Transparency in Electricity Service
Delivery: Billing, Quality of Service
and consumer issues
Bishkek, September 2011
Presentation
By
Prayas Energy Group, India
www.prayaspune.org/peg
Prayas Energy Group, India
About Prayas …
www.amulya-reddy.org.in
‘Prayas’ means
‘Focused Effort’
Based at Pune, India
Research based, policy Focus on protection of
advocacy Voluntary
“Public Interest” in
Org.
electricity sector
Activities:
• Research & intervention (regulatory, policy)
• Civil Society training, awareness, and support
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2
Interaction Plan
• Introduction and context
• Transparency provisions in Electricity service
delivery with respect to:
– Service quality: Standards of performance, billing and
metering systems, etc.
– Grievance redressal mechanism
– Continuous monitoring and support
• Challenges
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3
Consumer Expectations & Agitations
Adequate & timely
availability of power
Reasonable
Tariff
Good Service
Quality
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4
Path for meeting consumer expectations
Power
Purchase
and Capex
Planning
Legal mandate
for ensuring
supply &
service quality
Setting
‘right’ Tariff
Grievance
redressal
mechanism
Transparent
norms &
standards of
performance
Prayas Energy Group, India
Continuous
monitoring and
oversight
5
No Silver bullets
• Supply adequacy (presumably at reasonable
cost)
• Timely and prudent capital expenditure
• Financial stability & viability of distribution
sector
Do no automatically guarantee good service
quality
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Need for specific framework and
provisions
• Legal and regulatory mandate to ensure
certain level of supply and service quality
• Transparent norms and standards for
performance of distribution companies
• Grievance redressal mechanism for consumers
• Continuous monitoring and oversight by
competent authority
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India’s approach and regulatory
experience, so far
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Indian Power Sector Structure
Regulator
Distribution
Companies
Generators
Transmission and
Load Dispatch
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Legal provisions related to supply and service
quality…1
• Electricity Act 2003
– “Section 57.(1) The Appropriate Commission may,
after consultation with the licensees and persons
likely to be affected, specify standards of
performance of a licensee or a class of licensees.”
– “Section 59 (1): ... furnish to the Commission the
following information, namely:• (a) the level of performance achieved under sub-section
(1) of the section 57;
• (b) the number of cases in which compensation was made
under subsection (2) of section 57 and the aggregate
amount of the compensation.”
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10
Legal provisions related to supply and service
quality…2
• Electricity Act 2003
– “Section 59 (2): The Appropriate Commission shall
at least once in every year arrange for the
publication, in such form and manner as it
considers appropriate, of such of the information
furnished to it under sub-section (1).”
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Standards of performance
• MERC (Standards of Performance of Distribution
Licensees, Period for Giving Supply and
Determination of Compensation) Regulations,
2005
–
–
–
–
–
Period of giving supply
Quality of supply and system of supply
Restoration of power supply, in case of faults
Metering, reconnection
Consumer service norms, determination of
compensation
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Excerpt of MERC Standards of Performance
published in 2005
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Supply Code provisions
• MERC (Electricity Supply Code and Other
Conditions of Supply) Regulations, 2005
– Methods of recovery of electricity charges
– Intervals for billing
– Disconnection procedure
– Wiring of consumer’s premises
– Basis for categorization of consumers into a tariff
category
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Excerpt of MERC Supply Code published in 2005
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Legal provisions for grievance
redressal
• Section 42:
– Mandates utilities to establish forum for
redressal of grievances of the consumers
– Establishment of Ombudsman as highest
authority for consumer grievance redressal
• Provisions of Consumer Protection Act 1986,
override provisions of Electricity Act 2003
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Three tier grievance redressal mechanism
structure
• Each licensee to establish IGRC &
CGRF
• CGRF
Consumer’s
grievance
Internal Grievance Redressal
Cell (IGRC)
Consumer Grievance
Redressal Forum (CGRF)
Ombudsman
– Consists of Independent
Chairperson, utility’s
representative, and consumer
representative
– Should decide the matter within 2
months
• Ombudsman
– Appointed by commission
– Only consumer can appeal against
the decision of CGRF to
Ombudsman
– Orders available on website
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Maharashtra Ombudsman website screenshot
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Continuous monitoring and oversight
• Steps taken by Maharashtra ERC
– Publishes all CGRF and Ombudsman orders on
website
– Sou-moto hearings on important cases which
affect large number of consumers
– Workshops for assessing CGRF performance and
issues faced by them
– Amending regulations based on feedback from
consumers and other stakeholders
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Orissa State ERC has set-up monitoring committee
for ensuring improvement in service quality
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Barriers to be overcome
• Lack of awareness amongst consumers as well as
utility staff
• Utilities may not perceive themselves as service
providers
• Cost of intervention could be too high for the poor
• Utilities at times resort to litigations instead of
complying with CGRF/ombudsman orders
• Need for effective monitoring mechanisms/systems
for ensuring good supply and service quality
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Role of Civil Society
• Increasing awareness and participation
• Consumer education through booklets and
pamphlets and other media
• Establishing consumer advocacy cells,
consumer groups/organizations that work on
electricity issues
• Can make use of provisions under the Right
to Information Act if the utility is not
cooperating or unwilling to share information
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Questions
&
Discussion
Ashwini Chitnis
[email protected]
www.prayaspune.org/peg
Prayas Energy Group, India
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Ashwini Chitnis - Electricity Governance Initiative