In an order that is likely to spread resentment among domestic power consumers, Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has made single-point electricity connections mandatory for occupants of group housing complexes. The order, issued on January 9, will largely affect residents of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat, Palwal and Panchkula where large number of group housing complexes have come up in recent years. Under the single-point electricity connection system, electricity distribution companies will issue accumulated power bills of the entire housing society and no separate billing would be done.
"Under the single-point connection system, only one electricity connection will be given to a housing complex having 20 or more residential flats. The occupants of the flats will take branch connections from the main connection. The housing complex will be billed on the bases of reading of electricity meter installed on the single point connection. After receiving the collective bill generated by the discom, members of the housing complex will divide the amount as per their usage," said a discom official.
HERC has also asked the distribution companies - Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) and Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) - to ensure implementation of these orders in government controlled group housing complexes with immediate effect.
Distribution companies have also been asked to give two month to private group housing complexes carved out by private colonizers to implement it. HERC has also directed discoms to put up 'reference electricity meters' outside the complexes of those who don't opt for single source connections.
In his order, HERC chairman R N Prashar has justified the setting up of reference meters as a measure to monitor power distribution mechanism and electricity supply in premises that opt out of single point connections.
"Our aim is to ensure quality electricity supply with minimum aggregate technical and commercial losses. Discoms will take the reading of reference meters in presence of representatives of group housing societies. This will be compared with total consumption after meter reading in the housing complex. The society will have to pay the difference amount after deduction of 4% benefit of line losses," Prashar said.
However, the managements of cooperative group housing societies have announced to stage protests against the decision. B B Sharma, an office bearer of a cooperative group housing society in Sector 20, Panchkula, said, "This order has been forced on occupants of cooperative housing societies. By setting up of single-point connection, HERC has further armed discoms to harass occupants."
HERC had mooted the proposal of single-point electricity connections last year. The commission had attributed the move to problems faced by staff of distribution companies in reading of electricity meters installed outside flats of group housing complexes.