In a major relief to consumers, Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has said that in case a meter was installed outside the premises of a consumer, he would not be held responsible for damage or theft to the apparatus or tampering with the seal.
The commission has amended the 'supply code' regulations after it came to notice that although the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) had installed meters outside premises of consumers, theft cases were registered if seal was found broken or tampered with although the meters were not in his/her custody.
A notification has since been issued to insert the clause that in case the meter was installed outside the consumer's premises, he would not be held responsible for damage to the meter or theft or tampering with the seal.
In the same notification, another clause has been amended wherein it has been provided that in case the cost of burnt meter was charged on the consumer, he must be provided with a investigation report attributing reasons for the damage.
A third amendment has been made for calculating the penalty in case of 'unauthorised use of electricity' (UUE). The penalty under UUE is charged if consumer is found to be using some load for other purpose(s) or has extended the supply to other premises. In such cases, the PSPCL was charging penalty on the total load but now onwardsd it would charge only for the unauthorised load.
Henceforth, the area lineman and junior engineer concerned would be liable to protect the pillar boxes to ensure no damage was done to meters. Most of times the PSPCL employees didn't seal the pillar boxes in which meters were installed outside the house.
Amended clause 21.2 of supply code
The licensee may require a meter to be installed outside the premises of a consumer and in such an event, the entire cost of installing the meter outside the premises and providing a display unit within the premises will be borne by the licensee. However, the cost of display unit will be treated as part of the meter cost while determining meter rentals. The display unit may not be installed by the licensee if the consumer so opts. In such an event, monthly rentals on this account will not be levied. In a case where the meter/metering equipment is installed by the licensee outside the premises of a consumer, the consumer will not be responsible for the protection of the meter from theft or damage to the seals/meter or tempering of the seals /meter."