Scorching is the summer heat and more annoying is the haphazard outages imposed day and night by the authorities. But, even worse are the power bills being served by the Discom this season.
Power consumers, particularly those who have utilised over 200 units in a month, are reeling under the impact of recently raised power bills in April. Consumers paying about Rs.600 to Rs.700 per month two years ago, are now paying not less than Rs.1,500.
“I have got a bill of Rs.6,000 for April. This is huge even after considering the use of air-conditioner. Previous summer, we got a bill of only Rs.3,000 ,” says Narasimha Reddy, a consumer from Musheerabad. Needless to say, those using ACs are the worst-hit. Use of a single air-conditioner produced bills not less than Rs.2,500, while multiple ACs got bills over Rs.10,000. “Last year, I paid Rs.1,200 for April even after using AC. This year, I had to pay over Rs.2,800 for similar consumption. But the thought of having to pay at least half of it even after summer is draining on me,” says Ch. Harinath, from Kothapet.
According to the revised retail supply tariffs announced by the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC), consumers using up to 100 units will have to pay Rs.1.45 per unit for 50 units, and Rs.2.60 per unit thereof. Those with consumption up to 200 units will have to pay Rs.2.60 per unit for the first 100 units, and Rs.3.60 per unit for the rest.
The tariffs are harsh for consumers burning up over 200 units per month. Starting from Rs.2.60 per unit for the 50 units, they are gradually raised up to Rs.8.38 for consumption above 500 units. There are seven slabs in between, the difference between any two slabs ranging between 50 paise and Rs.1.15. “My consumption at 256 units has only marginally crossed the 200 mark because I don’t use an AC. Yet, I ended up paying about Rs.1,800 for April, while the previous bills were from Rs.600 to Rs.700. It is atrocious that even power austerity does not save you much,” fumes M. Suresh Pille from Madhapur.