Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs), organised capacity building programmes on electricity governance at Bangarampet village, Tiruvallur district and Chidambaram, Cuddalore district on July 20, 2019 and July 21, 2019 respectively. The events primarily focused on imparting knowledge and creating awareness on electricity governance among consumers. Both the capacity building programmes saw participation from different consumer categories such as domestic, commercial, and agricultural.
Mr. Selvaraj, Chairman, Federation of Consumer Organisations Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry (FEDCOT) welcomed all participants in both the events and explained the importance of the capacity building programme and the need to develop basic knowledge on electricity sector and understanding the responsibilities of consumers.
An overview about the structure and functions of ECCs was given by Mr. Ashokan, Advisor, ECC Tiruvallur and Mr. Selvaraj, Chairman, FEDCOT at Bangarampet and Chidhambaram respectively. They also explained how ECCs are actively extending their support and advisory services to the consumers.
In both the events, Mr. Jeya Kumar R, Researcher, CAG, presented in detail about the electricity sector, its operations, institutional framework, and governance mechanisms. He began by explaining how electricity reaches the end consumers and elaborated on the three major processes such as i) generation ii) distribution and iii) transmission. He further shed light on these processes in Tamil Nadu (TN), with due focus on the roles and functions of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd., (TANGEDCO) a subsidiary company of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Ltd., (TNEB Ltd.,); and Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Ltd., (TANTRANSCO) another subsidiary company of TNEB Ltd., that governs the transmission of electricity in TN.
He then briefed the participants about TANGEDCO’s platforms for consumer grievance redressal e.g. filing a complaint in person, through a phone call, and consumer grievance redressal forum (CGRF) . He further discussed the responsibilities of consumers with respect to conserving energy, preventing electricity theft, and following TANGEDCO’s rules e.g. prompt payment of electricity bills to avoid disconnection, not damaging utility assets, utilising electricity for sanctioned purposes only.
He also highlighted the need for renewables by explaining the impact of non-renewable energy sources on environment, public health, and economy. Talking about renewables, Jeya Kumar explained the guidelines for installation of rooftop solar and the net feed-in mechanism introduced in the Tamil Nadu Solar Policy 2019. Finally he added an overview about the solar agricultural pumpsets.
Image 3: Mr. Jeya Kumar R, giving a presentation on electricity governance and renewable energy at Chidambaram
Following the discussions around rooftop solar, Mr. Balaji M K, Researcher, CAG, gave a presentation on energy conservation and energy efficiency. He shared details about energy efficient lighting, natural ventilation and cooling, star labelling for energy efficiency appliances and energy saving tips.
Picture 4: Mr. Balaji M K, giving a presentation on energy conservation and energy efficiency at Bangarampet
Mr. Anbarasan, from a private solar firm, gave a demonstration on solar power generation at the Bangarampet capacity building meeting. He also explained about the on-grid and off-grid rooftop solar systems.
Mr. Dhanraj, Coordinator - ECC Tiruvallur and Mr. Selvaraj, Chairman, FEDCOT concluded the sessions with vote of thanks at both events.