State-run Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), reeling under monthly losses of over Rs 200 crore, has come out with a unique scheme for domestic consumers which allows them to earn cash back for power saved.
While the state requires, on an average, around 58 million units daily, the generation from the state mainly through hydel generation and other sources comes to only half its requirement. The rest of the power consumed in the state is sourced from the central pool and from power purchased from external sources at high cost.
KSEB has asked its domestic consumers to save around 10 per cent from their electricity consumption, and has also announced incentives.
"We sell power to domestic users at Rs 4.60 per unit. Starting from March 23 till May 31, we are running a campaign for all domestic consumers. If during this period, any consumer saves a minimum of 10 per cent electricity as compared to the previous bill, we will give a cash incentive of 50 per cent of the number of units that they saved," said State Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed to reporters in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.
According to KSEB, the state requires more than 3,300 MW at peak demand time and, to match current capacity, Kerala has power outage for an hour each day on an average besides the unscheduled power-cuts.
"We have another scheme. And that's for all consumers who come under one feeder. If they manage to save 10 per cent as compared to their previous week's consumption, then they will be exempted from power outage the following week," Mohammed said.
The reason that the scheme is being launched now is because during the months of April and May, the power consumption soars, crossing 62 million units a day.
KSEB sources power at different rates and the highest it pays is Rs.9.35 per unit.
"Assuming that through this incentive scheme, there is going to be an overall reduction by 10 per cent in daily consumption, and after that if we pay back 50 per cent to consumers, KSEB will make huge savings because then we can reduce the power that we buy at high rates. That would be saving for us," KSEB chairman M. Sivasankar said.