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Comments and Suggestions on the Draft Amendments to MERC Distribution Open Access Regulations, 2016

Author(s): Prayas (Energy Group) Publication Date: April, 2019

MERC has invited comments and suggestions on its proposed amendment to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Distribution Open Access) Regulations, 2016.

With increasing cost of supply and falling prices of renewable energy based generation sources, sales migration on account of open access and captive consumption is expected to continue and increase. This has significant impact on the operations, planning and finances of the distribution company. At the same time, consumers who avail open access also face several challenges such as procedural delays and uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of various charges being levied.

Given the flux in the sector, it is extremely important to formulate a clear set of rules and regulations that will guide and channelise this process while protecting the interests of both, the distribution companies (and hence that of its regulated consumers) and the open access consumers.

In this regard, the proposed amendments is a welcome initiative and an opportunity to provide a way forward to address the issues being faced by licensees, generators and consumers. Prayas (Energy Group)’s comments and suggestions in this matter highlight areas where more clarity is needed to ensure smooth implementation and also suggest some additional changes that can be made to safeguard the interests of the DISCOM while broadening and deepening electricity markets.

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