Long running hours in standby mode can result in significant loss of energy. CAG reports here on standby power loss practices across rural and urban households in Tamil Nadu together with a campaign strategy for awareness and outreach.
Pavithra Ramesh, Researcher - Consumer Protection
Energy clubs, an initiative of CAG’s Electricity Consumer Cells (ECC), were launched in June 2021, in five schools across three districts in Tamil Nadu - Trichy, Vellore & Tirunelveli. The central objective of the ‘Energy Club’ is to educate, encourage and enable young adults to save energy so that the ongoing energy crisis can be addressed.
The usage of electricity in identical houses can vary by as much as 300% or 400%. The variation has been attributed to individual consumer behaviours and everyday practices.
Pavithra Ramesh, CAG explains why July's electricity bill for some Tamilnadu users might have seemed too high and what they can do about it.
Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG), in association with the Electricity Consumer Cell - Tirunelveli, organized a webinar on energy efficiency & electrical safety on June 22, 2021 via Zoom platform. This session was attended by over 50 electricity consumers from the Tirunelveli district.
Dr.Ganapathy Subramaniam, Coordinator - ECC Tirunelveli presented a brief introduction about the Tirunelveli Electricity Consumer Cell, the nature of work carried out by them and the range of electricity issues handled.
Following the introduction, Mr.Shanmugam, Advisor - ECC Tirunelveli welcomed the participants of the webinar and introduced the chief guest of the session, Mrs.Siva Sathiya Valli, Head of Tirunelveli Government Museum. Mrs. Siva Sathiya, took the opportunity to deliver a special welcome address and brought to focus the significance of electricity and the need to take active measures to ensure electrical safety.
Subsequently, Mr.Balaji, Researcher, CAG introduced CAG and its work across different sectors. He also provided an overview of CAG’s Electricity Consumer Cells initiative run in seven districts of Tamil Nadu - Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Tiruchirapalli and Vellore.
Er.Petchimuthu,Assistant Executive Engineer (Safety), TANGEDCO, the key speaker of the webinar, made his presentation on electricity, its significance, the level of dependency we have on it and the importance of electrical safety. He began by explaining how electrical accidents occur and cautioned his listeners that damaged wires or contacting electrical wires which are connected to the electricity supply have a high probability of causing electrical accidents. He stated that a dry human body is 1,00,000 Ohms resistant to electricity and that if the human body is subjected to over 80 milli Ampere of current it would be a cause of fatality. He shed light on electrical accidents that occured during 2020-2021 and advised electricity consumers to strictly follow the below best practices:
- Use electrical wires and wiring connections that are ISI certified.
- Engage an electrician who is licensed by Govt of Tamil Nadu to do household wiring.
- Install earth leakage circuit breaker near the electricity meter in the premises to avoid electrical accidents.
- Ensure that the switch is in OFF condition, before inserting a plug into the socket.
- Use heavy appliances like Refrigerator, Grinder, Motor, Iron Box with three-pin sockets. No connection should be given to the plug point without a socket.
- Consider avoiding usage of immersion type water heaters since it is among the leading cause for electrocution.
- Place the electricity meter where there are no leakages and ensure that the meter is easy to access for assessment/taking meter readings. .
- Surround iron pipes which are used to support electrical wires with PVC pipes for insulation.
- Do not overload an electrical socket by connecting more than one appliance to it.
- Do not dry clothes or tie animals to an electric pole or supporting fixtures.
- Avoid constructing buildings near or under hanging electrical wires
- Be sure to get proper approval from TANGEDCO before cutting down branches of trees near electrical wires.
- Avoid tying decoration lights to trees or iron gates..
- Do not stand under trees or electric poles or empty land when lightning and thunder strikes.
- Avoid electrical usage in areas which show signs of stagnant/leaking water.
He concluded the presentation by sharing anecdotes to support his advice on what an average electricity consumer should and shouldn’t do. He further guided the participants on what consumers should do if they are affected by electrical accidents. He also shared TANGEDCO’s fuse-off call number (1912) and Minnagam’s customer care number ( 94987 94987) with the participants.
Mr. Muthusamy, Junior Consultant, ECC Tirunelveli concluded the webinar with a Vote of Thanks.
Have you ever spent your summer afternoons at home feeling the heat or wondering why your air conditioning is taking too long to kick in?
Well, here is a simple solution that can save us from feeling the heat indoors whilst also making energy and cost savings. - Insulation of walls!
CAG-CEEW recent study on electricity bills brings to focus the need for improved transparency from discoms and consumer feedback
“All men and women should have a voice in decision-making, either directly or through legitimate intermediate institutions that represent their intention.
This article analyses the nature of complaints registered with TANGEDCO’s CGRF; and further enquires into the efficiency of the institution and the impartiality of its decision making.
News media has a significant role to play in keeping the masses informed, shaping public opinion, setting the public agenda and in turn, enhancing public participation in the decision making process. This study examines the extent and nature of focus that news media extends to the subject of electricity in Tamil Nadu.