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Electricity consumers not aware of their rights: Survey
People in India are not fully aware of the 'electricity consumers' rights' and the 'grievance redressal mechanism'. What has been true in case of Maharashtra is equally true for Punjab and Haryana also.

In a recent sample survey conducted by Marketing & Development Research Associates  covering residential as well as commercial consumers, awareness of  “Electricity Act, 2003” and “Electricity Consumer’s Rights” was found to be very low as less than 1% of the electricity consumers were aware of it.

Most of the electricity consumers were aware of the procedures related to meter, billing, procedure for getting a new connection and security deposit. In all, 99.7% electricity consumers surveyed were aware of the Discoms office as a forum for complaints registration and redressal.

On the whole, six out of the 12177 electricity consumers surveyed knew about consumer grievance redressal forum. Further, only four electricity consumers out of six were aware of the procedure for making a representation to “Electricity Ombudsman”. Only three consumers were aware of the fact that if power utility does not comply with the order passed by “Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum” or “Electricity Ombudsman”, the consumer can file a petition with Regulatory Commission for getting the compliance of the order.

74.7% of the electricity consumers had faced the problems related to their electricity connection. Electricity consumers had a high proportion of complaints related to inflated/excess billing, voltage fluctuation and interruption/ failure/ disconnection of electric supply.

82.4% of the electricity consumers, who had faced problems related to their electricity connection, lodged complaints with Discoms. More than 90% of electricity consumers, who lodged complaints through personal visit at the Discoms offices. Majority of the electricity consumers, who had lodged complaints, did not receive the complaint number after registration of their complaints. Out of the electricity consumers, who had lodged complaints, only 14.5% were informed about the action taken on their complaints after repeated follow ups

Less than 50% of the electricity consumers, who had lodged complaints, were satisfied with the resolution of complaints by staff of Discoms. The main reasons for dissatisfaction of electricity consumers were that the solution was not provided even after repeated follow ups and it was difficult to connect to senior authority.

Only 10.3% of the electricity consumers, who were dissatisfied with the resolution of their complaints, approached other channel/ forum for redressal of their complaints.

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