CEA asks utilities to submit reliability index

Mumbai: The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has chalked out a major task before power utilities. Now they will have to submit a monthly customers’ satisfaction reliability index. CEA has also directed that a customer complaint cell will have to be set up by every utility, which will be further linked up online with CEA’s office in New Delhi.

In a letter to all state electricity boards and power utilities, CEA chairman HL Bajaj has said the key thrust of the power utilities should be commercial viability, which makes it very important to know and improve the faith of the consumers on these utilities.

So, in order to gauge the customer satisfaction in terms of reliability of the supply of power, taking into consideration the extent of outages and the number of interruptions occurring in the system, CEA has ordered all utilities to present a customer index every month.

The index will be calculated on the basis of the percentage of the difference between the number of expected consumer hours and the number of consumer hours lost in comparison with the number of expected consumer hours. The number of expected consumer hours will be 24 multiplied by the number of days in a month and the total number of consumers. The number of consumer hours lost will be equal to the summation of the number of consumers affected, multiplied by the corresponding leakage in hours.

For a state capital, the index may be calculated on a monthly basis commencing from July 2002. For the major towns with a population of more than 1 million, the index may be calculated also on a monthly basis wherein all the major towns will be covered by December 2002. For all the district headquarters, a monthly index for all the towns will have to be submitted by March 2003. The chief engineer (DP&D), CEA, will act as the nodal officer for this activity.

The union power ministry has also ordered a management information system to ensure an effective flow of information and quick decision-making. A customer complaint cell in all the towns above a certain population level will be established and will be connected to CEA so that a regular feedback is available. The ministry has also requested all state electricity boards to set up the cells within the next three months.