Consumer Participation in Electricity Sector Regulation

About the Project

Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) has taken up the initiative to assess the quality and impact of consumer participation in electricity sector regulation process since promulgation of Electricity Act 2003 through evaluation of the regulatory decision making process in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

One of the fundamental tenets of the Electricity Act was establishment of an elaborate regulatory framework in India, with different levels of regulators at the State and National Levels. These regulators are supposed to be neutral arbiters between producers, consumers and the state entrusted to determine the most economically efficient tariffs and create operating rules, to meet the above stated goals of regulation.

It has also been noted that regulatory shortcomings centre on lack of commercial orientation of state government-owned utilities and inadequate consumer participation in the regulatory process. Unlike other shortcomings, there is huge dearth of research in consumer participation aspect and its benefits in India specific case. Henceforth, the reason for this lack of participation needs to be examined with reference to the constitution of consumer participation through the act, the process of participation and nature of outcomes.

Thus, the objective of the assignment is to evaluate the impact of consumer participation vis-à-vis the regulatory decision making process and propose relevant recommendations in case of shortcomings to encourage more participation.