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Power ministry brings new rules to protect consumers

The Ministry of Power, on Monday, laid down the rules on rights of consumers by way of “Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020”. The rules cowl the rights of consumers and obligations of distribution licensees, the discharge of new connections and modifications in current connections, metering preparations, billing and cost, disconnection and reconnection, reliability of provide, client as prosumers. The different elements that the new rules cowl requirements of efficiency of licensee, compensation mechanism, name centre for client companies and grievance redressal mechanism.

For new connections and modifications in current connections, the new rules have made the method clear, easy and time-bound. Now an applicant has an choice for on-line software. For new connections, the rules give a most time interval of seven days in metro cities and 15 days in different municipal areas and 30 days in rural areas has been given to present new connection and modify an current connection.

According to the new rules, no connection shall be given and not using a meter. Ne Meter has to be a sensible prepayment meter or a pre-payment meter. Provisions for substitute of faulty or burnt or stolen meters have additionally been specified.

Rules deal with Transparency in relevant client tariffs and payments. Apart from paying payments on-line or offline, there are provisions for advance cost of payments

DISCOMS shall provide 24×7 energy to all consumers. However, the State Commission might specify decrease hours of provide for some classes of consumers.

Rules have laid particular emphasis on Standards of efficiency. The State Power Commission shall notify the requirements of efficiency for the distribution licensees. If the DISCOM fails to present electrical energy, then they will be liable topay compensation to the consumers Automatic compensation will probably be paid to consumers for which parameters on requirements of efficiency will probably be monitored remotely. 

The discom shall be liable to pay consumers between Rs 6000 (per day) to Rs 1 lakh within the following conditions:

1) If the discom fails to provide energy to a client past a selected length, to be specified by the State Power Commission

2) Number of interruptions in provide past the boundaries as specified by the Commission

3) Time taken for connection, disconnection, reconnection, shifting

4) Time taken for change in client class, load

5) Time taken for change in client particulars

6) Time taken for substitute of faulty meters

7) Time interval inside which payments are to be served;

8) Time interval of resolving voltage associated complaints;

9) Bill associated complaints.

The rules additionally make it necessary for DISCOMS to set up a centralised 24×7 toll-free name centre. There can be a Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum (CGRF) to embrace client and prosumer representatives. The DISCOMS have to specify a time inside which varied forms of grievances will probably be resolved. Maximum timeline of 45 days specified for grievance redressal.

DISCOMS have to present all companies like software submission, cost of payments, and so on., to senior residents at their door-steps.

Details of scheduled energy outages have to be told to the patron prematurely. In case of unplanned outage or fault, fast intimation have be given to the consumers by way of SMS or by every other digital mode together with estimated time for restoration.

While issuing these rules, Minister of State for Power RK Singh mentioned, “These rules shall empower the consumers of electricity. These Rules emanate from the conviction that the power systems exist to serve the consumers and the consumers have rights to get the services and reliable, quality electricity.”

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