Govt tweaks rules for speedy installation of electricity connection, faster rooftop installation

The government has approved amendments to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, the power ministry said in a statement on Friday

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  23 Feb 2024 10:24 AM GMT
Govt tweaks rules for speedy installation of electricity connection, faster rooftop installation

New Delhi: Now getting new electricity connections will be as fast as three days in metropolitan areas, seven days in municipal areas and 15 days in rural areas, according to the latest amendments in the existing norms.

The government has approved amendments to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, the power ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The amendments also simplified the process of rooftop solar installations and empower consumers living in multistoried flats to chose connection type and ensure separate billing for common areas and back-up generators in residential societies, thus enhancing transparency, the ministry said.

The revised rule provides for checking meters installed by distribution companies in case of consumer complaints to verify electricity consumption.

According to the statement, the time period for obtaining a new electricity connection under the rules has been reduced from seven days to three days in metropolitan areas, from fifteen days to seven days in other municipal areas, and from thirty days to fifteen days in rural areas.

However, in rural areas with hilly terrain, the time period for new connections or for modifications in existing connections will remain 30 days, it stated.

The amendments has also made installing rooftop solar systems easier and faster.

The statement also said that the revised rules will facilitate faster installation and enhance the ease of setting up rooftop solar PV systems at the premises of "prosumers" (referring to consumers who would also produce electricity through rooftop solar system).

An exemption has been provided for the requirement of technical feasibility study for systems up to a capacity of 10 kW, it stated.

For systems of capacity higher than 10 kW, the timeline for completing the feasibility study has been reduced from 20 days to 15 days.

Further, in case the study is not completed within the stipulated time, the approval will be deemed to have been given.

Additionally, it has now been mandated that the distribution system strengthening necessary for rooftop solar PV systems up to 5 kW capacity will be done by the distribution company at its own cost.

Also, the timeline for the distribution licensee to commission rooftop solar PV systems has been reduced from 30 days to 15 days.

Consumers can now obtain separate electricity connections for charging their electric vehicles (EVs).

This aligns with the country's goal of reducing carbon emissions and reaching net zero by 2070, it stated.

It stated that provisions have been introduced to enhance consumer choice and promote greater transparency in metering and billing.

Owners residing in co-operative group housing societies, multi-storied buildings, residential colonies, etc., will now have the option to choose from the distribution licensee either individual connections for everyone or a single-point connection for the whole premises.

The exercise of the option will be based on a transparent ballot to be conducted by the distribution company.

A parity has also been brought in the tariff charged to consumers who get electricity supplied through the common single-point connection and to those who avail of individual connections.

Metering, billing, and collection will be done separately for individual electricity consumption sourced from the distribution licensee; individual consumption of backup power supplied by the residential association, and electricity consumption for common areas of such residential associations, which is sourced from the distribution licensee.

In cases where consumers raise complaints about meter reading not aligning with their actual electricity consumption, the distribution licensee is now required to install an additional meter within five days from the date of receipt of the complaint, it stated This additional meter will be used to verify the consumption for a minimum period of three months, thus reassuring consumers and ensuring accuracy in billing.

Union Power Minister R K Singh said in the statement that the interest of consumers is paramount for the government.

It is for this purpose that the government issued the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 on 31st December, 2020, thus setting standards for services provided by electricity distribution companies all over India.

These rules cover aspects such as billing, complaints, compensation and timelines for new connections. They also offer support for renewable energy generation by "prosumers".


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