Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020

Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020

This article covers ‘Daily Current Affairs’ and the topic details of “Report on legal education in India”.This topic is relevant in the “Polity and Governance” section of the UPSC CSE exam.


Why in the News? 

Amendments to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 have been approved by the Indian government. These regulations encourage prosumer generation of renewable energy and address issues including billing, complaints, compensation, and new connection timelines.


Significant amendments to the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020


  • Revolutionising Rooftop Solar Systems Deployment

  1. Streamlined Setup: Initiatives have been enacted to expedite the installation of Rooftop Solar PV systems, fostering rapid deployment and simplifying the process for prosumers.
  2. Feasibility Exemption: Systems under 10 kW are now exempt from the technical feasibility study requirement, while for capacities exceeding 10 kW, the feasibility study deadline has been reduced from twenty to fifteen days.
  3. Mandated Distribution Reinforcement: Distribution companies are mandated to strengthen the distribution system for rooftop solar PV systems up to 5 kW capacity at their own expense.
  4. Cutting-Edge Commissioning: The commissioning timeline for distribution licensees to install Rooftop Solar PV systems has been halved, decreasing from thirty days to fifteen days.


  • Empowering Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

  1. Individual EV Connections: Consumers can now acquire separate electricity connections dedicated to charging their Electric Vehicles, aligning with the national agenda of achieving Net Zero by 2070.
  2. Expeditious Connection Acquisition: The timeframes for obtaining new electricity connections have been significantly reduced across metropolitan, municipal, and rural areas, accelerating the shift towards sustainable energy practices.


  • Consumer-Centric Innovations in Residential Spaces

  1. Elevated Consumer Empowerment: Rules have been amended to provide consumers in residential colonies and flats with enhanced choices and transparency in metering and billing.
  2. Diverse Ownership Options: Residents in cooperative housing societies and multi-storied buildings now have the flexibility to choose between individual connections for each unit or a single-point connection for the entire premises.
  3. Segmented Metering and Billing: The metering, billing, and collection processes have been compartmentalised for individual electricity consumption, backup power, and common area electricity consumption, ensuring greater accuracy and transparency.


  • Swift Solutions through Additional Meter Installation

  1. Prompt Complaint Resolution: In instances where consumers dispute meter readings, distribution licensees are mandated to install an additional meter within five days of receiving the complaint. This supplementary meter validates consumption for a minimum of three months, ensuring precise billing and consumer reassurance.


Different types of solar systems


The solar rooftop landscape encompasses various systems designed to harness renewable energy efficiently. These systems cater to diverse needs and preferences, offering a range of options for users. Below, we delve into the types of solar rooftop systems, each contributing uniquely to sustainable energy solutions.


Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Rooftop Systems:

Overview: PV systems are the most common solar rooftop installations, converting sunlight into electricity using solar cells.

Functionality: Solar panels composed of photovoltaic cells capture sunlight and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity, subsequently transformed into usable alternating current (AC) through inverters.


Solar Thermal Rooftop Systems:

Overview: In contrast to PV systems, solar thermal rooftop installations focus on harnessing sunlight for heat rather than electricity.

Functionality: These systems utilise solar collectors to absorb sunlight, generating heat that can be utilised for various applications such as space heating or hot water production.


Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV):

Overview: BIPV seamlessly integrates solar panels into the building structure, serving the dual purpose of generating electricity and acting as building materials.

Functionality: Solar elements, such as solar shingles or solar glass, replace traditional building materials, providing both aesthetic appeal and sustainable energy generation.


Off-Grid Solar Rooftop Systems:

Overview: Off-grid systems are designed to function independently of the utility grid, making them suitable for remote locations or areas with unreliable power sources.

Functionality: These systems typically include battery storage to store excess energy generated during peak sunlight hours for later use when sunlight is limited or unavailable.


Grid-Tied Solar Rooftop Systems:

Overview: Grid-tied systems connect to the local utility grid, allowing users to both consume solar-generated electricity and draw power from the grid when needed.

Functionality: Excess energy produced by the system can be fed back into the grid, often resulting in net metering benefits for the user.


Hybrid Solar Rooftop Systems:

Overview: Hybrid systems combine solar panels with other renewable energy sources or backup power systems to enhance energy reliability.

Functionality: Integrating components like wind turbines or backup generators, hybrid systems offer a comprehensive and sustainable solution, ensuring a continuous power supply.


Key measures taken by the Indian government to encourage the widespread use of solar panels


National Solar Mission (NSM):

NSM encompasses various schemes and incentives, including the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, promoting both grid-connected and off-grid solar applications.


Solar Rooftop Subsidy Scheme:

To promote solar power generation at the individual consumer level, the government introduced subsidies for rooftop solar installations.


Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects:

Objective: Facilitate large-scale solar power generation by establishing solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects across the country.

Key Features: These projects provide the necessary infrastructure, reducing land acquisition challenges for developers and attracting investments for the rapid deployment of solar panels.


Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM):

Commencing in 2019, PM-KUSUM aims to assist farmers in the establishment of solar power facilities on their unproductive or unused lands. This initiative encompasses features such as the deployment of independent solar pumps, the conversion of existing grid-tied agricultural pumps to solar power, and the encouragement of decentralised solar energy generation.

Download Yojna daily current affairs eng med 26th feb 2024


Mains practice question


Q1. How are Indian Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) grappling with the challenges of ensuring reliable and uninterrupted power supply to consumers across diverse regions?


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