Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent
Enhancing Consumer Participation in UP’s Power Sector

04 Oct 2018   |   0930 – 0300

Organised by CEEW, Centre for Environment and Energy Department (CEED), Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF)

About the Event

The workshop organised in Lucknow is the first in a series of capacity building workshops aimed at improving consumer knowledge on Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) power sector and creating an environment conducive for reforms. The workshop focused on the fundamentals of electricity tariffs, an overview of the tariff determination exercise, and the role of electricity distribution companies (discoms) in consumer protection. Representatives from 35 civil society organisations (CSOs) working at grassroots in different districts of the state including UP Rajya Vidyut Upbhokta Parishad, Consumer Coordination Council, Mahila Samakhya attended the workshop.

The Council’s Power Sector team believes that capacity building of consumers in the state’s power sector is necessary to drive reforms in the right direction. Our research programme will address three core issues in the state’s power sector - creating a responsive consumer base, enabling institutional reforms in discoms, and restructuring power procurement and retail tariff structures.

In his keynote address, S.K Agarwal, Hon’ble Member, Uttar Pradesh Electricity Commission (UPERC) emphasised on the role of consumer representatives and CSOs in improving consumer awareness about the provisions for grievance redressal and fostering a system wherein consumers would get their electricity-related complaints resolved in each district via their consumer representatives. Mr Agarwal added, “I appreciate the efforts of organisations like CEEW and CEED in facilitating representation and redressal of consumer issues at the discom level in each district of UP.”

Key Discussion Points

  • Consumers must be aware of various components in the electricity bill. Information points in the bill such as energy charges, fixed charges, regulatory surcharges, electricity duty, due date, disconnection date, and sanctioned load were discussed by showcasing an original electricity bill of a metered urban domestic consumer of a discom.
  • Every stakeholder – consumers, discoms and regulators - in tariff determination exercise and other regulatory procedures in the state plays an important role.
  • Pertinent issues such as metering, billing, and electrical safety should be taken up by consumer representatives to ensure efficient functioning of the power sector.
  • Understanding the fundamental responsibilities of a discom, their organisational structure, consumer complaint redressal mechanisms, hours of supply entitled to consumers, and other provisions for consumer protection under the Standards of Performance (SoP) for discoms under the UP Supply Code, 2005 will help understand the role of discoms.
  • The CSOs can play a vital role in informing consumers about the misuse of electricity and their rights and duties through different mediums of communication.
  • A crucial challenge concerning CSOs is the lack of technical know-how necessary to address issues faced by consumers and lack of financial and human resources to address the last mile consumers.

For Event Queries

Riddhima Sethi

Communications Associate

[email protected]