Thiruvananthapuram: State-run Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), reeling under monthly losses of over Rs.200 crore, has come out with a unique scheme for domestic consumers which allows them to earn cash back for power saved.
While the state requires, on an average, around 58 million units daily, the generation from the state mainly through hydel generation and other sources comes to only half its requirement. The rest of the power consumed in the state is sourced from the central pool and from power purchased from external sources at high cost.
KSEB has asked its domestic consumers to see that they save around 10 percent, and announced incentives to do so.
"We sell power to domestic users at Rs.4.60 per unit. Starting from March 23 till May 31, we are running a campaign for all domestic consumers. If during this period, any consumer saves a minimum of 10 percent electricity as compared to the previous bill, we will give a cash incentive of 50 percent of the number of units that they saved," said State Power Minister Aryadan Mohammed to reporters here Wednesday.
According to the KSEB, of the total installed power capacity of 2,858 MW during 2011, the lion's share of 2,041 MW of power came through 24 hydel stations, followed by thermal, which constituted 783 MW. The rest was drawn from the central pool, while a miniscule amount came through wind energy.
According to KSEB, the state requires more than 3,300 MW at peak demand time and, to match current capacity, Kerala has an hour's power outage each day these days with half-an-hour of outage in the morning and half-an-hour at night.
There are, at times, unscheduled power-cuts as well.
"We have another scheme. And that's for all consumers who come under one feeder. If they manage to save 10 percent as compared to their previous week's consumption, then they will be exempted from power outage the following week," Mohammed said.
And why is the scheme being launched at this time?
It is in the months of April and May, at the height of summer, that power consumption soars, crossing 62 million units a day.
KSEB sources power at different rates and the highest it pays is Rs.9.35 per unit.
"Assuming that through this incentive scheme, there is going to be an overall reduction by 10 percent in daily consumption, and after that if we pay back 50 percent to consumers, KSEB will make huge savings because then we can reduce the power that we buy at high rates. That would be saving for us," KSEB chairman M. Sivasankar said.