Here's How Your Electricity Bill Will be Less | India News

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

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Your Electricity Bill Will be Less If Your Power Supplier Fails to Solve Problem on Time

Barasha Das | September 16, 2020 15:48 hrs

GUWAHATI: If the union government’s proposed draft rules are eventually notified, the electricity consumers, from then onwards, will be compensated by the power supplier if there is a delay in service by the electricity boards; the compensation amount will be reflected in the next bill.


“Compensation/penalties for delay in service by DISCOMs; compensation to be automatic as far as possible, to be passed on in the bill,” the draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 said which is currently seeking consumers’ opinions in the draft rules.


The government has proposed to notify the rules to ensure minimum service standards to electricity consumers.


“Assam already had the guidelines. Since it was not mandatory they were not implemented in full force. But if it becomes a rule it will be applicable for Assam and we will implement it in letter and spirit,” Abhijit Sarma Barua, Chief General Manager, Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) said.


The draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 seek to specify time limits for distribution companies in giving new electricity connections and addressing grievances including the common ones like delayed and accumulated bills, faulty meters etc.


The draft rules, which specify standards of performance, aim to introduce corporate culture in the distribution utilities, according to sources in the government.


Presently, the Consumer Charter under the Electricity Act 2003 provides a synopsis of the rights of consumers of electricity but most states have not implemented them. 


The draft rules have been uploaded on the union power ministry’s website for stakeholders' comments and once finalised will be notified by the government as an official gazette, he said.


As per the draft rules, the state regulatory commissions have to specify a maximum time period of seven days in metro cities, 15 days in municipal areas and 30 days in rural areas to provide for new connections and modify existing ones.


If a DISCOM (or distribution company) fails to bill consumers and later sends accumulated bills for two or more cycles, the consumer will be entitled to 2-5 percent rebate in the billing amount. 


The exact rebate percentage will be fixed by the state regulator. The distribution licensee shall also replace faulty/stolen meters within 24 hours in urban areas and 72 hours in rural areas.

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