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Home News Power Sector News Inflated power bills in Delhi - DERC instructs to pay only 30% more than 2008

Inflated power bills in Delhi - DERC instructs to pay only 30% more than 2008

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DERCBringing relief to consumers whose power bills for June, July and August were unusually high, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) passed an order to ensure that for these months, consumers be charged only 30 per cent higher than their bills for the corresponding period in 2008. The order comes 10 days after the DERC levied a hefty Rs 1.68 crore fine on BRPL — one of the BSES discoms — for failure to abide by grid discipline in June 2009.

According to the DERC order: “Since there is a possibility of inaccurate bills, the Commission considers it would be appropriate to charge consumers who have complained against high billing in the months of June, July, August, 2009, on a provisional basis.”

The Secretary, DERC, A K Tewary, said the order will apply to consumers who have lodged a complaint and who may complain now, provided their bills are 50 per cent or more higher than their 2008 bills. “Many consumers do not file complaints as it is too much of a hassle. The relief should be for all consumers whose bills show a significant hike,” said Pankaj Aggarwal, President, Joint Front of RWAs.

The more important issue, according to DERC, is the accuracy of meters. The DERC has initiated a two-fold arrangement. The Bangalore-based Centre for Power Research Institute will carry out independent testing of meters on the premises of consumers who have filed complaints. Also, both discoms have been advised to install additional check meters at such homes. The meters will remain in place till April 30, 2010, following which all data will be analysed to see if these are accurate. If they are not, the bills will be adjusted.

The DERC report, however, is based on investigations by the Standardization, Testing and Quality Certification report, which the BSES had earlier termed “inaccurate and inconclusive”. It is likely that the BSES may appeal against certain sections of the DERC order.

Another direction stipulates that in the future, the discom carry out a “pre- and post-audit check” before issuing bill which is 50 per cent higher than the one in the corresponding period of previous years.

Source- Indian Express

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