The Ministry of Power (MoP) has issued The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 which specifiesthe rights of power for consumers to receive minimum standards of quality. In addition to covering the rights of the consumers and the obligations of the discoms, the rules also mandate that net metering systems can only be installed for loads up to 10 kW beyond which gross metering systems will have to be adopted. This was specified under the section addressing consumers as prosumers. It specified that prosumers would be entitled to the same rights as general consumers. They will also be allowed to set up small-scale systems such as rooftop solar by themselves or through a service provider. The rules also mandated that Consumer Grievance Redressal Forums must include consumer and prosumer representatives. Additionally, discoms will have to address grievances within 45 days of receipt of the complaint.
The current announcement follows a proposal by the MoP in September 2020, which mandated net metering systems to be only set up for capacities under 5 kW. The MoP invited comments and suggestions from all stakeholders regarding the proposal. The current announcement is motivated by a need to ensure that new electricity connections, refunds, and other services are delivered in an organised manner and appropriate penalties are imposed if consumer rights are violated. The Electricity Rules, 2020 is expected to benefit about 300 million consumers in the country.