Shocking surge in electricity tariff leaves people in Bengaluru reeling

Bescom defended the increase saying that it was part of the approved revision by the KERC.
Last Updated 13 June 2023, 13:49 IST

Several citizens who received their electricity bill this month were shocked to notice a significant increase in the tariff.

While many complained about a rise of almost 50 per cent, a few mentioned that their bills had nearly doubled.

"Last month, we paid around Rs 700, but this month, we have been billed Rs 1,300. We are a middle-class household and manage our finances carefully. It's extremely challenging to cope with such a drastic increase," said Abhay Mehra, a resident of Sarjapur.

In a statement, Bescom defended the increase saying that it was part of the approved revision by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC), and they were collecting arrears.

"Due to the tariff revision, charges per unit have increased by an average of 70 paise. Since the order is retrospective and applicable from April, we are collecting arrears in June, resulting in an increase," explained Bescom’s Managing Director Mahantesh Bilagi.

Although a few consumers DH spoke to were aware of the tariff revision, they believed that the electricity supply companies should have taken steps to alleviate the financial burden on residents.

"They should have planned better to collect arrears. Collecting everything at once puts a burden on citizens," said Nagesh K, who rents out two houses in Basavanagudi.

Billing slabs

The residents consuming over 100 units have been most affected, with their bill amounts nearly doubling. Bescom officials attributed this to the revision of slabs.

"Previously, there were three billing slabs. The first 50 units were charged at Rs 4.15 per unit, the next 50 units at Rs 5.6 per unit, and beyond that, Rs 7.15 per unit was collected. However, under the new tariff system, consumers are billed Rs 4.75 per unit for the first 100 units. If consumption exceeds 100 units, they are charged a flat Rs 7 per unit," explained a senior Bescom official.

The revised fixed charges have also caused confusion among the public, and many residents have complained about delays in receiving their bills.

(Published 13 June 2023, 12:33 IST)

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