Power firms reduce energy loss

The power distribution companies - North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited and South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited - in Bihar have brought down the aggregate transmission and commercial (AT&C) loss by about 10 per cent this fiscal.

By Sanjeev Kumar Verma in Patna
  • Published 1.03.18
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Patna: The power distribution companies - North Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited and South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited - in Bihar have brought down the aggregate transmission and commercial (AT&C) loss by about 10 per cent this fiscal.

AT&C loss refers to the total loss of power due to technical or commercial reasons for which money does not come back to the distribution companies. A higher AT&C percentage is considered bad for distribution companies because they lose money.

According to official figures, AT&C loss in Bihar stood at around 42 per cent in 2016-17 and it had been brought down to 33.85 per cent by the end of the third quarter of the current fiscal (2017-18). This percentage is likely to be brought down further in the last quarter (January-March) of this fiscal.

The achievement assumes significance as it has come at a time when both the distribution companies have enhanced their reach and now all the 39,073 villages have been electrified. Also the joint consumer base of the two distribution companies has crossed the 1 crore mark. Had the old percentage of the AT&C loss not been reduced, the volume of electricity which would have fallen under the loss category would have been higher.

On steps that helped the power companies in scripting this turnaround, Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited director (administration) R Lakshmanan told The Telegraph: "Re-conductoring of transmission and distribution lines, timely generation of electricity bills, doorstep collection of bills, anti-theft drives and disconnection drives against the consumers not paying their bills on time were some of the major steps that helped bring down the technical losses on one hand and enhanced revenue on the other."

The holding company director said it was not that these steps had been confined to urban areas only, rather the distribution companies were paying equal attention to rural areas which had done wonders. "We have started spot billing in rural areas and are also providing the doorstep bill collection facilities which have helped a lot in revenue enhancement which, in turn, has brought down AT&C losses," he added.

The lowering of the AT&C loss would help the power companies in one more way. It pertains to seeking financial help for meeting the financial gap due to the loss. The state government had sanctioned Rs 1,476 crore to power companies for meeting the cost of the AT&C loss and now the companies are confident that they would not ask for additional government help on this front.

Also, encouraged by the achievement in the past one year, the power companies are now aiming to bring down the AT&C level to 15 per cent in the coming three years.