E-Outreach meetings - January 2021

Tue, 20/04/2021 - 15:05
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Electricity consumer cells (ECCs) are an initiative by Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) in seven districts of Tamil Nadu namely, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Tiruchirapalli, and Vellore. Generally, all the seven Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs) used to conduct physical outreach meetings twice in a month in their respective districts. These meetings were held to sensitise consumers about the ECCs and help them  by clarifying their queries related to electricity problems. Consumers register electricity related complaints with ECCs during the meetings. Based on the complaint, the ECC Advisors advise them about the procedures and/or resolve it by taking it up with the TANGEDCO officials. 

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic situation, ECCs were unable to conduct outreach meetings physically in their respective districts. Alternatively, April 2020 onwards they reached out to electricity consumers through e-outreach meetings, which were conducted through Google Meet.  In total, 7  e-outreach meetings were  conducted in the month of January 2021 as given below.
 

S.No

ECC 

No. of E-outreach meetings (Date)

1

Cuddalore

1 (January 28, 2021) 

2

Salem

1 (January 23, 2021)

3

Thiruvallur

1 (January 27, 2021)

4

Tirunelveli

1 (January 29, 2021)

5

Tiruvannamalai

1 (January 28, 2021)

6

Trichy

1 (January 29, 2021)

7

Vellore

1 (January 27, 2021)

Table-1: No.of E-outreach meetings conducted with date

ECC coordinators explained the importance of conducting outreach meetings, which are to discuss electricity-related issues and to create awareness on energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. They explained how the ECCs are reaching the TANGEDCO officials for resolving consumer complaints during this pandemic situation. They have explained a few problems that were resolved during the pandemic situation. People from different consumer categories such as domestic, agricultural, commercial, participated in the meetings.

ECC Meeting

Image 1 - E-outreach meeting conducted by ECC Tirunelveli

The ECC engineers explained the necessity of conserving electricity. They explained in detail about  energy conservation and energy efficiency practices that can be adopted in our everyday life. Some of the energy conservative and efficiency tips discussed are:

  1. Battery chargers, such as those for laptops, cell phones and digital cameras, draw power whenever they are plugged in and are very inefficient. They draw power even when the switch is turned off. It was advised to remove the plug when not in use and save energy.
  2. Dirty tube lights and bulbs reflect less light and can absorb 50 percent of the light; dust your tube lights and lamps regularly
  3. Use ceiling fans as a way to cool the room first. Ceiling fans use much lesser amounts  of electricity, when compared to the Air conditioner.
  4. Refrigerator motors and compressors generate heat, so allow enough space by placing it away from the wall to ensure continuous airflow around the refrigerator. If the heat can't escape, the refrigerator's cooling system exerts more energy to expend the heat leading to a higher electricity bill.
  5. Clean the air-conditioner filter every month. A dirty air filter reduces airflow and needs more energy to cool the room. A dirty air filter may also damage the unit. Clean filters enable the unit to cool down quickly and use less energy.

Zoom Meeting

Image 2 - E-outreach meeting conducted by ECC Tiruvallur

The ECC Engineers further presented on renewable energy, especially rooftop solar solar energy. The solar developers who were invited guests as part of the e-outreach meetings spoke about the installation process of the solar panels in the premises. 

ECC Meeting

ECC Meeting
Image 3 - E-outreach meeting conducted by ECC Salem

The ECC Advisors explained about the consumer complaints redressal mechanism. They also  spoke about some common issues like name transfer, how to get new agriculture connections etc. during these meetings.

Some of the queries raised by consumers during the E-Outreach meetings:

  • Query - Mr. A raised an issue about the frequent power fluctuations during the nights
  • Advise -  ECC Advisor advised Mr.A to register a complaint with the TANGEDCO’s toll free number 1912, which is 24*7 customer care centres.    
  • Query - Mr. B complained that his electricity meter had not been working for the past few days.   
  • Advise - ECC Advisor advised him to file a written complaint with the respective assistant engineer.
  • Query - Ms. C enquired on the procedures for changing the service connection from domestic to commercial. 
  • Advise - Advisor advised Mr.C to meet the local Assistant Engineer regarding the query with a requisition letter. Then, the Assistant engineer will initiate the process of changing the service connection after paying the required charges which will be completed within 30 days. 

Conclusion

The ECCs have continued to work and support consumers during the pandemic without interruption in operations. ECCs have adapted themselves to collecting complaints through different modes of advertisement and delivering advice and solving their electricity related issues even over the pandemic.
 

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