Open access has become a way to allow large consumers to move back and forth between the discom and the market as and when they want
Recently, the Union ministry of power advised the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to set up a committee to look into issues related to open access and brought out a consultation paper based on the committee’s findings. Open access is one of the key measures to bring about competition in electricity, whereby large consumers have access to the transmission and distribution (T&D) network to obtain electricity from suppliers other than the local distribution company (discom). Open access was expected to encourage investment by private players in electricity supply. Unfortunately, the success of open access has been very limited in spite of numerous attempts to facilitate it. This initiative by the power ministry should be taken as an opportunity to examine the basics of open access and re-conceptualize it, if necessary.