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  1. Government amends electricity rules; here’s how it will benefit you

Government amends electricity rules; here’s how it will benefit you

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3 min read • Updated: February 23, 2024, 3:04 PM

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Individuals can now get separate electricity connections for charging their electric vehicles.

The amended electricity rules will further empower consumers

The government on Friday amended the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, to reduce the timeline for getting new electricity connections and simplify the process of setting up rooftop solar installations.

Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh stated that the changes will also empower consumers living in multistoried flats to choose their connection type and ensure separate billing for common areas and backup generators in residential societies.

Now, the consumer can ask the distribution company to install an additional meter after raising a complaint to verify electricity consumption. The major amendments made are as follows:

Easier installation of rooftop solar systems

The amendments will facilitate quick installation of rooftop solar power systems at the premises of prosumers. A prosumer is an individual who both consumes and produces.

“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 twenty days to fifteen days. Further, in case the study is not completed within the stipulated time, the approval will be deemed to have been given,” the Ministry of Power said.

“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 thirty days to fifteen days,” the government added.

Separate connections for electric vehicle charging stations

Individuals can now get separate electricity connections for charging their electric vehicles.

Faster new electricity connection and modifications

The timeline for getting new electricity connections or modification in existing connections has been reduced from seven to three days in metropolitan cities, from fifteen to seven days in other municipal areas, and from thirty to fifteen days in rural areas. However, it will take thirty days for new power connections or modifications in existing connections in hilly terrain in rural areas, the government said.

Greater transparent for consumers in residential colonies and flats

To enhance consumer choice and promote greater transparency in metering and billing, consumers residing in co-operative group housing societies, multi-storied buildings, and residential colonies 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 metering, billing, and collection can 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.

Mandatory check meter in cases of complaints

If a consumer feels that the meter reading is not aligned with their actual electricity consumption and raises a complaint, the distribution licensee is required to install an additional meter within five days of receiving a complaint. The check meter will be used for verifying the electricity consumption for a minimum period of three months.