Is Govt./Regulators Encroaching the Electricity Consumers Rights ?
To understand this we need to understand the rights given to a consumer by Electricity Act
so here we would like to highlight the Sec 9 of Electricity Act 2003, which says about Captive Generation as:-
Section 9. (Captive generation):
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, a person may construct, maintain or operate a captive generating plant and dedicated transmission lines:
Provided that the supply of electricity from the captive generating plant through the grid shall be regulated in the same manner as the generating station of a generating company.
[Provided further that no licence shall be required under this Act for supply of electricity generated from a captive generating plant to any licencee in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules and regulations made thereunder and to any consumer subject to the regulations made under subsection (2) of section 42.]
(2) Every person, who has constructed a captive generating plant and maintains and operates such plant, shall have the right to open access for the purposes of carrying electricity from his captive generating plant to the destination of his use: Provided that such open access shall be subject to availability of adequate transmission facility and such availability of transmission facility shall be determined by the Central Transmission Utility or the State Transmission Utility, as the case may be: Provided further that any dispute regarding the availability of transmission facility shall be adjudicated upon by the Appropriate Commission.
This section gives consumer a right to:-
· Construct, maintain or operate a captive generating plant
· Every person, who has constructed a captive generating plant and maintains and operates such plant, shall have the right to open access for the purposes of carrying electricity from his captive generating plant to the destination of his use.
Now, Article 14 of the Constitution of India provides for equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. It states:
"The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India."
So Govt cannot deny same treatment to captive generation by small consumer who are generating and consuming at same place within premise with respect to the consumers who are generating at remotely installed solar park and carrying electricity to their destination of use since both come under captive generation.
Which means gross metering could not be imposed perforce to any consumer.
Whether States could supersede the nitiofication by MOP for net metering restriction up to 10 KW only ?
· Sec 176 to Sec 181 of the Electricity Act says about the powers of Central & State Govts and respective regulatory commissions, wherein the state Govt and regulatory commissions has the similar powers to decide on the state matters as Central Govt and Regulatory commission has to decide on national level.
· Electricity sector in India is under the concurrent list of the constitution and is administered both by the central and the state governments, hence both central & state govts play key roles, and can regulate and operate in the electricity market.
So State Govt can decide on project capacity to be considered for net metering based on their due diligence and requirements.
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