towards arrears.Source-the Deccan Chronicle.
 

Power theft-second time in same month by Cable TV operator

Hyderabd,India
Power theft-second time in same month by Cable TV operator

A person from Santhoshnagar was apprehended and remanded to judicial custody here on Saturday, on the allegations of indulging in power theft.

Vigilance and Anti-Power Theft Squad (APTF) of the APCPDCL’s South Circle slapped a case against cable TV operator Arif Ali Khan from Edi Bazar area on November 27, allegedly for tampering the electricity meter for a second time in the same month. The first instance of theft was discovered on November 16 and a case was booked against him under the Electricity Act, but his offence was compounded after payment of Rs.7,000, a press release informed. As the second offence is not compoundable under law, he was arrested on Saturday and sent for judicial remand. In both instances, meters were sent for testing and tampering was proven, they said. Further, the consumer’s consumption as against the connected load was found to be very low. The loss sustained by the company is estimated at about Rs.1.5 lakh in the first instance, and at Rs.1.2 lakh the second time. The central discom has been conducting a special drive against power theft, and booked quite a few cases against the second time offenders in the last one month.source-The Hindu

MLA booked in Power theft case

CHANDIGARH:INDIA On the complaint of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), an FIR has been registered against - an Indian National Lok Dal  MLA from Rania assembly constituency - and others for connecting the cables of consumers to the distribution system of DHBVN, by bypassing their energy meters in a Sirsa village.

The concerned sub-divisional officers of the DHBVN have complained to the police that the MLA and others have destroyed the incoming cables of the DHBVN connecting the meters of consumers to the poles, and instead connected the service cables of consumers to the Nigam system by bypassing meters at village Mattuwala of Sirsa district. The officials alleged that the MLA had tampered with the system of the Nigam, which is a violation of the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003. The FIR has been registered inRania police station of Sirsa district.

The DHBVN has also filed cases of electricity theft against five consumers of the village. The penalty against the consumers is being calculated. Complaints against these consumers will also be lodged with the police as per the provisions of the Electricity Act.
Source-Times of India

POWER THEFT-Discom cracks the whip on power thieves

Hyderabad,India Two persons in Ranga Reddy district and one in the city have been booked under provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003, for indulging in power theft, and remanded to judicial custody here on Tuesday.
The Vigilance and Anti Power Theft Squad of the APCPDCL, acting in coordination with the Operations circle staff, registered cases under section 135 (a) of the Act for stealing power, against Kompally Ravi and K. Narayana, both residents of Keshavaram village of Shamirpet mandal in Ranga Reddy district, a press communiqué from the Vigilance wing of the APCPDCL informed. On December 4, during the special drive conducted by the Vigilance wing, both the accused were found tapping power directly from the overhead LT conductors, to run pump-sets for sand filtering.
Second offence
For both, this is the second such offence in three months.
On earlier occasions, their offences were compounded upon payment of requisite amounts.
After the latest instance, they were both arrested, produced before the Sixth Metropolitan Magistrate, Cyberabad, Medchal, and sent to judicial remand.
In another incident in Langar Houz, one Hussain Shah Ali, a Class IV employee of Nizam College, was booked by the Vigilance and APTF team, allegedly for tampering the electricity meter a second time.
In judicial custody
He was booked under sections 135(a) and 138 of the Electricity Act, produced before the Sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Nampally, and remanded to judicial custody, the press release informed.
The APCPDCL has apparently toughened its stance against power theft, as evident from the recent spate of criminal cases being slapped on the offenders across the State.
Special drive
During the last one month, about 50 to 60 theft cases have been booked by the Vigilance and APTF wings as part of the special drive against habitual offenders, officials informed.
“We compound the offence upon payment of requisite penalty if it is a first time offence. If the person is found to be committing the same offence again, we are entitled by the Electricity Act, Source-The hindu

Privatised, but still stolen

MUMBAI:INDIA Police has informed the Bombay high court that it cracks down on individuals or entities involved in stealing electricity amid increasing cases of power thefts in the city.

Whenever Brihanmumbai Electric and State Transport (BEST) and such other power distribution companies, file a complaint under the Electricity Act, 2003, police immediately registers an offence and investigates it as per the provisions of law, said Ashok Jagdale, senior police inspector, MRA Marg police station in an affidavit.

The affidavit was submitted by additional public prosecutor Aruna Kamath-Pai yesterday before the HC which was hearing a PIL against power theft.

The PIL, filed by ex-scribe Ketan Tirodkar, alleged that during Ganesh and Navratri festivals, public mandals collect huge amounts as donations for organising celebrations and despite that, they are given heavy concessions in power usage by the state power utilities.

Since 2005, 10 cases have been registered in the MRA Marg police station alone. "In all these cases accused have been arrested and charge sheet filed before the magistrate," states the affidavit.

It says that whenever police help is sought by the BEST to raid or inspect suspicious places, adequate police bandobast is provided.

The power distribution companies suffer distribution losses to a tune of 15 per cent overall and 50 per cent in some pockets. These are mainly due to power thefts resorted by 'sarvajanik' (public) mandals during festivals, the PIL alleged.

Mumbai's power demand is around 2,600 MW and the power supply companies — Tata Power Company and Reliance Energy Ltd — are able to provide only 2,300 MW at present. Besides, the state is facing power shortage of around 3,000-3,500 MW during morning and evening peak hours.

