Langjophakha, Ludrong Lam 3, Thimphu
9am – 5pm
News & Announcement
CORRIGENDUM – May 28, 2021
With reference to vacancy announcement published on BEA website on 17 May 2021, please note the following amendments.
The written examinations will not be conducted ….
Handbook on Electricity Service Standard
Pursuant to Part 2 of the Electricity Act of Bhutan 2001, the Bhutan Electricity Authority (or called herein as BEA) is established as an independent electricity regulatory agency with the following functions:
- Develop regulations on performance standards, technical safety and electricity tariff determination;
- Issue licences and monitor licensees for compliances;
- Determine electricity tariff;
- Prescribe fees;
- Impose fines and sanctions to licensees; and
- Settle disputes between licensees and between licensees and customers.
In accordance to the authority granted by the Electricity Act of Bhutan 2001, BEA has issued licences to:
- The Druk Green Power Corporation Limited (or DGPC) for generation of electricity from Chukha hydropower plant, Tala hydropower plant, Kurichu hydropower plant and Basochhu hydropower plant;
- The Bhutan Power Corporation Limited (or BPC) for operation of transmission and distribution systems and carrying out supply services in the country; and
- Hydropower construction projects in the country.
As a part of regulating the performance standards of BPC in electricity distribution and supply services, BEA has developed and issued Distribution Code Regulation (or called herein as Regulation) in the year 2008. The Regulation contains both operating standards for electricity distribution system and service standards for electricity supply to customers. As the service standards for electricity supply to customers are very important, BEA has prepared this Handbook, containing summary extracts of relevant provisions of the Regulation on electricity supply service standards for easy-use of the customers.
Therefore, summary extracts of the Regulation on service standards for electricity supply to customers are laid down in this Handbook as provided herein.
1. Condition of Supply
In order to avail the power supply from distribution system, the customer has to submit an application and execute the connection agreement with BPC. The connection agreement should contain the connection details including technical and commercial arrangements and site responsibility schedule of the parties.
The consumers connected at voltage level of 66kV and above are called as high voltage (HV) consumers. The connection points and boundaries between the electrical installation of HV consumers and distribution system of BPC shall be clearly indicated in the connection agreement. Similarly, the medium voltage (MV) consumers connected at voltage level of 6.6kV or 11kV or 33kV shall have their metering, connection point and boundaries aspects clearly indicated in the connection agreement. On the other hand, the low voltage (LV) consumers, generally residential houses, will be supplied power at 230V (single phase) or 400V (three phase) and their points of connection and boundaries with the distribution system shall be clearly specified as per the supply term and condition of BPC.
All electrical installation of the consumers, including their protection and metering system and insulation levels, connected to the distribution system should be designed, installed and commissioned as per the approved standards.
BPC and customers shall comply with all the conditions of power supply. Where BPC becomes aware of its failure to comply with the power supply conditions that has significant implication, it shall inform the customer at the earliest but not later than 5 days and undertake investigation within 20 days. Similarly, if BPC becomes aware of a non-compliance of a customer, which is of significant nature, BPC shall inform the customer on details of non-compliance and its implication, and notify the customer to comply within the period specified by BPC. Failing to rectify the breach by a customer within the specified timeframe may lead to disconnection of their power supply. In general, BPC will disconnect the power supply to the customer on following reasons:
a) Non-compliance to the condition of supply;
b) Health and safety issues (10 days prior notice will be issued to eliminate the potential danger, and failure to do so will invite another 5 days advance notice for intention to disconnect);
c) Upon consumer’s request (request has to be at least 5 days in advance by consumer); and/or
d) Any unauthorized or tampering of power supply.
2. Asset Management
For good performance of electricity distribution and supply system, the distribution system assets have to be properly managed. Therefore, BPC is required to assess and record the nature, location, condition and performance of its distribution system assets, and develop and implement plans for timely acquisition, maintenance, refurbishment and disposal of the assets. A distribution performance report containing historical information on performance of their asset and forecasted demand for next five years is required to be developed by BPC annually and provide to BEA.
