The Electricity Act of 2003 overrode all pre-existing Acts and brought about fundamental changes in the electricity sector. The Act included important consumer oriented provisions in order to improve the quality of electricity supply and service. Accordingly, the Maharashtra State Electricity Regulation Commission (MERC) has laid down guidelines, standards, and regulations that the electricity company must abide by. Similarly, independent institutions like the Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum and the Electricity Ombudsman have been created to ensure proper implementation of these guidelines. Consumers can make use of these provisions and institutions to seek redressal of their grievances.

This booklet provides detailed information about these legal and institutional provisions, while also addressing some of the common problems faced by domestic consumers. This includes issues such as obtaining a new connection, reading an electricity bill, responding to metering and billing issues, registering a complaint, etc. It also describes consumer’s rights while interacting with the electricity company as well as the regulations and standards that the company should follow. It could prove useful to individuals working on such issues in rural areas and to organisations working with the marginalised sections of society. This booklet is aimed at creating public awareness about consumer rights and making the electricity company’s operations more consumer oriented, while increasing accountability of the company and improving service delivery.

An earlier version of this booklet is available here.