Domestic rates for STPs, common area usage: Bescom

In a boost to green initiatives, Bescom has announced it would apply domestic tariff on environment services like sewage and effluent treatments and fire safety.

Several apartments in the city use sewage treatment plants (STPs), effluent treatment plants (ETPs) and fire safety units that use electricity charged on industrial and commercial rates.

"According to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) guidelines, these environmental services will be charged under LT2-A category and not as industrial and commercial, as was expressed and imposed by some officials," Bescom managing director Rajendra Cholan said, with regard to the order he issued to the effect.

But if the usage exceeds 25% of the assigned load, then the apartment or building concerned should either pay industrial or commercial rates, depending on the usage, Cholan added.

He also said the STPs and other environmental services should be located within the apartment premises for the domestic rates to apply. If they are located outside, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Corporation would apply commercial/industrial rates based on the usage.

Domestic rates would apply to both old and upcoming apartment complexes with effect from May, when the KERC orders were issued.

Bescom issued the order after its officials met on Wednesday with members of the Bengaluru Apartments Federation, who voiced concern over the power supplier charging commercial rates and collecting backlogs to the tune of several crores, despite the KERC order. DH broke the story on its edition dated June 27.

BAF member Muralidhar Rao said apartments have large electrical installations to run the STPs, lifts and fire safety equipment. "They require high capacity pumps and are necessary for the apartment and the green initiatives," he added.

"We are also consumers and the Bescom cannot lay hefty charges on us," Rao said.

A Bescom official said charges will be levied after computing the individual meters, though the bill for apartment services will be one. Meters installed at homes will be charged under LT2-A — 101 to 200 units at 650 paise/unit.

Meters installed in common areas will contain tariff for lifts, water supply, pump sets, lights, STPs, fire safety, ETPs and similar commonly used equipment. Usage for the common meters should not exceed 25% of the supplied load.

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