Govt amends Electricity Rules: Timeline for new connections cut, setting up rooftop solar units turns easier
IANS 23 February 2024
The government has approved amendments to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules that will further reduce the timeline for getting new electricity connections and simplify the process of setting up rooftop solar installations, Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy R. K. Singh said on Friday.
 
The minister said that the amendments empower consumers living in multi-storied flats in choosing their connection type and ensure separate billing for common areas and back-up generators in residential societies, thus enhancing transparency. The amendments also provide for check meters to be installed by distribution company in case of consumer complaints, to verify electricity consumption.
 
The major amendments made are as follows:
 
Facilitating easier and faster installation of rooftop solar systems
  • Amendments have been made in the Rules, to facilitate faster installation and enhance the ease of setting up Rooftop Solar PV systems at the premises of prosumers.
  • Exemption has been given for the requirement of technical feasibility study, for systems up to a capacity of 10 kW. For systems of capacity higher than 10 kW, the timeline for completing the feasibility study has been reduced from 2o 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.
  • Further, the timeline for the distribution licensee to commission Rooftop Solar PV systems has been reduced from 30 days to 15 days.
 
Separate connections for electric vehicle charging stations
 
  • 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 the year 2070.
 
New connections and change in existing connections to be obtained faster
 
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 thirty days.
 
Additional rights for consumers
 
  • Provisions have been introduced in the Rules, 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. Parity has also been brought in the tariff charged to consumers who get electricity supplied through single-point connection and to those who avail of individual connections.
  • Metering, billing, and collection will be done separately for: (i) individual electricity consumption sourced from the distribution licensee, (ii) individual consumption of backup power supplied by the residential association, and (iii) electricity consumption for common areas of such residential associations, which is sourced from the distribution licensee.
 
Mandatory additional meter in cases of complaints
 
In cases where consumers raise complaints about meter readings 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. 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.
 
The Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister stated 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 31 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. The Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister stated that the present amendments will further empower the consumers.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
Comments
shankarshreemati
4 months ago
Info about residents in group housing having their own roof top solar needs clarification. Can I have my own 3 kw solar and connect it to grid to avail net metering advantage in my apartment complex.
brijesh.shah2618
4 months ago
First of all provide meters than think of all amendments. MSEDCL is asking consumer to buy meters from outside or what for 6 months till they get new meter
Amendments are made only on paper. Govt needs to fix the basics first
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