Hour-based Electricity Tariff System on Anvil

Govt plans to vet power usage pattern & charge more for consumption during peak hours
Using the washing machine at night may help you save on your electricity bill. The government plans to introduce a time-ofday power tariff structure for residential customers, where peak-hour prices will be costlier than non-peak rates, after getting data on supply and consumption of electricity, coal, petroleum and renewable energy.NITI Aayog, the government think tank tasked with creating a knowledge support system through collaboration with national and international experts, will soon set up an energy data management cell. This unit will uncover India’s energy consumption pattern in a more comprehensive and detailed manner in coordination with half-a-dozen ministries and departments.

The think tank will monitor the usage of electronic appliances and spot a trend that will eventually form the basis for the introduction of time-ofday tariffs for residential customers. It has tied up with the US Energy Information Administration, an agency that collects, analyses and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.Time-of-day tariff is a structure that offers different rates for use of electricity , depending on the time of the day. Its objective is to reduce power consumption during peak hours.

To do this, charges are reduced during off peak hours as an incentive for people to use electricity at those times rather than during peak hours, when it would be more expensive.

This means using appliances at certain times will be cheaper than using them at other times. In India, time-of-day tariff is used for the industrial and commercial sectors.

With limited resources and rising demand, the government plans to provide detailed consumption pattern to distribution companies to implement it for residential customers as well.

“We have set up a sustainability growth working group in association with the Energy Information Administration of the US to improve energy data management in the country, which could eventually be used by stakeholders to determine their usage based on different tariffs,“ a senior government official told ET.

According to the official, who did not wish to be identified, there will be a dedicated energy data management cell within NITI Aayog, one that may evolve into an independent energy data organisation similar to the EIA.

The cell will work in coordination with the ministries of petroleum, coal and renewable agency, besides the ministry of statistics, to source data.

Source: Economic Times; 13 April 2015

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