Electricity Supply Monitoring Initiative

The Electricity Supply Monitoring Initiative (ESMI) is an effort made by CAG in partnership with Prayas Energy Group (PEG). The initiative aims to develop a reliable database on interruptions and voltage levels at various locations in Tamil Nadu. Through ESMI, CAG currently monitors energy supply in the districts of Chennai, Cuddalore, Kanchipuram and, Thiruvallur. The objective is to work towards creating awareness about the quality of power supply in the state. This initiative will be instrumental in (i) enabling an understanding of power supply quality in a given location, (ii) comparing the quality of supply across locations and (iii) determining deviations from regulatory benchmarks for power supply quality.

Power Quality Standards in India, as defined by the EU-Asia Power Quality Initiative (APQI), iterates that an ideal power supply should be available at all times, in the right quality.  The two major dimensions that the APQI takes into account are (a) quality and (b) reliability. While reliability depends on uninterrupted supply of electricity; quality depends on voltage and frequency. Electricity consumers in India, are often times faced with several issues related to both quality and reliability of power supply. The issues range from interruptions, load shedding/blackouts to fluctuations in voltage levels. Such issues tend to weigh heavily on the consumers as they are subsequently forced to invest in alternative sources of power supply and voltage stabilizing devices or suffer inconvenience and loss of productivity.

In India, with the launch of the Saubhagya Scheme, 24 X 7 power supply for all, will soon be a legal obligation. While such efforts cater to the indisputable need for uninterrupted power supply, much has to be done to increase the focus on quality of power supply provided. The first step in that direction is to build mechanisms to regularly monitor power supply quality and utilise the same to further the case for improving quality of power supply.