Tamil Nadu

‘Provide meters to levy commercial tariff for unsegregated facilities’

TNERC directs Tangedco not to take coercive steps

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has written to the Chairman and Managing Director of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) stating that the utility should provide separate meter/sub meter before charging commercial tariff for unsegregated common facilities like gymnasium, community hall and amphitheatre availed by the multi-tenement residential complexes.

It also asked the state utility to avoid coercive steps like bringing the entire usage under LTV (commercial) tariff or penalising under Section 135 of Indian Electricity Act for energy theft.

The move comes after a complaint by the Coimbatore Consumer Cause and other frequent complaints in this regard. On August 11, 2017 the TNERC approved a proposal by Tangedco to restrict supply under domestic tariff to common lighting, water supply and lifts in multi-tenements/residential complexes.

Other facilities such as gymnasium, community hall, amphitheatres etc shall be classified under the appropriate commercial category, viz LTV or HT III, depending on the voltage of supply, as per the approved proposal. “The TNERC had very clearly instructed that Tangedco should make metering/sub metering arrangements and the revised billing, i.e. commercial tariff to the specified common service, comes into force only after that,” K. Kathirmathiyon, secretary, Coimbatore Consumer Cause said.

However, he alleged, due to deliberate omission in communicating the requirement of metering/sub metering, field officers of Tangedco collected commercial tariff for all the units consumed, including domestic under commercial tariff.

Further, the tariff was collected right from 11/08/2017 retrospectively from a large number of apartments, Mr. Kathirmathiyon added.

In a few cases in Chennai, the officials booked consumers for energy theft for non-conversion to commercial tariff, he said.

In its letter, the TNERC noted that though segregation of electrical wiring for the said common usages lay with the consumer, the onus partially lay with the Tangedco with regard to metering.

Even though the time limit for electrical segregation was not prescribed in the tariff order, Tangedco could not take advantage of it, while consumers also needed to be given adequate time for segregation of usage, it added. Further, the regulator directed that “only if additional service connection is required by the owners/tenants, it shall be given and if only a meter (sub meter) is required to effect the additional service connection, service line charges shall not be collected from consumers.”

Mr. Kathirmathiyon said the apartments/multi tenement residential complexes who have paid the tariff with retrospective effect can demand the refund of the excess charges collected from them with interest as per Regulation 12(2) of Supply Code at the rate applicable for security deposit.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 11:51:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/provide-meters-to-levy-commercial-tariff-for-unsegregated-facilities/article30454489.ece

Next Story