Open access allows large users of power — typically having connected load of 1 megawatt (Mw) and above — to buy cheaper power from the open market. The idea is that the customers should be able to choose among a large number of competing power companies–instead of being forced to buy electricity from their existing electric utility monopoly. It helps large consumers particularly the sick textile, cement and steel industrial units by ensuring regular supply of electricity at competitive rates and boost business of power bourses. Open Access on Transmission and Distribution on payment of charges to the Utility will enable number of players utilizing these capacities and transmit power from generation to the load centre.
This will mean utilization of existing infrastructure and easing of power shortage. Trading, now a licensed activity and regulated will also help in innovative pricing which will lead to competition resulting in lowering of tariffs. THE ELECTRICITY Act 2003 is a landmark legislation in that it opens the power sector to a number of players by laying down provisions for a power market and competition. As per Electricity Act 2003 Open Access is “Non-discriminatory provision for the use of transmission lines or distribution system or associated facilities with such lines or system by any licensee or consumer or a person engaged in generation in accordance with the regulations specified by the Appropriate Commission”.