MSEDCL offers 2% discount on lump sum bill paymentUpdated: Jun 30, 2020 23:49 IST
Consumers who pay their June bill in a lump sum will get a discount of 2%, state energy minister Nitin Raut announced in a press conference on Tuesday. Additionally, he said that if Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) consumers pay even 1/3rd of their bill, supply will not be disconnected and they will have the facility to pay their bills in three instalments.
“Those who have already paid their bills in total will also get a 2% discount,” Raut said. The state announced these incentives following thousands of complaints registered by consumers regarding inflated bills.
Raut said that consumers can also register their complaints by writing to email@example.com or call, WhatsApp or SMS on 9833567777 and 9833717777. “The complaints will be resolved immediately. We are reaching out to consumers by arranging meetings in societies, via local radio, webinars, sending messages, and even on Facebook Live,” the minister said. Consumer grievance cells have also been set-up at all divisions to address queries.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray tweeted that the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has directed power companies to show transparency in their billing procedures and redress consumer complaints immediately.
Following a rising number of complaints, the power regulatory authority issued directives to the utility firms on Monday. In a statement released on Monday, MERC said that if one’s bill is more than double the average for the amount charged from March to May, consumers should be given the option of dividing the payment into three monthly instalments. It has also asked utility firms to “set-up a robust monitoring mechanism” like a dedicated help-desk or a grievance officer at all sub-divisional 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 are redressed, MERC stated.
Owing to the lockdown, actual meter reading was disconnected in March-end, following which consumers were billed on average consumption based on three months prior to March 2020, which were winter months. Utilities started actual meter reading in June, following which consumers were sent bills based on actual consumption in March, April, and May, which were summer months, and also when people stayed home owing to the lockdown, the companies stated.