Taking serious note of complaints regarding “average billing”, the MP energy department has ordered power distribution companies to address the complaints about meter reading at the ground level and ensure that there is no average billing in normal cases.
The three power distribution companies (discoms) have been directed that bills based on “average billing” should be issued only in cases where the consumer’s meter is defective or dysfunctional. Under normal circumstances, bills should be issued as per the meter reading.
The energy department had been getting complaints from across the state about meter reading, especially the fact that without meter reading, bills based on ‘average billing’ were being issued to them.
The principal secretary (energy) has said that if there are more complaints about billing in a particular region, then special camps should be held to address the issues of power consumers.
These camps are also to be organised in places and premises where many meters are dysfunctional.
As per the provisions of the Electricity Supply Act, average billing should be done when the meter is out of order.
The directive also says that in areas where meters are not installed, the drive to put up meters should be intensified.
The directive also says that in places where meters are out of order, action should be taken to replace the meters. Further, disciplinary action would be taken in case it was found that though meter was functioning, the consumer received bill on the basis of average billing.
“The direction has been issued in view of the complaints received from the power consumers about average billing,” said Manoj Dwivedi, senior publicity officer with the Central regional power distribution company.
What the law says
As per the provisions of the Electricity Supply Act, average billing should be done when the meter is out of order and normally, the bills should be issued as per the meter reading
The power dept has issues a directive saying that in areas where meters have not been installed, a drive to put up new meters should be intensified
Furthermore, in places where meters are out of order, action should be taken to replace the meters
Disciplinary action would be taken in case it was found that the consumer received bill on the basis of average billing despite functioning meters.