The Central Government has notified the “Electricity (Rights of Consumer) Rules 2020”.
These rules have been made with the idea of “Consumer is King”.
The object of these rules is to make power distribution companies more accountable towards the consumer.
As we all know that power distribution companies have monopoly in the geographical area for which they are licensed, meaning thereby unlike telecom companies if the consumer is unhappy with the services of the electricity distribution company, they cannot shift to other companies.
The new rules covers following 11 key areas:
- Rights of consumers and Obligations of Distribution licensees
- Metering arrangement
- Billing and Payment
- Disconnection and Reconnection
- Reliability of supply
- Release of new connection and modification in existing connection
- Consumer as Prosumer
- Standards of Performance of licensee
- Compensation Mechanism
- Call Centre for Consumer Services
- Grievance redressal mechanism
Now in case of long power cuts the electricity distribution company is liable to compensate the consumer. Also in case of delayed installation of electricity connection, a consumer can claim compensation.
As per the new rule it is obligatory for the Electricity distribution company to provide the electricity connection within:
- 7 days in case of metros;
- 15 days in case of municipal areas; and
- 30 days in case of rural areas.
Failing to adhere the above timelines shall entail penalties upon the discom.
Under the new rules the Government has brought an automatic compensation mechanism for the consumer.
It is claimed that the rules will benefit the 30 Crore users in country.