Exorbitant electricity bills give shock to consumers

Chennai: People who checked their electricity bills in these parts were literally in for a shock, so to say, as several consumers have complained that they have been charged more than thrice the amount of what they usually pay.

It is said that many consumers, both in residential and industrial areas, who left town and did not run their units, respectivelly, due to the lockdown have also received high amount as electricity bill.

The issue was highlighted in the social media as well, as several users started posting about the variation in the amount they have received in the past few months. This was triggered after actor Prasanna posted about how he had to pay seven times the amount of what he usually pays.

‘How many of you feel #TNEB is on a looting spree amidst this COVID lockdown?,’ the actor tweeted.

Later, speaking to a television channel, he said, ‘Usually I get EB bill for Rs 10,000. But this time it is around Rs 70,000. I enquired with my friends and relatives who also said that they have received high bills as well. I am able to afford it and I paid it. What about those who are already facing cash crunch,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Praveen, a student said, ‘I vacated my room on 15 March as the college declared holidays. I have not returned to my room for the past 70 days and it is locked. But still, I have received a bill amount of Rs 5,740.’
Anupriya, an entrepreneur, said, ‘Even we feel that the EB bills are high. Not even a single unit has been used for our office, but we are paying Rs 7,500 for last two months. Even if they consider the minimum amount for two months it would be around Rs 2,400.’

On the other hand, a few consumers also said that the increase in the electric bill was inevitable as the usage of electrical and electronic items were more during the lockdown as people stayed at home.

‘When the lockdown was announced people should have known that the power consumption will be high and they should have planned accordingly,’ said, Sathish, a resident of Tambaram.
A few consumers have requested that the TNEB should consider taking reading every month which would decrease the amount that people have to pay.

Speaking to News Today, a senior TANGEDCO official said that there was no mistake or malpractice in the electricity bills.

‘In many places, readings are being taken only now after January. This could be one of the reasons behind the issue. All bills are system generated and there is no chance of anything going wrong in it. Since most people are at home during peak summer, the usage has increased resulting in high bills. If they find any discrepancy, they can contact their nearest EB office,’ he said.