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Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs) and Electricity Consumer Network (ECN)

CAG recently started working on a project to empower consumers of electricity by educating them about the various aspects of the electricity sector. Electricity consumers are educated about the administrative, judicial and regulatory process of the electricity sector of Tamil Nadu. To address this broader objective, CAG has incubated Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs) in three districts of Tamil Nadu viz; Tiruvalllur, Tirunelveli, Thiruvannamalai, Salem, and Cuddalore in partnership with three consumer organizations. Through the formation of the ECCs, CAG aims to create awareness and demystify electricity process and concepts among the members of the Electricity Consumer Network (ECN). The ECCs, along with the experts, provide advisory services to the local consumers on various electricity issues that and eases the process of interaction between the utility and consumers. CAG also plan to conduct periodic outreach meeting and capacity building program to train the local community so as to promote transparency and accountability in the electricity governance. In simple words, ECCs will serve as an active mediator to take forward the concerns of the consumers to the service provider.

The quality of civil society participation in electricity administration and grievance redressal mechanism at the district levels in Tamil Nadu is low. This is especially true at various levels a) articulating electricity related problems faced by consumers and subsequent issues taken up by civil society organizations (CSOs) at the administrative level, b) citizens in effectively presenting their case before the consumer grievance redressal forum (CGRF), c) lack of quality inputs by CSOs in regulatory affairs, d) consumers’ lack of understanding of electricity issues, e) lack of common platform to enable stakeholders to engage in knowledge sharing.  CAG has also been engaged in tracking energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) efforts in Tamil Nadu. Our work highlights that most of the EE and RE efforts are operational at the district and village levels e.g. Chief Minister’s Solar Housing schemes. However, CSOs in their area of operation are unaware and are unable to effectively participate to promote the schemes and to highlight the lacuna, if any. The above problems faced by CSOs are primarily due to lack of technical knowledge in the subject area and lack of support from specialized NGOs and electricity experts which will enable them to participate in electricity governance.  

The project will use a combination of information dissemination, network building, training and capacity building, research, and advocacy work. 

Educated and empowered CSOs to ensure electricity sector in Tamil Nadu is functioning in an accountable and transparent manner.

  Interim Outcomes

       Key electricity consumers in the selected districts are informed about the various technical, administrative, regulatory, aspects concerning the electricity sector.

      Collaborative platform with advisory and specialized support allows local CSOs to deal with local issues pertaining to consumer grievance more effectively.

      Trained CSOs in the target districts raises the quality of intervention in the governance of the electricity sector in Tamil Nadu in the local area of operation.

      Electricity Consumer Cells set up at the district level  advise electricity consumers and CSOs on electricity issues

      Research work on electricity issues feeds into District level Electricity Consumer Cells work and Electricity Consumer Network (ECN) knowledge sharing activities.

State-level Electricity Consumer Cell (ECC) meeting, Chennai

Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) organised a State-level Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs) meeting on November 07, 2019, at The Raj Park, Chennai. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the progress of the ECCs and to understand the various challenges faced by the ECCs functioning in Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Tirunelveli, Tiruvannamalai, Salem, Tiruchirappalli, and Vellore...know more

Training Programme at Auroville Consulting

Researchers and ECC Engineers from Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) attended a three-day training programme at Auroville Consulting (AVC) from 16 December 2019 to 18 December 2019. The programme focused on several topics ranging from TN Solar Policy 2019 and rooftop solar installation to e-mobility and smart grid systems. The sessions of the programme were designed and structured in...know more

Capacity Building Programme in Schools

Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) conducted capacity building program for school students in the following schools: Selvam Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Arakkonam on 1 August 2019 Kendriya Vidyalaya CBSE School, Arakkonam on 18 September 2019 Advent Christan Middle School, Injambakkam on 10 October 2019 Welfare boys Higher Secondary School,...know more

Hackathon and Prototype Building Competition 2019

CAG, in collaboration with Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science (HITS), conducted a hackathon and prototype building competition from 13-14 of December 2019. The competition was designed to encourage students in building prototypes and relevant IT applications for use in everyday lives of electricity consumers. Themes for competition included (i) Electricity Governance, (...know more

ECC Outreach Meeting Report - December 2019

Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs) have conducted nine outreach meetings in the month of December  in Karikalavakkan (Tiruvallur), Thiruvetkulam & Killai (Cuddalore), Vedic Vidyasaram Campus, Thatchanallur & Veerlaperunselvi (Tirunelveli), Thalavaipatti (Salem), Somasibady & Narthampoodi (Tiruvannamalai), Kannur (Tiruchirappalli), Mosur & Mudur (Vellore).  ...know more

Current News: Volume IV, Issue 11, November 2019

Highlights Consumer guide to grid-connected rooftop solar - Part 6 Electric Vehicles - Part 4  Solar developers get relief as APTEL quashes power regulator's unviable tariff order EESL, SDMC ink pact to develop charging infra for e-vehicles Consumer Focus - Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum Order China aims to boost revenue for renewable power firms  ECC...know more

Current News: Volume IV, Issue 10, October 2019

Highlights Consumer guide to grid-connected rooftop solar - Part 5 Electric Vehicles - Part 3  Tenders floated for first phase of smart meter project in Chennai Solar, wind farms soon along India-Pak border Consumer Focus - Electricity Ombudsman Order Renewable set new records in Germany, but 'second pillar' solar needs to accelerate even further ECC Voice - Reasons...know more

Current News: Volume IV, Issue 9, September 2019

Highlights Consumer guide to grid-connected rooftop solar - Part 4 Electric Vehicles - Part 2 State power demand down over 4% year-on-year in August Assets of 21 major electricity thieves sealed by city court Consumer Focus - Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum Order Australia could produce 200% of energy needs from renewables by 2050, researchers say ECC Voice - Know your...know more

Media coverage of electricity themes, topics, and issues in Tamil Nadu - an analysis

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. know more

Current News: Volume IV, Issue 8, August 2019

Highlights Consumer guide to grid-connected rooftop solar - Part 3 Electric Vehicles - Part 1 TN power consumers hail 'must run status' of energy projects India added record 1836 MW of rooftop solar power in last fiscal: Report Consumer Focus - Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum Order Canada's 'largest' solar project gets green light for construction ECC Voice - Success...know more