Govt Speeds Up Electricity And Rooftop Installation [Current Affairs]

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The Indian government has recently approved crucial amendments to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, aimed at streamlining processes, ensuring faster new electricity connections, promoting transparency, and facilitating the installation of rooftop solar systems. These amendments mark a significant step towards consumer empowerment and the nation’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Accelerated New Electricity Connections

  • The revised norms reduce the time frame for obtaining new electricity connections, bringing it down to three days in metropolitan areas, seven days in municipal areas, and 15 days in rural areas.
  • This move is expected to expedite the electrification process and contribute to the government’s broader agenda of enhancing access to electricity across different regions.

Simplified Rooftop Solar Installations

  • The amendments also streamline the process of rooftop solar installations, making it easier and faster for consumers.
  • Provisions have been introduced to facilitate the setting up of rooftop solar PV systems for “prosumers,” individuals who both consume and produce electricity.
  • Notably, the requirement for a technical feasibility study has been exempted for systems up to a capacity of 10 kW, reducing bureaucratic hurdles.

Consumer Choice and Transparency

  • The rules empower consumers in multi-storied buildings and residential societies by allowing them to choose between individual connections for everyone or a single-point connection for the entire premises.
  • A transparent ballot conducted by the distribution company will determine the chosen option, promoting consumer choice and transparency in the process.

Dedicated Connections for Electric Vehicles (EVs)

  • Recognizing the growing importance of electric vehicles (EVs) and aligning with the country’s environmental goals, consumers can now obtain separate electricity connections specifically for charging their EVs.
  • This step supports India’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and achieving net zero by 2070.

Addressing Metering and Billing Concerns

  • The amendments address concerns related to metering and billing by requiring distribution licensees to install additional meters within five days of receiving complaints about meter readings not aligning with actual electricity consumption.
  • This additional meter will verify consumption for a minimum period of three months, ensuring accuracy in billing and providing reassurance to consumers.

Timely Commissioning of Rooftop Solar PV Systems

  • To promote the adoption of rooftop solar PV systems, the timeline for distribution licensees to commission such systems has been significantly reduced from 30 days to 15 days.
  • This move encourages faster adoption of renewable energy sources and supports the nation’s commitment to sustainable energy practices.

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