Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), Ahmedabad has succeeded in getting a stay order on the illegal collection of Parallel Operation Charges demanded by Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Ltd (GETCO). CERS had filed a petition before Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) demanding the stay.

Paschim Gujarat Vij Co Ltd (PGVCL) on behalf of GETCO had issued notices to Industrial Consumers who had installed their own Captive Power Plants (CPPs) and opted for standby supply from GETCO. PGVCL cited a commercial circular that had already been quashed and set aside by the GERC.

Earlier, Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB) used to charge Parallel Operation Charges with the approval of State Government. But after constitution of the GERC, all powers related to electricity matters were transferred to the GERC. GETCO was thus directed to approach GERC for demand of Parallel Operation Charges for its approval.

GETCO had filed a petition before the GERC that is yet to be decided. GETCO and PGVCL taking shelter of mere admission of this petition, compelled industrial consumers to sign an undertaking during December 2007. Later GETCO/PGVCL started issuing notices to such consumers demanding huge amount as parallel operation charges with retrospective effect. Many consumers approached CERS and therefore CERS filed a petition.

The GERC has directed GETCO/PGVCL to refrain from collecting Parallel Operation Charges that is not yet approved by them and also warned not to disconnect the supply of such consumers till the final order is passed.

It is shocking that notices are issued by Divisional Offices under Section 24(1) of Indian Electricity Act-1910 that has already been repealed after enactment of the Electricity Act 2003. CERS has also urged that Electricity Companies should educate their staff on Electricity Act and the Rules and Regulations in it.

CERS has also demanded action and penalty under Section 142 of Electricity Act-2003 for illegal issue of notices and subsequent collection of parallel operation charges violating GERC Order.

Date : 11 July 2008

Place : Ahmedabad
Pritee Shah
Senior Director -CERC
Editor, INSIGHT - The Consumer Magazine

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