Govt tweaks electricity Act to promote EVs and solar panels. Check details – The Economic Times

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In a bid to promote electric vehicles and solar energy, the Indian government has made some crucial changes in the electricity Act.
According to Union minister for power and new & renewable energy R. K. Singh, the amendments will facilitate easier and faster installation of rooftop solar systems by exempting systems up to 10 kW from the requirement of a technical feasibility study and reducing the timeline for systems above 10 kW from twenty days to fifteen days. These changes will also strengthen consumer rights and promote the adoption of renewable energy.

Under the new regulations, consumers are now able to obtain separate electricity connections specifically for EVs. Additionally, the amendments seek to streamline the process for new electricity connections, substantially reducing waiting periods across different areas. For instance, the waiting period has been shortened from seven days to three days in metropolitan areas, from fifteen days to seven days in municipal areas, and from thirty days to fifteen days in rural areas, with the exception of rural hilly terrains where it remains at thirty days.

Furthermore, distribution companies are now responsible for the system strengthening of rooftop solar PV systems up to 5 kW at their own expense. The timeline for commissioning these systems has been halved from thirty days to fifteen days.

In a bid to offer more flexibility and transparency to consumers residing in residential colonies and flats, the amendments introduce the option to choose between individual connections or a single-point connection for the entire premises. This choice is to be determined through a transparent ballot conducted by the distribution company, ensuring fairness in tariffs and separate metering, billing, and collection for individual electricity consumption, backup power, and common areas.
To address complaints regarding meter readings, distribution licensees are now mandated to install a check meter within five days to verify electricity consumption for a minimum period of three months, aiming to ensure billing accuracy and enhance consumer confidence.

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Minister Singh emphasized that the government, prioritizing consumer interests, introduced the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules in December 2020. He further stated that these latest amendments aim to empower consumers, drive renewable energy adoption, and elevate service standards within the electricity distribution sector.

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