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Need For a Distribution Utilities Forum

India has made giant strides in the past decade in making electricity accessible to its citizens. Electricity generation has reached an all-time high, while the grid has expanded to reach villages that hitherto had not seen an electric pole. Despite this, large swathes of the country live without access to reliable and affordable electricity. This is largely because of system inefficiencies and institutional barriers that are relics of a power sector set up in yester years. And distribution utilities are the institutions that directly exhibit these inefficiencies as they link to the consumers.

Distribution Utilities Forum

To improve the performance of the power sector, the Government of India has set forth three important goals: ensuring financial sustainability of the distribution sector; providing 24*7 affordable power supply; and realizing a greater share of cleaner resources. These are being advanced through programs such as UDAY, ‘Power for All’, and the 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.

In the past years, the impact of programs aimed at improving the distribution sector has been mixed, and slower than envisaged. For instance, compared to 2015-16, the combined losses of state-run distribution utilities in 26 states and the Union territory of Puducherry fell by 21.5% in 2016-17 because of higher billing and collection efficiencies under the UDAY scheme, but the cumulative sectoral debt persisted at Rs. 40,295 crore. One of the main reasons for this is that though the Government of India continues to announce various schemes and plans, the execution of these schemes remains in the hands of the states, each with a different set of priorities.

There have also been some success stories in the distribution sector, but these have not been captured or replicated widely and nor have they been able to contribute to the current narrative on the sector. Most state-run distribution companies keep busy with day-to-day operations and opportunities for cross learning and strategic discussions are few and far between.


Facilitate the development of a financially viable and operationally robust electricity distribution sector in India to provide quality electricity services for all consumers


To provide a platform for electricity distribution utilities in India and facilitate sectoral consultations for overcoming major barriers and challenges and preparing for key emerging developments


Distribution Utilities Forum

Constitution of the Forum


MDs, CEOs and other senior management of public and private sector distribution utilities.


Presides over Forum meeting, facilitates discussions, provides strategic direction and guidance.


The secretariat will develop background and position paper, Identify experts wherever neceessary, organize the Forum meetings and report on the output of the meeting at the end of the year. It will also bring out strategy and technical papers based on the discussions in the Forum and inform other power sector stakeholder of the Forum's deliberations.

Advisory Committee:

Composed of senior and well-known practitioners and policy makers. The Committee will guide the Secretariat and advise the Forum as it progresses.

Forum Meetings:

A series of at least six Forum meeting will be organized over a two-year period.

Distribution Utilities Forum

About Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation

Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (Shakti) seeks to facilitate India's transition to a sustainable energy future by aiding the design and implementation of policies in the following sectors: clean power, energy efficiency, sustainable urban transport, climate policy and clean energy finance.

Shakti works collaboratively with national, state and local decision-makers to craft sound energy policies to build India's energy economy. We bring together experts from every sector industry, academia, law, finance, civil society, think tanks, and more to drive this change.

A Section 25 non-profit organization under the Companies Act, Shakti is governed by a national board of directors, and supported by both Indian and international philanthropies.

Advancing smart energy policies will be key to meeting the defining challenge of the next generation, how to provide millions of Indians with reliable, affordable, secure access to energy in a sustainable manner. The energy choices that India makes today will be of profound importance for our future. Meaningful policy action on India's energy challenges will strengthen national energy security, support development and keep our environment clean.

For more details visit  Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation

About The Energy and Resources Institute

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is an independent, multi-dimensional organisation, with capabilities in research, policy, consultancy and implementation. It has pioneered conversations and action in the energy, environment, climate change, and sustainability space for over four decades.

The institute's research and research-based solutions have had a transformative impact on industry and communities. Headquartered in New Delhi, it has regional centres and campuses in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Mumbai, Panaji, and Nainital, supported by a multidisciplinary team of scientists, sociologists, economists and engineers, and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

For more details visit   The Energy and Resources Institute