The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has directed the UT Electricity Department to give interest on security deposit or Advanced Consumption Demand (ACD) charges from the date of payment of security deposit by the consumer.
The commission has also told the Electricity Department to provide a list of manufacturers of prepaid meters, and develop a software and frame a policy for prepaid meters.
The order was issued following a petition filed by the Chandigarh Industrial Area Tenants’ Association.
Asserting that the decision would benefit 2.5 lakh electricity consumers, general secretary of the association B S Saini said the department had accepted ACD charges in three instalments from consumers and proper receipts had not been issued.
“The petitioner/consumers are entitled for interest on security deposit/ ACD Charges from the date of commencement of Electricity Act, 2003 or date of payment of security deposit by the consumer whichever is later. This commission therefore directs the respondent to pay interest at band rate on security deposit/ ACD Charges from the date of commencement of Electricity Act, 2003 or date of payment of security deposit by the consumer whichever is later,” says the JERC order.
The city residents have over the past few months complained about the electricity bills being doubled. The Electricity Department has been charging security which is an average of two months’ bill. This has led to much resentment among the city residents who have to pay hefty amounts. Several protests over the issue have also been held.
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The payment of ACD charges is not required for those who get prepaid electricity meters installed.
The JERC has further directed the Electricity Department to approve a list of manufacturers of prepaid meters, and develop a software and frame a policy for prepaid meters. The department would also be required to accept security deposit/ACD charges from the members of the association in the form of bank guarantee as per JERC electricity supply code.