The PIL demanded that special cells be set up by the state government to crack down on such electric thefts.Source-Times of India
 

 

 

Electricity Department files Power Theft case against five year old boy.

Electricity Department files Power Theft case against five year old boy.

Pls visit  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKS_0Bgmhps
 

Power theft list- Dharavi, Antop Hill top

MUMBAI: Dharavi ranks high when it comes to power theft cases in the island city, followed by Antop Hill and Mumbai Central. 

The number of power thefts registered at Dharavi was 1,557 cases between 2006 and 2013, as compared to 1,261 cases at Antop Hill and 1,244 at Mumbai Central, the latest statistics released by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST) revealed. In fact, the latest data pointed out that the number of cases detected for power thefts also rose by 400%. And, the increased vigilance along with huge recovery of fines/penalties resulted in sharp decline of transmission and distribution (T&D) losses—from 12.40% in 2005-06 to a record 6.6 % last month. 

"This is a national record as the T&D losses in BEST is the lowest among all the private power discoms and the state discoms," said a BEST official. He pointed out that the national average T&D losses for all power discoms were 20.65% in 2012. "With increased vigil on power thefts and unauthorized use of electricity, huge recovery of penalties and having special squads on holidays/Sundays, we have brought down the system distribution losses to less than 7%," he said. 

Said BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta, "The decline in T&D losses has also helped BEST reduce its power procurement costs considerably. In fact, the direct amount transferred to BEST's account by the MERC as 'efficiency gains' has been Rs 157.55 crore, which has enabled BEST to reduce consumers' electricity bills by equivalent amount."
 SOURCE-TIMES OF INDIA

Power theft: More than 700 arrested.

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) is reporting that more than 700 persons have been arrested and taken to court for electricity theft since the start of  the year.
The company is highlighting the ongoing struggle it faces with illegal connections. Keith Garvey, Head of the JPS Southern Region, stated that one of the challenging parishes is St. Catherine. It accounted for more than 100 of the total cited. Source-RJR News

T&D loss figures juggled, feels MSEDCL official

NAGPUR: Even as MSEDCL head office is furiously denying that it is inflating agricultural power consumption to artificially reduce transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, a top official himself slammed his subordinates for juggling figures. This explosive information has come to light through minutes of a meeting held on June 15, 2013 and convened by director (operations) Maroti Deore in MSEDCL's Akola zone office.

Deore reviewed the performance of Akola, Amravati, Buldhana, Washim and Yavatmal districts in the meeting. As per the minutes of the meeting, Deore observed that power supplied to Yavatmal circle increased by 40 million units (MUs) in 2012-13 as compared to 2011-12. However, only the billing of residential, commercial and industrial consumers increased by 13 MUs.

The remaining 27 MUs (i.e. around 70% of the extra power supplied) was shown as increase in sale to agricultural pumps. However, Deore told the local officials that they had dumped these 27 MUs on agriculture. This implies that a major part of the 27 MU was pilfered by consumers or lost in the distribution network. By showing that the entire quantum was used by farmers, the distribution losses were artificially reduced. Deore saw through this ruse.

In October, another damaging evidence on MSEDCL's inflation of agricultural consumption figures had come to fore. While replying to a Right to Information (RTI) query raised by consumer activist Ashish Chandrana, a MSEDCL assistant engineer had stated that his boss had given an oral order to inflate power bills of farmers by 66%.

Chandrana had sought information under RTI from assistant engineer (AE) of Morshi sub-division no. 1 as to how many farmers had applied for increasing their agricultural pump capacity between 2003 and 2013. In reply, the AE stated that only two farmers had applied. However, executive engineer of Morshi division had given an oral order on April 12, 2012, to bill 800 unmetered and 1,700 metered pumps of 3 HP load as 5 HP pumps.

Instead of taking any action against the concerned EE, MSEDCL told TOI that if any farmer felt that his bill was excessive then he should contact his local office. However, if the assessment proved that he was being billed on the lower side he would be booked for theft.

Consumer representative Chandrana charged that these were not isolated incidents of jugglery. "I had asked for agricultural feeder data of Akola and Nanded zones. However, MSEDCL did not provide me in spite of an order from VP Raja, the then chairman of Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). If MSEDCL is not doing anything wrong why it isn't providing me the data," he asked.

Chandrana further charged that MSEDCL deliberately did not take photographs of agricultural pump meters. "This would expose the fact that they are issuing average bills even though the meters are working. There are hundreds of meter in Akot area that have the same consumption. This is just not possible," he said.Source-Times of India

Jail and fine for man in Power theft case

New Delhi
India
A resident of Pooth Kalan was sentenced to two years' rigorous imprisonment and slapped with a fine of over Rs 28 lakh by a special electricity  in a power theft case. 

Surender Solanki, of House No. 442 in Pooth Kalan, was convicted for power theft at his residence in December, 2005. 

The court sentenced him to the prison term under Section 135 of Indian Electricity Act, 2003, and determined a total civil liability of Rs 28,96,320 payable by Solanki under Section 154(5) of the said act. 

A statement by   Distribution Ltd said the fine imposed was to compensate for the losses incurred by the company due to the power theft by Solanki. 

TPDDL officials had raided Solanki's residence in 2005 and found he was involved in theft of electricity by sourcing the supply directly from power lines using single core wires from different poles, making it a three-phase supply. 

He was using electricity for the manufacture of items for industrial use. No meter was found at the site while the total connected load was found to be 95.94KW.