The Power Ministry has joined hands with a leading multinational company J-PAL South Asia to improve electricity supply and consumer services by creating annual data-based assessments of India’s 79 public and private Power distribution companies
India’s leading power company, REC (Rural Electrification Corporation) has entered into an agreement with leading power company Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South Asia to examine the existing data on DISCOMS’ services to diagnose trends and identify gaps in the quality of power supply, said a senior officer of the Power Ministry.
“These datasets would be used to create a “consumer service index” that will rank companies based on dimensions of service delivery—supply hours, grievance redressal systems, and billing details and timelines among others,” the officer said. Both companies would address the challenges faced by DISCOMS that emerge from this yearly assessment.
REC would also take up a pilot project to test the potential solutions suggested by J-PAL using randomised evaluations. “J-PAL South Asia will also conduct scoping studies to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative solutions like smart metering for more accurate and transparent billing systems as well as other programmes undertaken by REC,” the Ministry said.
Through this partnership, REC and J-PAL South Asia aim to provide a transparent and evidence-based channel for DISCOMS to identify gaps in their services as well as ensure a more reliable supply of power to households in line with the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules of 2020.
J-PAL South Asia will also provide REC Limited with technical research support, led by Professor Nicholas Ryan (Yale University; J-PAL-affiliated Professor), and capacity building on data collection and usage.