Economy

Covid-19 shutdown: CERC lowers late payment charges on discoms

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on April 03, 2020 Published on April 03, 2020

Country grid gears up for demand drop on April 5

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has cut the late payment surcharge levied by power generation companies (Gencos) on Distribution Companies (Discoms).

A CERC order said that late payment surcharge (LPS) payable by discoms to gencos and transmission companies will be lowered to 1 per cent per month from 1.5 per cent per month during the lockdown period.

The Centre had directed the CERC to lower the burden on discoms who were unable to collect payments from end consumers because of the 21-day Covid-19 lockdowns. There is also a sustained fall in demand for power as industrial and commercial units are not operational.

This puts more pressure on discoms as their high tariff consumers (commercial and industrial) are not running operating, while demand from cheaper tariff (residential consumers) has firmed up.

Demand drop

The country’s power demand has dropped significantly since the 21-day lockdown was announced.

“Actually considering the need of pan India lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, peak demand was lower by about 20 per cent on Thursday,” a Power Ministry official said.

Maximum demand for power stood at 125,817 MW on April 2, 2020. The maximum power demand on April 2, 2019 stood at 168,326 MW.

9-minute power cut

What may hurt the power demand further is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for solidarity in fight against Covid-19. Modi urged people to switch of the lights in their homes and light lamps, candles, at 9 pm on Sunday, April 5.

This raised concerns of the electricity grid being unable to handle these massive fluctuations. According to officials in the know, Minister for State (Independent Charge) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh has discussed the issue with Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) and Load dispatcher in a meeting on Friday. “They are up to the task and are confident of managing the grid stability for the event,” the official said.

But States are more wary of the situation. According to orders issued by the Uttar Pradesh State Load Dispatch Centre (UPSLDC), the State is expecting a sharp load reduction of 3,000 MW during the period.

The UPSLDC has directed that load shedding is a staggered manner may be done from 8-9 pm on April 5 in UP Power Control Area. This is being done to stop crashing of load and to operate the grid safely.

The gencos have been directed to operate below technical minimum according to need. Even the ‘must run’ category hydropower stations are to reduce their generation as per requirement.

Published on April 03, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.