Tamil Nadu Electricity Governance Initiative (TEGI)

Background:

In Tamil Nadu supply of electricity has been inadequate to meet the quantity demanded, since the mid-seventies. The Electricity Board has been incurring financial losses ever since the early eighties. The crisis has continued even after the setting up of a regulatory commission and has significantly worsened in recent years. The inadequate quantity and the poor quality of supply is imposing significant costs to various groups of consumers in terms of lost production, foregone profits and jobs, worsening quality of life and so on. The fact that such a situation has prevailed for decades and has been deteriorating indicates a gross failure of governance in this sector. 

In this context it is strongly felt that a more pro-active, systematic and continuous engagement of consumers with the governance aspect in this sector could significantly help in finding a way out of this morass. The objective is to find long-term solutions given multiple and seemingly conflicting needs: adequacy in terms of quantity and quality, improved and affordable access for rural areas, maintaining a certain quality of the environment, ensuring the financial viability of the utility, promoting use of cleaner energy sources and more efficient use of electricity and so on. 

Tamil Nadu Electricity Governance Initiative (TEGI) Network:

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Governance Initiative seeks to build a network of different consumer categories (industry, agriculture, domestic, commercial), relevant NGOs, Civil Society Organizations and experts in the sector. Through interactions, workshops, exchange of information and ideas, the network members would develop a deeper understanding of the nature and magnitude of problems that need to be tackled in the sector.

The aim of the TEGI Network is for informed consumers to more actively participate in the electricity planning process and to come up with innovative ideas for tackling these problems in the medium and long-term. Consumers would explore the available spaces and avenues for engagement and, if these are inadequate, demand more appropriate avenues. The network would work actively to bring about greater transparency and accountability to the governance process.

Project Partners:

The Tamil Nadu electricity Governance Initiative (TEGI) is an effort led by Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG). The current project partners are Madras School of Economics (MSE) and New Ventures India (NVI).

This project is supported by the following organisations

World Resources Institute (WRI) a global research organization that works at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. WRI, under its Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI), works on similar projects in other countries. To know more about the EGI please see this link: http://electricitygovernance.wri.org.

Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation works to strengthen the energy security of India by aiding the design and implementation of policies that support energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Though this effort is at present spearheaded by CAG, it is hoped that all the partners of the TEGI Network would participate actively and eventually the Network will run independently and be effective through the continued interest of its members so that “electricity for all” would become a reality in Tamil Nadu.