Not happy with distcoms, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has empowered the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) in Bangalore as a third party to test faulty meters.
So whenever consumers complain to the power department's Public Grievances Cell about suspected faulty meters, the cell would get the CPRI to get the meters checked.
"It is in the interest of consumers to have a third party to scientifically ascertain whether their meters are running fast. The third party will be impartial," DERC secretary Amarendra Tewari said.
The CPRI will be testing meters as per the BIS norms for both laboratory as well as on-site conditions. The accuracy levels of meters tend to differ in two conditions owing to various factors like voltage fluctuations, temperature, etc.
Earlier this year, the commission had authorised Delhi's Electronics Regional Tests Laboratory as the third party testing authority. "ERTL's charges were between Rs 750 and 2000, which were quite steep. CRPI, on the other hand, will be doing this at lower than Rs 750. So meter testing charges, too, will go down a lot," Tewar said.
The DERC has said distcoms will bear the charges if their results are within the specified limits but CPRI finds them beyond limits. Alternatively, if results of testing by distcoms are found to be beyond limits and CPRI finds them to be within the limit, the distcoms will have to pay.
On the other hand, in case the consumer does not trust the distcoms’ test results and the CPRI finds that the distcoms' results were actually correct, then the consumer would have to bear the charges of testing, the commission directed.
The Public Grievance Cell of Delhi Transco is flooded with meter-related complaints everyday.
Consumers say digital meters run faster. Distcoms, however, deny this, saying the digital meters registered every watt consumed, unlike the electro-magnetic meters.