Electricity consumers in India often face poor quality supply in the form of frequent interruptions, blackouts, and low voltage levels. This forces them to invest heavily in alternative power supply sources and voltage stabilizing devices or suffer inconvenience and loss of productivity. The problem is more severe in rural and semi-urban areas. The electric utilities continue to justify large capital expenditure and consequent tariff increase by citing the goal of improvement in supply quality. There is no independent mechanism to monitor the supply quality and hold electric utilities accountable for their performance. Through the electricity supply monitoring initiative (ESMI), Prayas is to make available in public domain the electricity supply quality data for a few hundred locations across the country. (www.watchyourpower.org).
Electricity Supply Monitoring Initiative (ESMI) was selected as a finalist for the Google Impact Challenge, India, 2013 given to NGOs using technology for social impact.
Shweta is a research associate with Prayas (Energy Group). She has been working renewable energy policy and regulatory space with a focus on energy access and has been actively involved in the implementation of the Electricity Supply Monitoring Initiative.