Date and time: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at 3 pm

The electricity distribution sector is at a cross-roads, with rising cost of supply, emergence of competitive renewable supply options, loss of cross-subsidising sales, and sustained high-cost base-load surplus. At the same time, the age old challenges of high transmission and distribution losses, poor quality of supply and service, and burgeoning financial losses persist. This implies that there will be significant demand uncertainty for distribution companies, making power purchase planning riskier and  more complex. Also, the traditional model of cross-subsidy based tariff design is unsustainable.

Unless guided by conscious policy decisions, these changes will unfold chaotically, leaving the distribution companies stranded with excess capacity and huge losses. Such a fallout will mostly impact small and rural consumers, with serious implications for state level politics. To avoid such consequences, it is extremely important to intervene at the earliest. The impending changes can be turned into opportunities only if distribution companies, regulators, and policymakers take prompt action. Our recent report, Electricity Distribution Companies in India: Preparing for an uncertain future, which will be presented in the webinar, suggests an approach and some concrete measures to enable a smoother transition for the sector, especially for the small consumers.

The webinar was attended by over 100 participants from various backgrounds such as academics, students, researchers, government officials and civil society. The presentation was followed by a rich discussion based on questions from the audience. The presentation made at the webinar and its full recording can be accessed below.