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"A Not for Profit Organisation set up in April 2010 with the belief in the conservation of Vasudha, which in Sanskrit means the Earth, the giver of wealth and with the objective of promoting sustainable consumption of its bounties"

A Handbook of Legal Options for Universal Service Obligation for the Energy Services in Rural India

Today 94% of urban households in India are electrified, whereas in rural India only 60% of households are electrified leading to more than 43% still using kerosene to light their homes. Is it just a matter of scale or is there lethargy in providing the basic minimum or is it an outright violation of a basic fundamental right?

This report not only sets the context of rural energy access and obligations of the state but also examines the various legal options that now exist to ensure that rural energy access becomes not just a matter of state largesse but a statutory obligation leading to a basic right of every Indian living in rural India.

10 Reader Friendly Tools

Click the links below to view the documents:

1) Reader Friendly Paper for USO_Status of Legal Obligations for Delivery of Energy Services to All
2) Reader Friendly Paper for USO_Status of Rural electrification status in India
3) Reader Friendly Paper for USO_Status of Rural electrification status in Jharkhand
4) Reader Friendly Paper for USO_Status of Rural electrification status in Nagaland
5) Reader Friendly Paper for USO_Status of Rural electrification status in Orissa
6) Reader Friendly Paper for USO_Status of Rural electrification status in West Bengal
7) Reader Friendly Paper for USO_Status of Rural electrification status in Bihar
8) Reader Friendly Paper for USO_Status of Rural electrification status in Uttar Pradesh
9) Reader Friendly Paper for USO_A quick overview of the USO Campaign
10) Reader Friendly Paper for USO_Case studies of successful decentralised RE Projects for energy access in India

Campaign on Universal Service Obligation

“The Campaign aims at getting the Central and state electricity regulators to issue an legally binding order, in which the concerned state electricity utilities/governments will have to comply with “Universal Service Obligation”, which is adequately defined, with time lines and milestones and the mile stones to incorporate some of the already existing provisions under the Electricity Act 2003, the National Electricity Policy 2005 and the Rural Electrification Policy 2006.  It will further mandate that the Universal Service Obligation will ensure quality and quantity of supply and further mandate that as far as possible, modern and clean and local sources of energy is made available to people. ”

The specific state electricity regulatory commission that we would be approaching as part of the campaign in addition to the Central Electricity Regulator are Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Nagaland

Why Regulatory Approach as the Key Approach?

As of now, it is the regulator who can provide a legal framework which would be mandatory for Electricity Utilities to comply. A legal framework which is robust and ensures compliance is what is required. As mentioned earlier, there are enough policy framework and non-mandatory framework, but these have not delivered on the results of ensuring USO in the electricity sector.

However, the campaign also has a very strong public mobilisation component and would reach out to various stakeholders in each of the target states and Delhi and try forge a united approach to plea for a regulatory mechanism

Please do watch this space for regular updates as the campaign unfolds.