Acting on the directives of the Public Grievance Commission (PGC) here, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has ordered all power distribution companies (DISCOMs) in the capital to pay interest on the security deposit of its consumers and adjust the additional amounts against future bills in all cases of change in electricity meter loads. The rate of interest has not yet been disclosed by the DISCOMS.
The sanctioned electricity meter loads which a consumer has to bear against one’s electricity usage is changed by DISCOMs from time to time on inspection, and a security amount is charged by them against the changed electricity meters, which goes up with the increase in the load capacity of the meters. The load depends upon the consumers’ consumption, and monthly fixed charges are also levied on consumers depending upon their meter capacity.
The issue came to light when an aggrieved consumer filed a complaint with the PGC in December last year. The complainant, Ramphal Singh, a carpenter, is a resident of Ambedkar Vihar. In his complaint, he had apprised the PGC about the “forcible” increase of his meter load by 4 KW by BYPL (BSES Yamuna Power Limited) officials, despite not seeking an increased load. The DERC also forced him to deposit an excess amount of Rs 6,000 against the new electricity meter load of 6 KW.
N. Dilip Kumar, member PGC and former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, while hearing the case observed that while the DISCOMs are paying an interest on the security deposit amount, in the case of load reduction, the interest over the excessive amount deposited with the DISCOMs is not being paid. Closing the matter, Kumar in his direction to the DISCOMs said, “The Commission is of the opinion that either the money should be returned or interest be paid on the withheld amount.” He had also asked the DERC chairman to look into the case, to which the DERC issued an order on 4 March to all DISCOMs to disburse interest on all security deposit amounts. In its order, the DERC said, “In cases of load reduction, the pro-rated security deposits are to be adjusted through subsequent electricity bills. However, the DISCOMs shall also adjust the interest accrued on the amount left with them at the interest rate specified on the security deposit.”
Singh said, “When the electricity office did not act on my complaints, I approached the PGC. Even after the PGC’s intervention, the BYPL hasn’t started disbursing even my principal deposit amount, let alone the interest. I have again written to BYPL, but have not yet got a response.”