Harsher measures to be taken against power thieves


Berjinder Singh,
Chairman, Delhi
Electricity Regulatory
New Delhi, India — (METERING.COM) — August 6, 2007 – The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is making changes to existing laws covering theft of revenue, after the passing of the recent amendments to the 2003 Electricity Act.

The changes that will be made to the Delhi Supply Code and Performance Standards Regulations include a provision that distribution companies may disconnect electricity supply immediately whenever it appears that customers are stealing power. Up until now distribution companies had first to replace the existing meter with a new meter whenever it suspected that theft was occurring, and a court order had to be obtained before a customer could be disconnected. Once the new laws have been promulgated, distribution companies will be allowed to disconnect customers straight away, although they will still be required to report the theft to the police within 24 hours of disconnection.

The DERC is also considering changes to the tariffs levied for provision of service lines and development, which are presently being paid by all consumers – whether or not their area has been electrified. The money received is used to improve existing infrastructure. The DERC believes that in certain cases consumers should only pay the service line charge, not the development charge, and it plans to rationalize its practices accorodingly.