MERC has directed power companies to show transparency in billing: CM Thackeray
On Monday, the power regulatory authority had issued directives to the utility firms because of a growing number of complaints.Updated: Jun 30, 2020 16:32 IST
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday tweeted that the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has directed power companies to show transparency in their billing procedures and redress consumer complaints immediately.
“Taking the stock of the rising number of consumer complaints related to exorbitant electricity bills, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has directed power companies to show transparency in its billing procedures and redress consumer complaints immediately,” Thackeray tweeted
On Monday, the power regulatory authority had issued directives to the utility firms because of a growing number of complaints.
MERC had stated that if a consumer’s bill is more than double of the average for the amount charged between March and May, then he would be given the option of paying it three equated monthly instalments (EMIs).
The regulator has also directed utility firms to “set-up a robust monitoring mechanism” such as a dedicated help-desk or a grievance officer at all sub-divisions and divisional offices to address queries from consumers within a day of their receipt. The power supply cannot be disconnected until consumers have been given the option of EMIs and their grievances redressed, MERC stated.
The reading of electricity metres has been suspended since the nationwide lockdown restrictions were enforced from March 25 to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
Consumers are being billed on the basis of an average consumption based on three months prior to March, or the winter season, when the consumption of electricity is typically low.
“The present bills raised on actual metre readings are of summer months, where the consumption is normally high and the bills are always of higher amounts,” MERC said.
However, thousands of consumers have complained that they have been charged two to three times their normal usage.