Energy losses drop to 17pc from 20pcThe Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has succeeded in slashing electricity leakage by 3.63 percentage points in the first half of this fiscal year, resulting in savings of at least Rs1.25 billion.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has succeeded in slashing electricity leakage by 3.63 percentage points in the first half of this fiscal year, resulting in savings of at least Rs1.25 billion.
Energy losses have dropped to 16.75 percent from 20.38 percent during the same period last year.
According to the annual report of the state-owned power utility, leakage had reached as high as 25.78 percent of the total supply as of the end of the last fiscal year. The NEA was able to cut leakage following a nationwide campaign to prevent power theft and the arrest of some its errant employees.
The NEA’s new Managing Director Kulman Ghising moved to control energy theft and leakage after taking office in mid-September 2016.
The Ministry of Energy had told Ghising to cut electricity leakage by 1 percentage point when he was given the job. Ghising in turn delegated responsibility to the regional chiefs to cut losses by the same proportion.
The NEA’s Janakpur distribution centre was able to cut leakage to 32.61 percent in mid-January 2017 from 52.33 percent during the same time in the last fiscal year, according to the authority.
Likewise, the Biratnagar distribution centre’s losses came down to 16.7 percent from 19.78 during the review period. The authority’s distribution centres in Hetauda, Butwal, Nepalgunj and Pokhara have also been able to cut electricity leakage.
“Our achievement is the result of the hard work done by the NEA staff under the leadership of Managing Director Ghising,” said Prabal Adhikari, spokesperson for the NEA.
Lately, the NEA has stepped up efforts to control power leakage by working together with the Nepal Police to arrest employees and customers involved in stealing energy.
Police have arrested more than two dozen people including supervisors of the NEA on charges of electricity theft from different locations in the Capital. They were taken into custody on the charge of tampering with power meters to show less than the actual consumption in return for kickbacks.
Following the bust, the NEA transferred around 2,480 employees on suspicion of tampering with electricity meters which is expected to have caused losses running into billions of rupees to the NEA.
The entire staff at the Distribution and Consumer Services (DCS) Department, which is responsible for the overall management of distribution networks and services, was transferred. Most of the transferees were meter readers and supervisors, including some senior level staff.
“Apart from controlling theft, the authority is improving the distribution system by upgrading transformers and substations to reduce leakage,” said Adhikari. Power leakage is due to theft and loss during transmission and distribution. According to the NEA, loss during transmission and distribution accounts for 12 percentage points of the total.