Power utility saves Rs 7 billion by reducing electricity leakage

Kathmandu, February 6

State-owned Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has beaten its own target on electricity leakage, helping it to save over Rs 7 billion.

The power utility had set a target of limiting power leakage to 18.5 per cent of the total supply in the first five months of the current fiscal year. But in the five-month period from mid-July to mid-December NEA was able to reduce leakage to 15.45 per cent, beating its own target by almost three percentage points.

With this achievement, NEA’s electricity leakage has dropped to the lowest level in its 33-year-old history.

“The reduction in leakage has helped us to generate extra income of around Rs 7 billion,” said NEA Managing Director Kul Man Ghising.

The head office of NEA had given targets on leakage reduction to its distribution centres at the start of this fiscal year. The targets were set based on intensity of leakage, meaning distribution centres which were losing greater quantum of electricity to leakage were asked to take stringent measures to control leakage, while distribution centres where leakage was moderate were given less-stringent targets.

“Our strategy worked and we were able to beat our own target,” said Ghising.

At present, 4.5 per cent of NEA’s total electricity supply is going to waste through leakage in the transmission system and another 10.95 per cent of the power supply is going to waste through leakage in the distribution system.

NEA has installed high-capacity transformers, and upgraded the transmission and distribution system and substations to reduce electricity leakage. It has also been taking strict action against electricity theft to reduce leakages.

The measures taken so far to reduce leakage have helped NEA to generate profit. “Before I was appointed the managing director in fiscal 2015-16, NEA was incurring annual loss of Rs 8.9 billion. But since the last two fiscal years, we have been generating profit and the volume of profit has also started going up,” said Ghising.