Role of Electricity Regulatory Commissions
You have studied previously that the mandate and authority of ERCs is defined by the state level Electricity Reform Acts or through the Electricity Act, 2003. These Acts envisage an important role for ERCs in efficiency improvement and DSM. The ERCs are quasi-judicial bodies and have the authority to direct utilities to plan and implement DSM schemes.
For example, the MPERC order states which "Although the MP Electricity Board has taken up the Demand Side Management and energy audit of agriculture and street light categories, the Board is directed to take up the work of energy audit and Demand Side Management in any industrial pocket on experimental basis and also on the Board's own power stations and Administrative offices."
The MPERC also directed the Board to constitute a DSM Cell immediately. The street lighting DSM programme (to replace street lights through efficient lamps) has been implemented, but the agricultural DSM programme has been implemented only on an extremely small scale.
The MERC order mentions, "Commission is of the opinion in which there is an urgent need for implementing Demand Side Management measures apart from the ToD tariff".
MERC directed MSEB to implement DSM schemes on pilot primary for the commercial buildings and the agricultural consumers. MSEB invited suggestions from the researchers and experts on how it should design the DSM scheme. But MSEB lacked the follow-up and did not implement any DSM scheme. MSEB didn't take up even the sample ESCO demonstration project. MERC also directed MSEB to create a fund for promoting agricultural energy efficiency improvement, through charging a cess of 2 percent on all agricultural consumers.
We end theory through describing briefly the designated consumers, energy efficiency standards and labeling requirements as per the EC Act, 2001.