1.1 Who is MPERC?
The Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission was constituted by the Government of Madhya Pradesh, Department of Energy under the power vested in Section 17(7) (3) of Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998 (No 4 of 1998), vide notification No 5726-F-3-20- Thirteen-98, Bhopal dated 18th August 1998
Subsequently the State Government enacted the Madhya Pradesh Vidyut Sudhar Adhiniyam, 2000 (No 4 of 2001) which was made effective from 3rd July 2001. This Act gave wide ranging powers to the Commission on licensing, tariff determination and powers to issue Codes and Regulations, as may be necessary to perform its functions.
A comprehensive legislation was enacted by the Govt. of India in the form of the Electricity Act, 2003. This Act has introduced several new provisions and mandates several new functions and responsibilities on the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions. The Electricity (Amendment) Act, 2007 has made changes to some of the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003. Provisions with regard to unauthorized use/ theft of electricity have been made more stringent.
1.2 Functions of MPERC
Subject to the provisions of Electricity Act, 2003, the Commission shall discharge, amongst others, the following functions, namely:
Determine the tariff for generation, supply, transmission and wheeling of electricity, wholesale, bulk or retail, as the case may be, within the State:
Regulate electricity purchase and procurement process of distribution licensees including the price at which electricity shall be procured from the generating companies or licensees or from other sources through agreements for purchase of power for distribution and supply within the State;
Facilitate intra-state transmission and wheeling of electricity;
Issue licenses to persons seeking to act as transmission licensees, distribution licensees and electricity traders with respect to their operations within the State;
Promote co-generation and generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy by providing suitable measures for connectivity with the grid and sale of electricity to any person, and also specify, for purchase of electricity from such sources, a percentage of the total consumption of electricity in the area of a distribution licence;
Adjudicate upon the disputes between the licensees, and generating companies and to refer any dispute for arbitration;
Specify State Grid Code consistent with the Central Grid Code
Specify or enforce Standards with respect to quality, continuity and reliability of service by licensees;
Fix the trading margin in the intra-State trading of electricity, if considered, necessary; and
The State Commission shall advise the State Government on all or any of the following matters, namely :
o promotion of competition, efficiency and economy in activities of the electricity industry;
o promotion of investment in electricity industry;
o reorganization and restructuring of electricity industry in the State;
o matters concerning generation, transmission , distribution and
o Trading of electricity or any other matter referred to the State Commission by that Government.
1.3 Powers of the Commission
The Commission shall, for the purpose of any inquiry or proceeding under this Act, have the powers as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure,1908 (5 of 1908) while trying a suit, in the following matters:
Summoning and enforcing of attendance of any witness and examination on oath;
Discovery and production of any document or other material object producible as evidence;
Reception of evidence on affidavits;
Requisition of any public record from any court or office;
Issue of commission for examination of witnesses;
Review of its decisions, directions and orders and
Any other matters which may be prescribed by the State Government.
Regulatory decisions affect the public and consumers at large, particularly decisions related to tariffs, access and quality of supply, new generation and licence applications. It is a legal requirement that the decision-making process should be fair and transparent.
All decisions, directions and orders of the Commission shall be in writing and shall be supported by reasons. The decisions, directions and orders of the Commission including those of the dissenting member, unless otherwise specified by the Commission, shall be available for inspection by any person and copies of the same shall be made available in a manner the Commission may prescribe.
1.4 Constitution of the Commission
The State Govt. forms a selection committee headed by a person who has been a Judge of the High Court. The Chief Secretary of the State & Chairperson of CEA or Central Commission are the other members of the selection committee to select the Chairman and Members of the State Regulators. MPERC consists of one Chairman and two Members. The Chairman works as a Chief Executive of the Commission. The Chairperson and the Members of the State Commission shall be persons of ability, integrity and standing who have adequate knowledge of, and have shown capacity in, dealing with problems relating to engineering, finance, commerce, economics, law or management.
