Maharashtra government directs power companies to resolve bill complaints immediately

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 30, 2020

Residents of housing societies are hoping for relief as their monthly electricity bills get inflated when they are clubbed with miscellaneous expenses

Citizens had taken to Twitter in distress after receiving higher-than-average electricity bills

The Maharashtra government has directed power companies to show more transparency in billing procedures and redress consumer complaints immediately.

Earlier this week, Mumbaikars had taken to Twitter in distress after receiving higher-than-average electricity bills.

The Maharashtra Chief Minister’s office on Tuesday said the State government had taken stock of the situation and was working to resolve consumer issues.

“Taking stock of the rising number of consumer complaints related to exorbitant electricity bills, (the) Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has directed power companies to show transparency in its (sic) billing procedures and redress the consumer complaints immediately, “ the Maharashtra CMO tweeted.

People across the city complained of exorbitant electricity bills amid the lockdown. The issue remained the same for netizens and celebrities alike.

“3 months of lockdown and I wonder what appliance(s) I have newly used or bought in the apartment only last month to have such an insane rise in my electricity bill. @Adani_Elec_Mum what kind of POWER r u charging us for?’ actress Tapsee Pannu tweeted.

Meter reading

Power companies have denied inflating bills and have attributed the exorbitant bill amounts to increased usage and lack of meter reading amid lockdown.

Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd (AEML) in a statement said: “We have re-started physical meter reading which was temporarily halted since March because of Covid-19. Bills were generated on the lower side, being an average of the preceding three months (December, January and February), which are winter months.”

The spokesperson added that the actual consumption in April, May and June is comparatively high due to seasonal impact. Furthermore, the consumption has also increased this time around as more people have been mandated to work and study from home.

The power company also added that the bills will be adjusted after an actual meter reading and the amount paid so far on estimated bills will be credited or added to user’s bills accordingly.

Tata Power and State-run Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) issued similar statements on the issue.

“Post Unlock 1.0, we have resumed meter reading activity and bills are being generated based on actual readings. The final bill is raised after adjusting consumption and bill amount as per the estimated bills raised in the interim period,” Tata Power said as quoted by a media report.

“Our meter readers have started visiting residential areas to note down readings. This will take into account the consumption from March to May. People have been billed less as no meter readings were taking place during this period. People were charged on an average basis. But now the bill will be higher,” said MSEDCL.

Earlier this week, Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut had denied any misdoings from power companies and said the issues arose as the companies were unable to conduct meter readings.

Published on June 30, 2020

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