The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on Friday said consumer complaints against high electricity bills sent by Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd (AEML) to be genuine.
MERC has also appointed a fact-finding committee to investigate the matter and they will observe the bill of Adani Electricity for the current month.
“The commission has appointed a two-member fact-finding committee to look into the reasons for the sudden upsurge in consumption/ other reasons which might have led to increase in electricity bills in Mumbai and the recommended corrective steps to ensure that such incidents don’t recur, MERC said.
In a press conference held in Mumbai, MERC said that over 1 lakh customers of Adani electricity had reported hikes of at least 20 percent in their billing amounts. On the December 4, MERC had taken suo moto cognisance of the matter and sent a notice to Adani electricity, giving the company 24 hours to respond.
While the contents of that response are still confidential, Adani transmission had alleged that the tariffs were higher due to a combination of factors including an increase in tariffs by the MERC. However, the MERC had taken objection to this, stating that the rise in billing amounts as per media reports was not proportionate to the increase in tarriffs.
Adani electricity is providing multiple options for customers to get their concerns addressed, including a 24/7 helpline number and eight dedicated centres in Mumbai, the company told CNBC-TV18.
Ever since AEML took over Mumbai’s power circle in August from the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), consumers have taken to social media on the unduly excessive electricity bills received by them.
In November, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had asked authorities to look into the matter and conduct an audit of past three months’ billing process at Adani Electricity.
Over the last couple of months, power consumers in Mumbai suburbs have received bills higher by 25-50 percent and in some cases even double of the usual average. Several complaints have been filed by consumers about issuance of electricity bills based on average energy consumption instead of actual metering.
First Published: IST