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Power Ministry seeks comments on draft rules for empowering electricity consumers

Power Ministry seeks comments on draft rules for empowering electricity consumers

Power Ministry seeks comments on draft rules for empowering electricity consumers
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By Anshu Sharma  Sept 16, 2020 5:29:27 PM IST (Published)

To empower electricity consumers in India, the Ministry of Power today released the draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 for suggestions and comments from stakeholders by September 30th, 2020.

To empower electricity consumers in India, the Ministry of Power today released the draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 for suggestions and comments from stakeholders by September 30th, 2020.

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Even as electricity is part of a concurrent list, the central government intends to bring in best practices for electricity consumers.  The idea is to identify the key services, prescribe minimum service levels and standards with respect to these services, and recognise them as rights of consumers.
The draft includes the provision of reliability of service where the state regulators will fix the average number and duration of outages per consumer per year for the electricity distribution companies (discoms). The draft also includes provisions for compensation and penalty for delay in service automatically by the discoms. The draft bill will also push discoms to bring in a 24/7 call center, web-based interface, and mobile applications for all common services provided to the consumers.
Even as 99.9 percent households in India are electrified, the draft rules have been brought to further simplify the procedure of getting a new connection with only two documents for 10 kilowatts (kw) within a week in a metro city, 15 days in other municipal areas and 30 days in rural areas.
In a bid to push installation of solar rooftop in India, the draft also pitches for recognizing an emerging category of consumers called ‘prosumers’ who want to set up a solar rooftop or solarised pumps and want the right to produce electricity and inject excess in the power grid from the same connection.
India has an installed capacity of the solar rooftop of only about 6,000 Mega Watt (MW) out of 1.75 Lakh MW renewable target by 2022.
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