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Industrial and non-domestic power consumers of Delhi get relief in bills raised during Covid-19 lockdown

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on May 06, 2020 Published on May 06, 2020

Existing provisional bills to be revised while considering nil consumption during lockdown period

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has given relief to non-domestic and industrial consumers in the national capital from high bills during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Electricity bills raised on these consumers during the lockdown would now consider consumption as ‘Nil’ and only account for fixed charges after this significant order.

“The electricity consumers of industrial and non-domestic tariff category have reported that they are facing difficulty as the provisional bills raised by the distribution licensee are on much higher side being based on the readings of corresponding period of previous year,” the DERC order said.

Issues

The DERC order said that the actual consumption of such units/establishments is almost nil or negligible because of closure of units due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic and the government directives in this regard.

To address this high billing issue, the DERC said that the provisional bills shall be raised only for the fixed charges and associated applicable charges while considering the energy consumption as nil. The existing provisional bills on these consumers, raised from April 24, 2020, that have not considered electricity consumption as nil will now be revised.

“For industrial and non-domestic category of electricity consumers, the provisional billing shall be resorted to only in those cases where the meter of the consumer could not be read by the distribution licensee during the billing cycle, otherwise the distribution licensee shall raise the bill based on actual consumption of electricity recorded by the meter,” the DERC said.

In case the consumer furnishes the meter reading, along with the picture of the meter indicating the meter reading and date of meter reading through registered mobile or through e-mail, the billing shall be done based on that reading, the DERC said. This billed amount will be subject to an adjustment (accounting for higher or lower consumption) when the meter is actually read or recorded by the power distribution companies.

Pressure on Delhi government

Pressure has been building on the Delhi government from across the political spectrum to give relief to consumers who have got huge electricity bills on account of unmetered billing. These provisional bills payable in May were being raised in compliance to the DERC directives issued in early April. Commercial consumers were complaining that these bills do not reflect actual power consumption as their shops remained closed for most of the month

BusinessLine reported on May 3 that consumers are complaining of electricity bills not reflecting actual consumption and that small businesses were the worst hit.

Published on May 06, 2020
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