The authorities want to protect you from electric shocks at home.
The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has made it mandatory for households to install a device that switches off power supply automatically the moment there is leakage of electricity — someone getting an electric shock, for instance.
Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (ELCB) is a simple device that detects even a small “current to earth” (earth leakage) on one’s premises and automatically disconnects the electricity supply to the premises / equipment, preventing mishaps.
Every new connection with a sanctioned load of 5 kilowatt (KW) or above will need to install this device as a pre-condition for getting electricity.
A typical household with an air-conditoner, refrigerator, computer, cooler, washing machine and the like generally has a 5 KW connection.
For the existing consumers without this device, discoms will decide on some timeframe so that people can get this installed. Failing compliance, there is provision for disconnection as well.
The discoms will be of no help in terms of installation though. Residents will have to get the ELCB fixed by calling an electrician. A typical ELCB costs less than Rs 1,000 and is installed in the main circuit board.
“It is a small price to pay for safety,” said Ramesh Narayan, CEO of BSES Yamuna Power Limited, which supplies to east Delhi. “In the West it is a common feature. And even in Mumbai and Bangalore, this device is common.”
Another useful benefit of installing an ELCB is that it also detects faulty and intermixing of internal wiring. On detection, the ELCB immediately trips, thus preventing potential wastage of electricity and accidents.
Under Section 61 A of the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956, it is mandatory for all consumers, having an electricity load of 5 kW and above, to have an ELCB installed at their premises.