KSEB passes the buck to consumers

With complaints of ‘excessive power bills’ flooding the section offices of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), its officials are urging consumers to keep a tab on their power-use patterns.

Around 2,500 consumers have already approached board officials in the Ernakulam Circle with complaints of steep hike in their power bills for the past four months. The Ernakulam Circle office oversees power distribution and management of 7.37 lakh customers of Mattanchery, Thripunithura, Ernakulam central areas and North Paravur areas of the district.

Complaints varied from miscalculations in bills to steep hike in monthly power bills. While most of the customers preferred to approach section offices of the board in their respective areas, a few others sought clarification on power bills over telephone while some others emailed their complaints.

The miscalculation of power bills was caused by a software error in the hand-held billing device, which is being corrected. In some cases, the deduction of the bill amount that was earlier paid by the customers was not indicated in the bills, leading to confusion. Such errors would be rectified in the next bills, said S.R. Anand, Deputy Chief Engineer, Electrical Circle, Ernakulam. The increased day-time power consumption during the lockdown months had led to increased power bills in almost all the cases. For the majority of the consumers, power consumption had almost doubled. Since the declaration of the lockdown, people were forced to stay indoors. Watching TV, playing games in computers, cooking experiments using oven, watering of plants and farming were the pastime activities of people during these months. All through the day, fans and lights would be working and a large number of consumers chose to run their air-conditioners even during day hours, which resulted in increased power consumption, he said.

An analysis of the power consumption pattern in the State indicated that day-time power usage increased significantly during the lockdown months whereas it remained almost steady during the night hours, he said.

The cost of power per unit increases significantly when power consumption increases. Consumers could review their power consumption patterns for the past one year by logging on to the website of the board (www.kseb.in) and registering themselves by providing the consumer number, Mr. Anand said. “The board has attended to most of the complaints raised by consumers by explaining to them the consumption pattern,” he added.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 11:25:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kseb-passes-the-buck-to-consumers/article31846121.ece

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