Ghaziabad: Power dept issues notice to high-rises over ‘fudged’ bills
According to officials, the single point connection meter can record the bills in two different formats — kWH (kilowatt hours) and kilovolt ampere hours (kVAh). The kWH system has a higher rate of fixed charge and rate per unit than the KVAH systemnoida Updated: Jul 06, 2017 22:49 IST
Officials of the electricity department have served a notice to 250 high-rise buildings in the trans-Hindon region that have single point connections, seeking information on the rate at which consumers are billed and the rate at which bills were paid. Officials said that residents are being cheated in some instances as the bills can be prepared in two formats.
The notices have been served to high-rises that are being maintained either by the developers or the residents’ welfare associations. Officials said that consumers are being charged more.
The single point connections taken up by high-rises comprises individual connections that branch out to flats, whose owners pay through the prepaid recharge system. According to officials, the single point connection meter can record the bills in two different formats — kWH (kilowatt hours) and kilovolt ampere hours (kVAh).
“The tariff under the two formats is different. The kWH system has a higher rate of fixed charge and rate per unit than the KVAH system. It has come to light through complaints that residents are billed under kWH system while the bills are paid to the electricity department on kVAh system,” said SK Gupta, chief engineer, Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited.
According to officials, the kWH system has a fixed charge of Rs85 per kilowatt per month along with Rs5.5 per unit, while the kVAh system has a fixed charge of Rs76.5 and Rs4.95 per unit.
“The billing, if done in two formats, is to make profits. The owner of a single point connection (developer or RWA) can charge a maximum of 5% as profit as per norms but in many cases, the profit is more. Consumers are charged under the kWH system while the bills are submitted under the kVAh system,” Gupta said.
The chief engineer has asked superintending engineers of all circles to seek details of power tariff charged from residents and the rate at which the bill is submitted to the electricity department for the last six months. The officials said that henceforth, a single point connection having a load of above 10 kilowatts will mandatorily be billed under the kVAh system.
“As per the tariff guidelines, the owner of a single point connection has to inform residents every six months of the rate charged and the rate at which the bills are submitted to the electricity department. Also, the connection owner cannot deduct the amount due from customers for services such as water and maintenance from the flat owners’ prepaid meter balance,” Gupta said.
He said that the entire exercise is being taken up in the interest of residents so that they don’t end up paying a higher rate per unit. The connection owners have also been asked to submit their documents within 15 days, failing which the department may apply a penalty provision of Rs1 lakh with an additional charge of Rs6,000 per day.