BENGALURU: Several power consumer of Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (Bescom) were in for a shock when they received their first bill after digital meters were installed at their houses. The residents complained that their power bill had increased by a whopping 97 per cent.
The Bescom has been installing digital meters, which it claims are more accurate, has has so far replaced three lakh mechanical meters with digital meters free of cost. Nagalakshmi, a resident of Basaveshwara Nagar, received a bill for Rs 1,467 in November after a digital meter was installed at her house. Just the previous month, her power bill was Rs 775.
Bescom is installing new digital meters at a total cost of Rs 116.69 crore and more than 70 per cent of houses have digital meters now. Single-phase digital meters cost between Rs 1,497 and Rs 1,507 each while a three-phase meter costs between Rs 3,612 and Rs 3,652.
“Bescom is looting us in the name of digital meters. After installing digital meters, the bill has increased. Previously, the bill was Rs 500 for old meters, but now it is Rs 700–800 for new meters. When we complained to the officials, they suggested that we check the earthing. When I checked with my neighbours, they too had received hefty bill. We want Bescom to take action regarding the hefty bills”, said Chandrappa.
“Our power bill was Rs 700 with the old meter. Now, after installing the new digital meter, it has increased to Rs 1,500. We complained to Bescom officials about the hefty bills, but there was no response from their side”, said Nalini, another Bescom consumer.
“Bescom had identified 17,90,000 mechanical meters. Our plan is to replace it with digital meters. The difference between the two meters is that the digital meter is highly accurate. There is no theft or looting from our side. The advantage for the consumer is that they can check the previous reading. The voltage variation can be read on the digital meter. In the mechanical meter, power consumed by small equipment like mobile charges was not recorded, but the digital meter shows accurate consumption of power. This is beneficial for both Bescom and the consumers. If there is abnormal consumption, we will instruct the sub-division office to resolve the matter”, said a Bescom official.