In the nearly two decades of privatisation of power distribution in the national capital, discoms have helped save around Rs 1.2 lakh crore primarily by cutting down aggregate technical and commercial losses, officials said on Tuesday.
In July this year, Delhi's privatization model completed 19 years.
Privatisation of the Delhi Vidyut Board in 2002 has substantially increased the power-reliability and customer care, discom officials said.
Power distribution in Delhi is handled mainly by BSES discoms BRPL and BYPL, and Tata Power Delhi Distribution (TPDDL). The discoms are joint ventures between private players and the Delhi government.
Delhi discoms reduced aggregate technical and commercial losses from 55 per cent to around 7.5 per cent, a record reduction of about 48 per cent in the past 19 years, discom officials said.
"Apart from ensuring reliable power supply, Delhi discoms also brought-about a record reduction in aggregate technical and commercial losses. At the time of privatisation, aggregate technical and commercial losses in Delhi were over 55 per cent and even as high as 63 per cent in east and central Delhi," an official said
Reliable power-supply and record aggregate technical and commercial loss reduction are not the only benefit that has accrued to the Delhi in these 19 years, the official said.
"Delhi discoms have saved the city and its consumers over Rs 1.2 lakh crore over the past 19 years. Of this, the biggest component is aggregate technical and commercial loss reduction, which has saved over Rs 95,000 crore. At present, each percentage of aggregate technical and commercial loss reduction saves the Delhi consumers around Rs 250 crore."
The discoms also have investments of around Rs 19,000 crore in the national capital's distribution network. Today, Delhi discoms have one of the most modern distribution networks in the country, officials said.
This has also allowed the discoms to meet the national capital's growing power demand, which has increased from 2,879 in 2002 to 7,409 in 2019 -- an over 250 per cent rise.
Since 2002, power purchase costs of discoms in Delhi have increased by over 300 per cent as compared to just a 91 per cent increase in the retail power tariff in the corresponding period, claimed the discom officials.
"Due to non-cost reflective tariffs, revenue gaps (regulatory assets) of the Delhi discoms have crossed a milestone mark of over Rs 50,000 crore -- reaching Rs 51,646 crore as of March 31, 2020," an official said.
There has been no tariff hike in Delhi since 2014.
Delhi power tariffs are not even keeping pace with inflation. In 2020, the rate of inflation in the country was 6.2 per cent, 4.76 per cent in 2019, 3.43 per cent in 2018 and 3.6 per cent in 2017. Food inflation in India has averaged 6.02 per cent from 2012 until 2021, they said.
The savings by way of aggregate technical and commercial losses have provided a cushion to the Delhi discoms to ensure business continuity despite non-cost reflective tariffs over the years, officials added.