Bowing to public sentiment, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission on Monday announced a correction in the billing exercise that will lower the monthly electricity bills by one per cent to 22 per cent for different categories of consumption.

The DERC has restored the consumption slabs to 0-200, 201-400 and 400 units and above and changed the per unit price of power in the slabs 201-400 and 400 and above.

“We have decided to do away with the 0-400 slab because consumers in this category were paying disproportionately high. The original slabs have been reverted to and the consumers in this category will see their monthly bills slashed by 15 per cent,” said DERC Chairman P. D. Sudhakar.

He said the changes will benefit the consumers as well as the power distribution companies. “Power bills for consumers in the 0-200 category will come down by about 22 per cent, but the companies will also not suffer because we have given them adequate reimbursement.”

The Commission had recently called for a public hearing to decide the issue of slab restoration, after widespread protests from consumers over inflated bills. After the DERC announced the new tariff order in June with a revision in slabs, the monthly power bills for consumers who used up to 400 units of power rose drastically.

Slapped with bills that were 30 to 60 per cent more than the previous bills, consumers demanded a rollback in the tariffs. The Commission had recently called a public hearing on the issuer, but after tempers ran high the hearing had to be suspended.

As per the revision consumers will now have to pay Rs. 3.70 per unit price for consumption between 0-200 units, Rs. 5.50 per unit for consumption between 201-400 and Rs. 6.50 for consuming 400 units and above. Earlier, consumers in the slab 0-400 were being asked to pat Rs. 4.80 per unit and for 400 and above per unit price was Rs. 6.40.

Consumers will continue to pay eight per cent surcharge on the total bill as was announced at the time of tariff announcement made in July. The revised tariff structure will be implemented retrospectively from July 1, 2012, and the arrears will be adjusted in future bills.

A section of residents’ welfare associations that have been in the forefront of the protests against the tariff hike dismissed the Commission’s claims that the decision will offer relief to consumers. “With this decision, the DERC has proved that there is no need to have a regulatory commission and the consumers are better off without one,” said Rajiv Kakria, of the GK I, RWA.

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