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electricity sector: the Center modifies the rules to postpone the use of diesel generators in cities in 5 years

The government has changed rules requiring electricity distribution companies to supply electricity 24/7 in metros and major cities to deter diesel generation in five years. State regulators were asked to give a trajectory in this regard.

The Union Department of Energy has issued a Gazette Notice to change the Electricity (Consumer Rights) Rules 2020 over concerns about rising pollution levels.

“In view of the increasing level of pollution, particularly in metros and cities of 1,00,000 or more inhabitants, the holder of the distribution license must ensure an uninterrupted power supply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all consumers, so there is no need to run diesel generators. ”, reads the notification published on Saturday.

The rules state that consumers, who use diesel generators as essential backup power, must strive to switch to cleaner technologies such as renewable energy with battery storage and the like within five years from the date of entry into force of these rules or in accordance with the deadlines given by the State Regulatory Commission.

The rules required distribution companies to expedite the process of temporary electrical connections to consumers for construction activities or any temporary use no later than 48 hours. In the event that the increase in the distribution system is necessary, it may take seven days. “This will prevent any use of diesel generators for temporary activities in the area of ​​the distribution license holder,” the rules say.

“Although the direction is negative for diesel generator sales, continued power shortages may lead to higher sales in the medium term,” said Mohit Kumar, senior vice president of DAM Capital.

The gazette came at a time when many states across the country, including industrial hubs like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, are facing power outages due to high electricity demand.