Some consumers in Delhi may be delighted after receiving highly reduced monthly electricity bills which even amounted to Rs. 0, during the summer season.
However, power activists and RWAs claimed that there is a twist behind slashing of electricity bills and in the future consumers will need to pay much more.
As per the new guidelines of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), power companies can monitor power load of every household in the city for four consecutive months.
Further, these discoms are also allowed to reduce the power load of households which continuously use electricity up to 5 KW.
If discoms reduce power load of a consumer from the existing 5 KW to 3 KW, it has to adjust Rs. 600 per KW in the consumer’s upcoming bills. However, in this case, it’s the customer’s own money which is being adjusted.
“Those who have received reduced bills or bills to the tune of Rs. 0, need to understand that it is an adjustment of their own money which they had earlier deposited when their connections were installed. If power load of 5 KW is reduced to 2 KW, Rs. 1800 would be adjusted in the new bills,” said B S Vohra, president of East Delhi RWA joint forum and a power activist.
If the power load of a consumer is being reduced, he will receive a discount of Rs. 600 per KW as an adjustment for his own security money. However, if the power load increases, one needs to pay Rs. 1200 per KW, as per the new guidelines of DERC.
Initially, the DERC charged consumers Rs. 600 per kilowatt as security. According to its revised rates, electricity up to 2 KW will be offered at Rs. 600, while consumers will need to pay Rs. 900 as security charges for consumption between 2 KW to 5 KW.
Similarly, for consumption between 5 KW to 10 KW, the security fee has gone up to Rs. 1200.
Vohra claimed that the discoms have calculated power load of households during the winter season (October to January) when consumption remains pretty low.
Vohra said, “What will happen when electricity consumption will be calculated from the period between March to June. Will the discoms reduce electricity bills as they did after calculating the consumption pattern in winters?”
When City Spidey spoke to a senior official in BSES (one of the power discoms in Delhi), he said on the condition of anonymity, “We are following the guidelines prescribed by DERC.”
City Spidey also tried to contact DERC officials regarding their views on this issue, but received no response from them.