E-Outreach meetings - October to December, 2020

Mon, 19/04/2021 - 15:38
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Electricity consumer cells (ECCs) are an initiative by the 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. 

From April, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, ECCs have been unable to conduct outreach meetings physically in their respective districts. Alternatively, they reach out to electricity consumers through e-outreach meetings, which are conducted through  digital platforms like Google Meet, and Zoom.  24 e-outreach meeting were totally conducted between the month of June to September

Amidst COVID-19, ECCs conducted 24 e-outreach meetings between October and December, 2020. 

 

S.No

ECC 

No. of E-outreach meetings (Date)

1

Cuddalore

3( October 28, 2020,November 27, 2020 & December 23, 2020)

2

Salem

3( October 23, 2020,November 21, 2020 & December 20, 2020) 

3

Thiruvallur

3( October 28, 2020,November 18, 202 & ,December 16, 2020)

4

Tirunelveli

3( October 31, 2020,November 27, 2020 & December 15, 2020)

5

Tiruvannamalai

3( October 20, 2020,November 24, 202 & ,December 14, 2020)

6

Trichy

3( October 27, 2020,November 21, 2020 & December 21, 2020)

7

Vellore

3( October 28, 2020,November 21, 2020 & December 10, 2020)

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 reached out to TANGEDCO officials for resolving consumer complaints during this 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 Salem 

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 conservation and efficiency tips discussed during the meetings discussed were:

  1. Battery chargers, such as those for laptops, cell phones and digital cameras, draw power whenever they are plugged in and are very inefficient. Pull the plug and save.
  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 the first line of defence against summer heat. Ceiling fans, uses much lesser amounts  of electricity when compared to the Air conditioner.
  4. Refrigerator motors and compressors generate heat, so allow enough space for continuous airflow around the refrigerator. If the heat can't escape, the refrigerator's cooling system will work harder and use more energy.
  5. Clean the air-conditioner filter every month. A dirty air filter reduces airflow and may damage the unit. Clean filters enable the unit to cool down quickly and use less energy.

ECC Meeting

Image 2 - E-outreach meeting conducted by ECC Vellore

The ECC engineers made presentations on renewable energy, especially rooftop solar. The solar developers who were invited as part of the ECC e-outreach meeting explained about the installation process of the solar panels in the premises. 

ECC Meeting

Image 3 - E-outreach meeting conducted by ECC Trichy 

In the third part of the outreach meeting, 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. X  raised an issue about a billing problem, where the current consumption charges (or electricity bill) were higher compared to the last billing cycle (previous months).
  • Advise -  ECC Advisor advised him to give a written complaint to the Assistant engineer about the issue with a copy to the ECC. 
  • Query - Mr. Y  required advice surrounding the replacement of the damaged Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) pole of a  transformer.
  • Advise - ECC Advisor advised him to submit a written complaint to the concerned Assistant Engineer for replacing the damaged pole. 
  • Query - Ms. Z enquired on the procedures for availing the temporary service connection during construction of a new house. 
  • Advisor advised Mr.Z to submit the application with the required documents to the local  section office. Then, the Assistant engineer will calculate the estimated amount, which has to be paid. After paying the amount, the temporary service connection will be effected within 30 days of time.
  • Query - Mr A complained that he had a low voltage problem in his house for the past two weeks.
  • Advise - ECC Advisor advised him to file a written complaint with the respective TANGEDCO’s office with A.E.

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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