Electricity Rules, 2020 amended, tariff to be 20% less during the daytime, 10%-20% higher during peak hours
New Delhi, June 23, 2023
The Government has amended Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules 2020 introducing the Time of the Day (ToD) tariff and rationalisation of smart metering provisions.
Under the ToD tariff, electricity rates will vary according to the time of the day. The tariff during solar hours (eight hours in a day as specified by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission) of the day will be 10%-20% less than the normal tariff, while the tariff during peak hours will be 10 to 20% higher.
ToD tariff would be applicable for Commercial and Industrial consumers having maximum demand of 10 KW and above, from April 1, 2024, and for all other consumers except agricultural consumers, from April 1, 2025.
Time of Day tariff will be made effective immediately after the installation of smart metres for the consumers.
Union Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh said ToD is a win-win for consumers as well as the power system. “ToD tariffs comprising separate tariffs for peak hours, solar hours and normal hours, send price signals to consumers to manage their load according to the tariff. With awareness and effective utilisation of the ToD tariff mechanism, consumers can reduce their electricity bills. Since solar power is cheaper, the tariff during solar hours will be less, so the consumer benefits. During non-solar hours, thermal and hydropower as well as gas-based capacity is used. Their costs are higher than that of solar power. This will be reflected in the Time of Day Tariff. Now consumers can plan their consumption to reduce their power costs – planning more activities during solar hours when power costs are less.”
The toD mechanism will also ensure better grid integration of Renewable Energy sources thereby facilitating a faster energy transition for India. “The ToD tariff will improve the management of renewable generation fluctuations, incentivise demand increase during the periods of high RE generation hours and thereby increase grid integration of larger quantity of renewable power,” he added.
Most of the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) have already implemented ToD tariffs for the large Commercial and Industrial (C&I) category of consumers. With the installation of smart metres, ToD metering at the domestic consumer level will be introduced as per Tariff Policy mandate.
The Government has also simplified the rules for smart metering. To avoid inconvenience/harassment of the consumers, the existing penalties for an increase in consumer demand beyond the maximum sanctioned load/demand have been reduced. As per the amendment in the metering provision, post-installation of a smart meter, no penal charges will be imposed on a consumer based on the maximum demand recorded by the smart meter for the period before the installation date. The load revision procedure has also been rationalised in a way that maximum demand shall be revised upwards only if the sanctioned load has been exceeded at least three times in a financial year.
Moreover, smart meters will be read remotely at least once a day and the data shared with Consumers to enable them to take an informed decision about the consumption of electricity.
The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 were notified by the government on December 31, 2020, based on the conviction that power systems exist to serve consumers and that consumers have the right to get reliable services and quality electricity.
The Rules seek to ensure that new electricity connections, refunds and other services are given in a time-bound manner and that willful disregard for consumer rights results in the levying of penalties on service providers and payment of compensation to consumers.