The customers shall endeavor to ensure safe protection of their own electrical installation and power supply system of the BPC located within the premise of the customer. The customer shall also provide convenient and unhindered access in their premise to authorized employees of BPC to carry out works associated with power supply, metering and billing of electricity, and/or inspection or testing of consumer’s electrical installation.
3. Distribution Operating Code
For a better power supply services, the power distribution system has to be operated as per approved technical standards. Therefore, while operating the medium voltages of distribution system (6.6kV, 11kV, 33kV) the voltage variation has to be maintained within 10% limit. Similarly, the low voltage (230V, 400V) operating variation limits should be maintained at 6%. The operating frequency of the distribution system should also be maintained between 49 to 50.5 Hz and the power factor should not be less than 0.85. Therefore, the consumer’s electrical installation connected to the distribution system of BPC should be also operated within the approved technical operating norms of the distribution system.
To minimize the frequency and duration of power outages in the distribution system, BPC is required to plan and coordinate the outages with the transmission system and the consumers. The outage program of BPC should contain identification of distribution lines and equipments, time, date and duration with the quantum of load curtailment. Where required, BPC shall convene meeting with consumers (HV and MV consumers) to discuss the outage plan. BPC is also required to develop contingency procedure for restoration of supply and the strategy for load shedding. The consumers shall cooperate with BPC in the event of load shedding or contingency.
For measurement of correct energy sales and purchases, appropriate operational and/or other commercial energy meters shall be installed at the connection points between the consumers’ installation and the distribution system. While operating and maintaining their respective electrical installations, BPC and consumers shall always ensure electrical safety, and where necessary, they shall designate suitable representative for safety coordination.
4. Guaranteed Service Levels
BPC is required to maintain their standards of performance in relation to power supply services as specified in this chapter and the time limits mentioned herein refers to the maximum limit for performing their activities under normal circumstances. Any failure to maintain the specified standards of performance will result in liability to BPC for payment of compensation to customers.
BPC will be required to pay compensation of Nu.100 per week or part thereof to customers if the variations exceed the limits provided in the table below owing to reasons within their control.
|Supply Parameter||Voltage Level /Frequency||Limits of Variation|
|Low Voltage||230V and 400V||±6%|
|Medium Voltage||6.6kV, 11kV,33kV||±10%|
|Frequency||50 Hz||49.0-50.5 Hz|
The maximum period for providing new power supply connection in different scenario is provided in the table below. Exceeding this maximum period under normal circumstance shall require BPC to pay a compensation of Nu.100 per week or part thereof.
|New Supply Connection||Communication of charges from date of initial application||Installation of supply from the date of complete application|
|From existing distribution network||Within 15 days||Within 30 days.|
|Where extension of distribution system is required||Within 60 days||Within 3 months|
|Where a new substation is required||Within 60 days||Within 1 year|
The following table displays the maximum period within which power supply needs to be restored by BPC in different situations. Unable to restore the power within the maximum period provided below in the table under normal circumstance will entail BPC to pay compensation of Nu.100 per day or part thereof.
|Outage reasons||In Urban Areas||In Rural Areas|
Underground cable faults
|Day of the receipt of complaint||Days of the receipt of complaint|
In normal circumstance, the planned or scheduled outage/maintenance of distribution system of BPC cannot be more than 12 hours on any day.
The power supply of customer that has been already disconnected owing to non-payment of bills shall be reconnected within 1 day in urban areas and 2 days in rural areas upon realization of all due amounts, provided the disconnection period was less than six months. However, if the power supply disconnection period exceeds six months, the application for reconnection will be treated as new application upon settlement of the disputes or due amounts.
