Know Your Rights: Raise public grievances/complaints with electricity department and avail your consumer rights

Know Your Rights: Raise public grievances/complaints with electricity department and avail your consumer rights

The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 strive to establish that consumers have the right to get reliable services and quality electricity.

Bimal BhutaUpdated: Monday, December 26, 2022, 09:27 AM IST
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The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 strive to establish that consumers have the right to get reliable services and quality electricity.

The primary objective of these rules is to make distribution companies (DISCOM) more consumer-friendly. These rules also aim to simplify and digitise various cumbersome processes like applying or modifying a connection, payment of bills, installation of smart meters, reliability of supply, etc.

Rights and obligations• It is the duty of every distribution licensee to supply electricity on request of an owner or occupier of any premises in line with the provisions of the Act.

  • Consumers shall have a minimum standard of services for the supply of electricity

  • Release of new connection and modification in existing one

  • Transparent, simple and time-bound process

  • Consumers have an option for online application

  • Maximum time period of 7 days in metro cities, 15 days in municipal areas and 30 days in rural areas identified to provide new connection and modify an existing one.

Billing and payment

  • Transparency in applicable consumer tariffs and bills

  • Consumers shall have the option to pay bills online or offline

  • Provision for advance payment of bills

  • Disconnection and reconnection provisions

Reliability of supply

The distribution licensee shall supply 24x7 power to all consumers. However,the regulatory commission may specify lower hours of supply for some categories of consumers like agriculture.

The distribution licensee shall put in place a mechanism for monitoring and restoring outages. Consumer as prosumerWhile the prosumers will maintain consumer status and have the same rights as the general consumer,they will alsohave the right to set up renewable energy (RE) generationunits including roof-top solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, either by themselves or through a service provider.

Standards of performance

The regulatory commission shall notify the standards of performance for the distribution licensees. Compensation to be paid to the consumers by the distribution licensees for violation of standards of performance.

Compensation mechanism

Automatic compensation shall be paid to consumers for which parameters on standards of performance can be monitored remotely.

Grievance redressal mechanism

  • Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum (CGRF) to include consumer and prosumer representatives

  • The grievance redressal has been made easy by making it multi-layered and the number of consumer representatives has beenincreased from one to four

  • The licensee shall specify the time within which various types of grievances by the different levels of the forums are to be resolved. A maximum timeline of 45 days is specified for grievance redressal

General Provisions

  • Use of online access to various services such as application submission, monitoring status of the application, payment of bills, the status of complaints raised, etc to consumers through its website, web portal, mobile app and its various designated area-wise offices

  • The distribution licensee shall provide all services such as application submission, payment of bills, etc, to senior citizens at their doorsteps

  • The details of scheduled power outages shall be informed to the consumers. In case of an unplanned outage or fault, immediate intimation shall be given to the consumers through SMS or by any other electronic mode along with an estimated time for restoration.

Contact details to lodge grievances/complaints in Mumbai

Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum (CGRF) Regulatory Cell Ground Floor, Multistoried Building, Electric House BEST Marg, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001

Online: https://www.cgrfbest.org.in/

(The writer is a Vile Parle-based social activist)

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