In the early 20th century, under the British rule, Karnataka was the first state to generate, transmit and supply electricity to consumers. We have ample river water resources and Karnataka is the first to generate hydroelectricity. Soon after Independence, Governament Department for Power came into existance. It was later converted to the Mysore State Electricity Board (MSEB), which operated the power transmission and distribution works. Hydroelectricity projects were assigned to HECP. Between 1970-80, the Mysore State Electricity Board was renamed as Karnataka Electricity Board(KEB) and the Hydro Power Corporation project was transformed into Karnataka Power corporation limited.
In 1999, the Government of Karnataka enacted the Karnataka Electricity Improvement Act and restructured the Karnataka Power Transimission Corporation Limited and Vishweshwaraiah Corporation.
The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission was set up to carry out activities such as development of the electricity sector, promoting competition within it, protecting the interests of consumers and the revision of electricity rates, transparency on subsidies, promotion of efficient and liberal environmental policies.
Karnataka is one of the few states that has implemented the above mentioned reforms in the electricity sector. The above measures have been taken to improve the fiscal situation of the State Electricity Board, to overcome the shortage and to provide reliable and quality electricity to the consumers.
In mid 2002, Karnataka Power Transimission Corporation Limited was re-split and Karnataka Power Transimission Corporation Limited and 4 Electricity Supply Companies were formed. Karnataka Power Transimission Corporation Limited has been appointed for the purpose of power transmission and 4 power companies - Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM), Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM), Hubli Electricity Company (HESCOM), Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (Gescom) for power distribution. These are independent power distribution companies and have started their business from 01.06.2002. MESCOM came into existence in nine districts including Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Mandya, Hassan, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga and Chikmagalur. Initially the company had only one zone in Mangalore, covering the entire region. It was again divided into 2 zones. Mangalore zone covers Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga and Chikkamagaluru districts while the other five districts were present in Mysore zone.
Later in March 2005, MESCOM was split into 2 companies, MESCOM and CESC. After partition, Mangalore zone of 26,222 sq.ft. area which includes Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shimoga and Chikkamagaluru districts with a population of 58 lakh was allocated to MESCOM. The Mysore Zone is given to CESC, which comprises the remaining 5 districts. Later one more zone, Shivamogga zone is created in MESCOM.
Mangalore Zone has 2 Circle Offices in Mangalore, Udupi and Shivamogga zone has 2 circles in Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru with 13 functioning divisions. Excluding Corporate office in Mangalore, the number of staff in the zone offices, circles, divisional and lower offices is same as the it was during the formation of ESCOMs. The working strength of MESCOM including officers and Employees is 5410 where as the the total sanctioned posts count is 9261.
ESCOMS are created as separate independent entities, with special responsibilities for reform and restructuring of programs. KPTCL,VVNL,KPCL,KEA,KSIE have demonstrated a greater understanding in overall platform development through mutual co-operation and coordination and ESCOMS need to work with such companies. This is a net contributor to the state's economy. All the above companies / organizations are fully independent government companies operating under the Organization description letter. All these entities working as per the directions from State Government and Regulatory Commission KERC.