Guwahati: While electricity prices can fluctuate, getting a hefty bill can be frustrating for consumers. Thus, keep in mind that electricity usage for individual homes will vary depending on the size of the home, its energy efficiency, and the type of weather that the home typically experiences at that time of year.
But before that here’s why the sudden spike in the electric bills has sparked uproar in the state.
More use of fans, air conditioners, freeze, and coolers amidst rising summer temperatures in the month of July and August is one of the main reasons for the spike in electric bills, APDCL, AGM Pradip Goswami informed TIME8 during an exclusive conversation.
“In the month of June 2022-23, daily consumption of electricity on an average was 31.81 Mega Unit (MU), however, it jumped to 42.35 and 42.58 Mega unit (an increase of 10%) in July and August months respectively due to rise in summer temperature and less rainfall,” said the AGM.
The top official also indicated that as per their analysis the use of fans, air conditioners, and coolers has increased and this has been reflected in the bills.
Pradip Goswami also informed that Fuel Price and Power Purchase Adjustment (FPPPA) has been hiked by 30 paise from the month of September which has also impacted the tariff. “We cannot hike power tariffs according to our choice. The tariff is regulated by the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission. Moreover, the increase in fuel prices has also impacted the power tariffs,” added Goswami.
Does APDCL charge higher tariffs using Smart Meters?
The top APDCL official stated that the smart meter is a noble project under the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS) by the central government all over India.
“In the last six months, we have already installed more than 3 lakh smart meters in the state. The only difference between a normal meter and a smart meter is that the latter eliminates the need for human meter readers to walk around and check every house individually. The additional features of the smart meter are that APDCL can monitor parameters such as voltage, meter reading, power consumption etc by consumers while sitting here in the head office without any human intervention. Smart meters are more communicable,” Goswami asserted.
Goswami also mentioned that smart meters will help in revamping the Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses, thus, this will help in generating state revenue.
Meanwhile, speaking to the media, state Power minister Nandita Garlosa informed that a committee will be formed in the evening to analyse the public grievances received and identify the problem areas in which modifications of policies and procedures could be undertaken.
Earlier, the Assam Legislative Assembly was also adjourned on Friday amidst protest by opposition in connection to the rise in electric bills.
Assam cabinet minister Pijush Hazarika after the house adjournment said, “Just like there is an increment in salary of government officials by Rs 200, Rs 300 or Rs 500 every month, there will be an increase in power tariffs.”
With inputs from Hasinur Alom (Chief Reporter, TIME8)