In a move aimed at introducing a corporate culture in discoms, the Ministry of Power (MoP) has issued the drat Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, specifying the standards of performance for distribution licensees.
As per the draft rules, consumers will be entitled to a rebate on electricity bills that are not served in time and other compensation from power distribution companies which fail to timely address grievances such as on faulty meters and delayed connections. The draft rules also propose to make stringent provisions regarding timeline for new connections, and mandates use of smart/prepaid meters, etc. 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. The draft rules also propose automatic compensation for non-achievement of mandated supply quality. The draft also says that unplanned power outages should be immediately communicated to customers through SMS or any other digital means, along with estimated time for restoration of power. The draft rules are open for stakeholder comments till September 30, 2020. (Central sector)