Electricity Consumers to be given a grace period to pay their bills
ECONOMYNEXT – Electricity consumers concerned at having to pay huge amounts because charges for the past two or three months have accumulated into your last month’s charges need not worry as they are being offered relief in the form of a grace period.
The grace period to pay the bills is in place and your power will not be cut until that period is over, a statement jointly signed by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) said.
The regulator says a new calculation will be done on a per month basis so that consumers do not lose on the concessionary rates applied for the first quantum of units every month.
The response from the power providers comes as consumers complained they could not pay such large bills and also that power consumed at concessionary rates should be calculated on a monthly rate and not for the entire amount that would take the concession away from the consumer.
The following recommendations are being implemented to calculate the bills in order to ensure the maximum relief possible in preparing the bills due during the quarantine curfew period,
All bills issued after the quarantine curfew and after the final reading of the meter will be issued on a monthly basis with a separate bill for each month, confirming the entitlement of the concessionary electricity tariff (proportional scheme).
The CEB and LECO will announce and notify all electricity consumers the grace period to pay the separate bills issued. Accordingly, there will be no power cuts due to unpaid bill payments until the relevant concessionary period and conditions are announced.
Since the time between the last reading and the next reading maybe a month or more, the bills will be calculated by dividing the total consumption (electricity units) into equal units for the same period (Confirming proprietary scheme or concessionary electricity tariff), then the total bill for power consumed by the user within a few months can be adjusted for each month in a reasonable manner.
In the meantime, in the case of some customers who may have already received an estimated bill without a meter reading, if there is a difference between the number of units in the estimated bill and the number issued after reading the meter, that difference will be revised after the next month bill reading.
Such amendments, if any, will be included in future bills and notified to the customer of such amendments.
Electricity connections will not be disconnected in the event of consumer complaints received regarding bills issued or future bills, the CEB and LECO will resolve such consumer complaints expeditiously, the statement says.
If the consumer does not agree with the solutions regarding their electricity bill complaints, the consumer can refer their problem to the PUCSL.
Example of the proportional method of confirming the ownership of relief electricity units:
If the electricity consumption is 120 units for a period of two months, the first 60 units will be charged Rs. 2.50 and the second 60 units will be charged at Rs. 4.85. Then the fixed rate for two months will be Rs. 120 with Rs. 60 for each month.
In this example, the consumer will be issued two bills separately for the two months since the bill is read after 2 months. Accordingly, the consumer will be issued to two bills of Rs. 280.50 each month. In addition, the customer will be informed of the grace period to pay these bills.
The following table shows how the fee will be charged from an electricity consumer who uses 60 units average for a month receives a two-month bill.
|For one month||Calculating the bill for two months at once|
|Unit group||No. of units||Per Unit Price||Price||Unit group||No. of units||Per Unit Price||Price|
|Monthly fixed price||60.00||Monthly fixed price||120.00|
|Total Price||280.50||Total Price||561.00|