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Launch of Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs)

Fri, 28/04/2017 - 09:01
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Organizer: ECC Tiruvallur, ECC Cuddalore and ECC Tirunelveli

Description: Official launch of ECCs, an independent advocacy Cell that educate and advice consumers on electricity governance

Speakers:

  1. Mr. Selvaraj, Trustee MMCRPC
  2. Mr. Dhanraj ECC Tiruvallur Coordinator
  3. Mr. Ashokan ECC Tiruvallur Expert
  4. Mr. Sam ECC Cuddalore Coordinator
  5. Mr. Kuzhalvaganan ECC Cuddalore Expert
  6. Mr. Venkatachalam ECC Tirunelveli Coordinator
  7. Mr. Shanmugam ECC Tirunelveli Expert

Participants: Local Consumers

Date and Time:

  1. Launch of ECC Tiruvallur: 07/01/2017, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  2. Launch of ECC Cuddalore: 22/12/2016, 2:00 AM  to 4:00 PM
  3. Launch of ECC Tirunelveli: 23/12/2016, 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM

Location: Respective ECCs

Key Points of Discussion:

The Indian electricity sector has seen significant changes over the last decade triggered largely by the Electricity Act 2003. The Act allows anyone to set up power plants while making electricity transmission a government venture, it left the possibility of distribution to be either a government or private venture. The Act has also strengthened the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) which are empowered to set the tariff for various consumer categories. Pursuant to this, Tamil Nadu has set up the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC), Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (TANGEDCO) and Tamil Nadu Transmission Company (TANTRANSCO).

The Act also has enabling provisions for participation of consumers in the functioning of the electricity sector such as electricity planning, policy, regulatory matters (price setting etc) and venues for grievance redressal. However, it is seen from experience that electricity consumers do not have adequate knowledge of these institutions and processes. Further, the lack of technical, policy, administrative and regulatory knowledge pose a serious challenge in enabling consumers to take advantage of the above to demand quality power supply.

As a result, there is a constant need to empower and educate electricity consumers about their rights. Education comprises making them aware of their rights to access and demand quality electricity services, provide quality inputs in the governance of the electricity sector while increasing consumer participation to push for transparency and accountability in its functioning.

Taking the above concerns into account, Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG), which has been working in the electricity sector for the past two decades, launched an initiative to build the capacity of electricity consumers in Tamil Nadu. The overall objective of the work is to educate and empower consumer groups to ensure electricity sector in Tamil Nadu is functioning in an accountable and transparent manner, and in turn, to raise awareness among consumers.

Towards this end, CAG has set up Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs) in three districts of Tamil Nadu, viz. Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, and Tirunelveli. Since its inception in December last year the ECCs, supported by an Electricity Advisor, provides advisory services for consumers on various electricity issues that affect their day to day lives. They will also promote an Electricity Consumer Network (ECN) of stakeholders and experts, and advocate for energy efficiency and renewable energy. The ECN will actively intervene to promote transparency and accountability and contribute to improvement in electricity governance in Tamil Nadu.

The ECC will work to demystify and disseminate information to a wide range of stakeholders related to electricity governance including administrative, policy, grievance redressal, and regulatory areas. It will conduct outreach meetings to reach out to consumers and civil society organizations, and impart knowledge through training and capacity building programmes so as to promote knowledge base nodes in the local area of operation. The ECC will engage in advocacy efforts to bring about transparency and accountability in electricity governance.

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