Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission Amends Intra-State Open Access Regulations to Promote Green Energy Adoption

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Representational image. Credit: Canva

The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has introduced amendments to its intra-state open access regulations in accordance with the central government’s Green Energy Open Access Rules. The changes, known as the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (Terms and Conditions for Intra-State Open Access) (10th Amendment) Regulations, 2023, have been implemented with immediate effect.


The primary objective of these amendments is to encourage the adoption of green energy open access, streamline the application process, and modify various aspects such as cross-subsidy surcharges, standby charges, scheduling, and imbalance charges.


Eligibility for Green Energy Open Access has been expanded under the amended regulations. Consumers with an aggregate sanctioned contract demand of 100 kVA and above can now procure power through green energy open access. This aligns with the Ministry of Power amendment, which allows consumers with single or multiple connections totaling 100 kW or more within the same electricity division to benefit from green energy open access. Captive users opting for green energy open access will not face any load/demand limits.

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To streamline the application process, the amendments introduce a centralized registry for all green energy open access applications, established by the Central Nodal Agency. The State nodal agency will approve these applications within 15 days, provided all technical requirements are met. Appeals will also be resolved within three months, ensuring a timely and efficient process.

Regarding cross-subsidy surcharges, the amendments impose restrictions on the increase in surcharges for green energy open access consumers. The surcharge will not exceed 50% of the surcharge set for the year when open access is granted. Furthermore, the cross-subsidy surcharge will not be applicable to power generated from non-fossil fuel-based waste-to-energy plants, and it will also be exempted if green energy is utilized for the production of green hydrogen and ammonia.

Additional surcharges will not apply to green energy open access consumers already paying fixed charges. Additionally, these surcharges will not be imposed if power is supplied from non-fossil fuel-based waste-to-energy plants or offshore wind projects commissioned before December 2025. However, consumers opting for open access beyond their sanctioned contract demand will be liable to pay additional surcharges as determined by the Commission.

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The amendments introduce provisions for green energy open access consumers to avail themselves of standby power beyond a specified period by paying commitment charges. The exact amount of commitment charges will be determined by the Commission based on the duration of the standby power.

Scheduling and imbalance charges have also been addressed in the new regulations. The maximum admissible drawal from the distribution licensee during any given time block will be based on the difference between the sanctioned contract demand and the scheduled entitlement. Imbalance charges will be levied when open access consumers overdraw power beyond the admissible drawal, subject to the provisions determined by the Commission.

These amendments by the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission aim to facilitate the adoption of green energy and promote the growth of renewable sources within the state. By simplifying processes and providing favorable conditions for open access consumers, Punjab aims to accelerate the transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy landscape.

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