The Regulator is supported by Directors, Joint Directors and Deputy Directors backed up by functional experts in the economic, technical, financial, legal, research, policy development, human resources, IT & stakeholder management and consumer services areas.
1.5 Consumer Advocacy Cell
The Commission has formed a “Consumer Advocacy Cell” in its office. The Cell is headed by Consultant (LR) of the Commission.
His Mobile Number for providing assistance to the consumers is 9425010821.
The main functions of Consumer Advocacy Cell are:
(i) To empower consumers to participate effectively in the regulatory process.
(ii) To represent consumers on all matters relating to power sector.
(iii) To act as a source of information to the consumers on the issues of electricity.
(iv) To arrange Workshops and Training Programmes for Consumer Advocacy Groups/NGOs/SHGs.
(v) To publish News-letters, fact-sheets and other informative materials.
(vi) To handle grievances and complaints of electricity consumers received in the Commission and to arrange to conduct survey and publish reports on the issues related to consumer services.
(vii) To disseminate information through use of TV Media, Radio and Print Media.
(viii) To work as an interface between the Commission and the consumers and bring out relevant issues to the knowledge of the Commission for protection of consumers’ interests.
A2: HOW MPERC HELPS YOU AS AN ELECTRICITY CONSUMER
2.1 Ensure quality supply and faster dispute resolution through Regulations
The commission has notified the following Regulations to ensure quality and reliability in supply of electricity by the licensee with performance guarantee standards to take care of the consumers’ interests and at the same time defined different charges to be paid by the consumers for the services given by the licensee for a viable commercial business.
‘Madhya Pradesh Electricity Supply Code’:
This Code provides conditions to govern supply and retail sale of electricity by the licensees and procedures thereof, the powers, functions and obligations of the licensees and the rights and obligations of consumers, and matters connected therewith and incidental thereto. In brief it prescribes about the service conditions between the licensee and the consumers.
‘Distribution performance standards’:
The objective of this regulation is as follows:
To ensure that the Distribution System’s performance meets a minimum guaranteed standard which is essential for the consumer’s installation to function properly.
To enable the consumer to design their systems and equipments to suit the electrical environment that they operate in.
To enhance the quality of standards of the Distribution System and services to meet acceptable standards in the short term and gradually move towards improved standards in the long term.
This regulation empowers consumers to get compensation for under performance by licensee.
‘Security Deposit Regulation’:
To ensure recovery of reasonable security deposit in line with the provision of the Electricity Act, 2003 from the consumers, the Commission has prescribed the detailed procedure and quantum of the security deposit to be collected from the various consumer categories:
Licensee may collect Security Deposit from all consumers in respect of the meters, line and plant provided for the connection and supply of energy.
The Security Deposit shall be accepted in the form of cash or bank draft only. Cheques will be acceptable only subject to the condition that supply will be possible to commence only on realization of cheque.
‘Establishment of Forum and Ombudsman for grievance redressal’:
The MPERC recognizes the urgency and need for enhancing the levels of services to the electricity consumers in the State. It accords high importance to the rights of consumers. Keeping in view the objective of safeguarding consumers’ interests, the Commission has directed in the Regulations to establish the Electricity Consumers’ Grievance Redressal Forum and Electricity Ombudsman for redressal of grievances. At present there are three Forums, one each at Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur at the Head Quarters of Distribution Licensees. The Ombudsman is having his office at the MPERC. The Forums & Ombudsman also visit places other than their HQ to reach to the consumers to solve their grievances.
The consumer has the right to complain about the quality of service rendered by the licensee. If the consumer is not satisfied with the outcome or the manner in which the complaint is handled by the licensee, the consumer may refer the matter to the Forum and if he is still not satisfied with Forum’s decision then he can make an appeal to the Ombudsman for settlement of his grievance.
Grievance Redressal Forums handle complaints including:
Quality of supply
Billing and accounting queries
Quality of service