Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela
(as adopted by the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission, Bhubaneswar)
The Consumer Rights Statement tells the consumers what service they can expect from the licensee. It also tells the consumers what they need to do in order to help the service provider to supply quality service.
Right to know
1. Consumers have a right to know :-
1.1 the procedure for providing new connection,
1.2 the procedure of disconnection and reconnection,
1.3 the licensee's standards of performance,
1.4 the code of practice on payment of bills,
1.5 the complaint handling procedure,
1.6 the Tariff Schedule,
1.7 schedule of outages,
1.8 entry into the consumer's premises by licensee's representative, and
1.9 the correctness of the meter at his premises.
2. Procedure for providing new connection
The licensee must follow the procedures as prescribed in OERC Distribution (conditions of Supply) Code, 1998 and OERC (Consumer's Right to Information and Standards of Performance) Regulations, 1998 for connecting new consumers. For getting this service from the licensee, the potential consumers must follow the correct procedure. All intending consumers are eligible for supply of electricity within the prescribed time and on payment of prescribed fees. Eligibility criteria shall be transparent and made known to the applicant. The applicant shall have the right to be informed about the reasons for rejection, personal hearing, appeal and for removal of deficiencies.
3. Information prior to the disconnection and procedure of reconnection
The licensee must follow the Regulation on Consumers' Rights to Information and the consumer shall be provided with prescribed minimum period of notice before disconnection.
Before disconnecting service, the licensee's employee performing the disconnection must inform an adult residing in the premises. If proof of full payment is produced to the satisfaction of licensee's employee deputed for disconnection, he shall not disconnect it. If there is no adult, the employee shall deliver a note which contains information as to reason for disconnection and how reconnection can be obtained.
The licensee is exampted from the notice requirements of the above Regulation only in cases where the consumer's installation poses a danger to the health or safety of the consumers or licensee's employees or the public.
The licensee will restore service promptly when the cause of the disconnection has been removed by the consumers.
4. Licensee's Standards of Performance
The licensee is obliged to maintain the minimum standards of performance for consumers as prescribed in the OERC (Consumers' Right to Informaation and Standards of Performance) Regulation, 1998.
5. Code of practice on payment of bills
The licensee has to consistently follow the procedure approved by the Commission for handling payments for the electricity and provide appropriate assistance to 'consumers who may have difficulty in paying bills. Bills have to contain due date of payment, place of payment, acceptable modes of payment and designation and address of officers to whom the consumer can complain about billing. The licensee is required to keep accurate account of all charges billed to each consumer and must maintain information from which bill may be readily computed.
6. Complaint Handling Procedure
The licensee has to follow consistently its established procedure for handling complaints from consumers. The licensee shall inform all its consumers of how they may go about submitting a complaint to the licensee and how the licensee will process consumer complaints. The consumer has also to be informed of the remedy available when the complaint is not disposed of satisfactorily or within reasonable period (period to be specified).
Consumers have a right to obtain copy of Tariff schedule on payment of charges. A copy of the said schedule shall be prominently displayed in all offices of the licensee dealing with commercial aspects.
8. Notice of outages
The licensee shall provide not less than twenty four hours notice prior to an outage exceeding thirty minutes scheduled for the purpose of testing or any other purpose connected with the efficient working of the system.
9. Entry into consumer's premises
Consumers have a right to be informed prior to the entry into their premises by the licensee for any prescribed purpose.
The licensee has the responsibility to provide standard meters unless the consumer opts to have his own meter. it should be periodically inspected by the licensee and expeditiously replaced/repaired wheneve the meter is found defective.
i) The licensee shall make 'Consumer Rights statement' available for inspection by members of the public at his Head Office, Divisional Offices, Sub-Divisional and Section Offices.
ii) The licensee shall provide a copy of the Consumer Rights Statement to any person who requests it on payment of reasonable charge.
iii) The licensee shall display a copy of the 'Consumer Rights Statement' in a conspicuous place of each Bill Collection Centre.
iv) The licensee shall publish annually the Consumer Rights Statement, in atleast one Oriya and one English daily News Paper having wide circulation in the licensee's area of supply.