Making electricity bills consumer friendly: a Tamil Nadu case study

Published in collaboration with the Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG), this case study explores the role of electricity bills in enhancing information disclosure practices of electricity distribution companies (discoms) and improving public participation in decision-making. It explores the case of Tamil Nadu, where a unique bill format ‒ the white meter card (WMC) – is used by the state’s discom to inform domestic consumers of their energy usage and applicable charges. The inferences are based on a survey and focused group discussions involving 250 consumers across nine districts, including Chennai, Vellore, Trichy, and Salem. Further, based on a review of bill formats used by 26 Indian utilities and on good practices from abroad, it proposes three new progressive and consumer-friendly model bill designs that can be adopted not just in Tamil Nadu, but in other states too.