Power distribution company NDPL has sent out disconnection notices to about 3,000 consumers in its area of distribution in the Capital for using more electricity than their sanctioned load.
On inspecting the power consumption pattern of consumers, the company found about 4,000 consumers using power over four times their sanctioned load. Exceeding the sanctioned load is an offence and the law permits disconnection of supply for the transgression.
According to a senior NDPL official, notices were sent out to these 4,000 consumers -- industrial, high-end domestic and commercial -- asking them to have their sanctioned load increased and pay up the requisite additional security and fixed charges. “About 500 consumers wrote back saying that the increase was temporary and that they would revert to their earlier load sanctioned, another 500 wrote back saying that they are willing to pay up and increase the load. But 3,000 people chose to ignore the notice.”
Discom sources said consumers often draw more power than they are entitled to: “We have noticed that while consumers opt for a sanctioned load that allows them to run only so many appliances, over a period of time without increasing their load sanction, they keep adding appliances and drawing more power. It is a punishable offence, yet some consumers don’t want to pay the additional charges for increasing the load.”
The matter was reported to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission and the regulator instructed the discom not to increase the load suo motu; instead they will have to send out notices and disconnect the supply if the consumer fails to increase the sanctioned load.
The DERC also asked the discom to refund the security money deposited by consumers whose load was increased without the consumer’s consent. According to the regulator, the company can only inform the consumer and not take decisions. “We have a well-established formula based on which the consumer’s pattern of consumption can be deduced. We can find out when the consumer is using more than what he has sanction for. Earlier, a team would visit the houses and inspect point by point, ” said a NDPL official.
“As per DERC’s wishes we have now sent letters to the consumers and given them time,” he added.