HC seeks DERC response to plea on ‘unreasonable’ power bills

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New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to file its response to a petition that alleged power distribution companies are raising bills for unreasonable amounts in an arbitrary manner.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Rajendra Menon asked the DERC to file the response within four weeks on a public interest litigation filed by advocates Sanjana Gahlot and Hargyan Singh Gahlot.

The petitioners alleged that the central and state governments had failed to protect the rights of consumers despite having plenary powers in matters of tariff and others.

The plea sought amendment of Regulation 17(4)(i) of the DERC (Supply Code and Performance Standards) Regulation, 2017, Gazettee Notification dated August 17, 2017, for the purpose of taking the average of the demand values of all 12 months of the preceding year to calculate power bills.

These governments had failed to protect the interest of the consumers as only average of the maximum demand of four months is taken instead of all 12 months of the preceding year, the plea said.

“In Delhi, the power demand is low in winters and highest in summer months. Taking the average of four months is arbitrary and erroneous,” the petitioners said.

“As per the regulation, consumers are arbitrarily divided into two categories — one having load upto 5kW and other with load of more than 5kW in the last billing cycle of preceding financial year. For consumers in the first category, the power load is reduced automatically, but for the second category the load is not reduced as such,” the plea said.



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