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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.

Through the course of the initiative, CAG in association with PEG plans to install numerous Electricity Supply Monitors (ESMs) in households across Tamil Nadu.

Electricity Supply Monitor (ESM) is a plug-in device that integrates a voltage recorder and a data-logger that can be easily installed at any remote location without the services of an electrician. The ESM records voltage by the minute at its location and sends the data to a central server using GPRS. The data as made available by the ESMs help in understanding the power supply quality in a given location. It will further enable provision of evidence-based feedback about the quality of supply to all stakeholders in the electricity sector; and in-turn ensure increased accountability of electric utilities and improved quality of power supply.

Through the Electricity Supply Monitoring Initiative (ESMI) - CAG currently monitors energy supply in select districts of Tamil Nadu through Electricity Supply Monitors (ESMs) as deployed/installed with the support of  Metropolitan Consumer Rights Protection Centre (MMCRPC) and Federation of Consumer Organization of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry (FEDCOT). A total of 30 ESM devices have been deployed in locations across ChennaiCuddaloreKanchipuram and Thiruvallur. The data as made available through these ESMs are studied and analyzed to develop evidence-based feedback on power supply quality in the said region.

  • Reliable and comprehensive data on power supply quality made readily available across Tamil Nadu.

  • Increased accountability of electric utilities and adherence to standards of performance as prescribed by regulatory commissions.

  • Improved quality of power supply in the state of Tamil Nadu

Interim Outcomes

  • Records of voltage fluctuations and outages made readily available for Chennai, Cuddalore, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur

  • Increased ESM installations across Tamil Nadu

  • Better awareness about ESMs and the ESMI among relevant stakeholders of electricity sector

  • Studies and trend analysis made available on power supply quality across districts of Tamil Nadu.

  • Increased awareness about the need and value of power supply quality among consumers and other stakeholders in the electricity sector

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