The interim order was passed by DCDRF in relation to a case filed by VEDIC against Southco MD

Ganjam District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF) through an interim order directed power distribution company, Southco to stop collection of extra money from consumers through enhancement of contract demand for load without taking consent of consumers.

This stay order would continue till final decision of a case filed before the DCDRF. The DCDRF passed this interim order in relation to a case filed by Vivekananda Educational Institute for Citizens (VEDIC) against the Managing Director of Southco and Secretary of Department of Energy of Government of Odisha.

According to the petition filed by the VEDIC, the Southco authorities had enhanced the contract demand of load of all electricity consumers in Berhampur as well as Berhampur by one kilowatt. The private power distribution company had done this without knowledge of the consumers. With increase in contract demand for load by one kilowatt, the power distribution company had started collecting extra Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 in every electricity bill since June 2012. Although this amount was too less for the consumers, it was adding a large amount to the revenue of the Southco.

According to Satish Panigrahy, the adviser of Consumer Advice Centre (CAC), Berhampur, it was gross violation of Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission Distribution (condition of supply) Code 2004 and the Electricity Act. “As per the norms of the OERC no power distribution company was allowed to increase contract demand for load of electricity consumers on its own,” said Mr. Panigrahy.

The VEDIC activists had protested this move of Southco and demanded roll back of increase of contract demand for load of consumers by the Southco. After that on July 27 this year, the Southco authorities had come out with an advertisement. Through this advertisement the Southco authorities had asked consumers wanting to reduce their contract demand for load, to apply in writing. It was also protested by the consumer activists as well as VEDIC with the question that did the Southco call in for written requests from consumers to increase their contract demand for load.

The VEDIC had urged the DCDRF to intervene in the matter so that the money collected ‘illegally’ from the electricity consumers by the Southco through enhancement of contract demand for load could get returned to the consumers or could be used for any public purpose as directed by the DCDRF.

The DCDRF in its interim order ordered Southco to stop collection of extra amount towards increased contract demand for load till finalisation of the case.


  • This stay order will continue till final decision of a case filed before the DCDRF

  • With increase in contract demand for load by one KW, the Southco started collecting extra amount