Consumer organisation seeks TNERC intervention on electricity tariff for Coimbatore retirement communities

Picture used for representational purposes only. File

Picture used for representational purposes only. File

Residents of a few retirement communities in Coimbatore were in a shock recently as the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) issued notices asking the residents to pay commercial charges for electricity.

K. Kathirmathiyon, secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause, petitioned the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) Thursday against the notice.

Mr. Kathirmathiyon said the licensee, in the notice issued to a retirement community, claims that it is issuing the notice as per TNERC Tariff order dated August 11, 2017. The Tangedco issued the notice to the management of the community asking the senior citizens to pay commercial tariff for their domestic usage of electricity, he said.

The consumers were further ordered to change the tariff from domestic to commercial within a given date.They were also threatened that if they fail to do so, all those domestic connections would be automatically changed to Tariff V (Commercial) and the tariff change charges would also be recovered from them. “It is atrocious.The threatening action against senior citizen by the Licensee is strongly condemnable,” he said.

The retirement communities in Coimbatore are existing for several years and if the change in tariff is according to the 2017 order, the officials had not effected the changes since 2017. In fact, many new connections were given in such communities by Chief Engineer / Superintending Engineers under domestic tariff after 2017 too.

Mr. Kathirmathiyon, who is also a state advisory member of the TNERC, said the occupants of retirement communities in Coimbatore are all senior citizens and many of them are unable to take care of their basic, daily needs too. Hence, these are made available to the residents as a service. “The usage of power by the occupant of a premises is the criteria for determining the tariff...After following the tariff order of 2017 all these years, the consumers are targeted now,” he said.

The Tangedco should have referred the matter to the TNERC and acted based on the guidelines of the Commission.

Mr. Kathirmathiyon sought the intervention of the Commission. The TNERC should direct the licensee to not threaten consumers of these communities or charge commercial tariff for house services in the retirement communities, he said.

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Printable version | May 14, 2022 6:57:10 am |