“Summer electricity consumption should have been the basis of average bills” | Nagpur News
Excerpts from an interview…
Q. There is huge dissatisfaction among consumers with high electricity bills. Does the MSEDCL issue inflated electricity bills?
A. That is not the case. The bills are not inflated but are the accumulation of three months of consumption. The MSEDCL made a mistake by calculating the average summer bills on the basis of winter consumption. He should make the estimate based on past summer bills. The MSEDCL issues invoices for the months of March, April and May on the basis of average consumption for the months of December, January and February. Consumption during the winter months for domestic consumers is the minimum. Let’s say the three-month average consumption was 200 units. In March, consumption increased to 350 units due to the use of fans and coolers. In April and May, the utilization was 500 units due to the use of air conditioners and chillers. The total summer consumption was therefore 1,350 units. However, the MSEDCL only issued invoices for 200 units, or 600 units for the summer. This means that 750 units have not been charged and have accumulated. When the reading was taken in June, the month’s reading plus the accumulated 750 units brought the total to over 1,000 units and people were billed over Rs 15,000. Naturally, consumers are shocked and feel cheated. If average bills had been issued on the basis of consumption in the summer of 2019, there would be no or very few cumulative units and therefore no surprise bill.
Q. Many consumers feel that the MSEDCL should have taken action during the lockdown period. It would have avoided all the mess. Your point of view on the matter.
A. When the confinement was announced in March, the atmosphere was not conducive to reading. People would not allow meter readers to enter their premises.
Q. The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) says the tariff has been reduced from April 1, while Energy Minister Nitin Raut says it has increased. what is the truth?
A. The tariff has increased for low-end domestic consumers, but has been reduced for those consuming around 1,000 units. MERC has increased fixed fees, which has affected all consumers.
Q. Have rooftop solar consumers suffered from mismanagement by MSEDCL?
A. The MSEDCL has just read the net meters. The reconciliation for 2019-20 will be based on this reading. We will soon know if the MSEDCL has done its job well.
Q. What is the best possible solution to end this mess?
A. MSEDCL should give six interest-free payments to consumers. MERC should auto motu authorize MSEDCL to take out a working capital loan in the market to meet the loss due to late payment of bills.