Wednesday, 17 February 2016

FAQ on Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC)

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) is an independent, autonomous body constituted under the Karnataka Electricity Reforms Act, 1999. It was established in November 1999. 

How does KERC ensure public participation?

KERC has an Advisory Committee in which all the stakeholders are represented. Besides, KERC calls for objections and suggestions from the public on matters of public interest before a decision is taken. Public hearings are conducted to ensure peoples participation. The draft rules, regulations and other matters having a bearing on the public are sent to experts; members of the civil society, consumer groups and their views are sought. The documents are also put on the website for comments. Further the public can visit KERC and obtain copies of documents. KERC can recognize any consumer or consumer group to represent consumers. Members of the public can appear before the KERC in its proceedings.

What are the objectives and functions of KERC?
The primary objective of KERC is to regulate the power sector in the state of Karnataka.  The other functions/objectives include the following:
-To determine the tariff for generation, supply, transmission and wheeling of electricity, wholesale, bulk or retail, as the case may be, within the State.

-Regulate electricity purchase and procurement process of distribution licensees including the price at which electricity shall be procured from the generating companies or licensees or from other sources

-Facilitate intra-transmission and wheeling charges

-Issue licenses to persons seeking to act as transmission licensees, distribution licensees and electricity traders

-Promote cogeneration and generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy 

-Adjudicate upon the disputes between the licensees and generating companies

-Levy fee for the purposes of the Electricity Act 2003

-Specify State Grid Code

-Specify or enforce standards with respect to quality, continuity and reliability of service by licensees

How does KERC protect consumer interest?

KERC is in the forefront to protect the interest of the consumers and at the same time to make the power sector financially and commercially viable. KERC has taken several initiatives to protect the interests of the consumers. The Office of Consumer Advocacy (OCA) has been established with a senior officer to represent consumers in the proceedings before the Commission. A Grievance Redressal Officer has been appointed to deal with consumer grievances. The OCA has been conducting consumer awareness programmes in all parts of Karnataka. Seminars and workshops are conducted to educate people about KERC and its activities and also the role of consumers in power sector reform. The OCA is publishing a newsletter in Kannada English. These are mailed to over 200 consumer groups and other interested organizations.