BPC shall ensure to keep their appointment with customer as agreed and shall not fail to attend the appointment unless there is a valid reason. Failing to keep the appointment in good faith without valid reason would result to compensation payment of Nu.50 for each instance of default. Similarly, failing to read energy meters of every consumer at least once in every 3 months would result to compensation payment of Nu.100 per month or part thereof by BPC to a customer. On closure of consumer account, BPC shall repay all outstanding amounts to the consumer within 30 days from the date of receipt of application. Non-adherence to this requirement will result to compensation of Nu.100 per week or part thereof.
As part of consumer services, BPC shall make available to the consumer upon request the terms and conditions of supply with prevailing tariff schedule on payment of reproduction charges by customer. BPC shall also provide service center in every specified supply area and should be open for minimum of 8 hours a day on weekdays for essential services and collection of bills.
In order to measure the power reliability of their distribution system, BPC is required to determine their reliability indices (SAIFI, SAIDI and CAIDI). However, while calculating the reliability indices, following interruptions will not be accounted:
- Scheduled or planned outage;
- Momentary interruptions of less than three minutes;
- Outage due to failure of grid;
- Outage due to reasons beyond the control of BPC such as cyclone, storm, flood, etc.
Based on the indices calculated by BPC, BEA shall determine the reliability standard. However, BPC may request for relaxation of guaranteed service levels stating their reason.
Where BPC finds that it has failed to meet the standard of performance as specified above either on its own knowledge or upon written claim filed by the affected consumers, compensation as determined by BEA in above, shall be paid by BPC to the customer within 30 days from the date of claim. However, the claim for compensation received after 60 days from the date of rectification of deficiencies will not be entertained.
The customers entitled for the compensations may submit their claim to the nearest customer service centers or supply area office of BPC within the prescribed duration. Failure of BPC to pay the compensation to customers shall be considered as a dispute and affected party may lodge complaint to BEA in writing. Upon receiving complaint, BEA shall carry out preliminary review for admission or rejection of the case. The admitted case of dispute shall be dealt in accordance to the procedure set out in the Dispute Resolution Procedure 2009 of BEA.
5. Information Exchanges
Exchange of information between BPC and consumers relating to power supply is essential for proper planning and operation of the power distribution and supply system. As a part of information exchange, BPC is required to provide Customer Charter to each HV and MV consumers on request or once in every five years or upon new connection of consumers, containing all rights, entitlements and obligations of BPC and that of customer on matters relating to electricity supply. BPC is also required to inform all its low voltage customers at least 2 days in advance through appropriate media for all planned interruption of the power supply.
Similarly, consumers should provide to BPC the details of their load connected or planned to be connected to the distribution system. The consumers must also provide prior information to BPC regarding the consumer’s plan on the change of wiring or equipment that might have impact to quality of electricity supply. Upon request, BPC shall provide with reasonable information on its requirements to consumers for connection of consumer’s proposed electrical installation.
6. Accident and Incident Reporting
All accident occurred in the distribution and supply system or in connection to use of power system shall be reported by BPC to BEA. BEA shall, where necessary, depute electrical inspectors to inquire and report on accidents.
BPC shall submit preliminary report to BEA on all major incidents resulting in substantial interruptions to service or damage to the equipment within one week of its occurrence followed by detail report within one month. The significant incidents may include major breakdown of distribution system resulting in continuous 12 hours supply service interruptions or more or major breakdown of lines, cables or equipment. The consumers shall also provide information to BPC regarding any major incident occurring in their system.
7. Contact Details
For any further information or clarification on service standards of power supply, the interested person may contact the office of BEA Secretariat on the following address:
The Bhutan Electricity Authority Secretariat
Building No. 45A
Post Box No. 1557
PABX: 02-327317 (ext.103)
Tele Fax: 02-329952
Disclaimer: The purpose of this Handbook is to educate the electricity customer on the electricity service standard of the Distribution Code Regulation 2008. This Handbook, therefore, is not a legal document and the Distribution Code Regulation 2008 should be referred for any issues or disputes relating to electricity service standards.