ISLAMABAD-Taking serious notice of the power consumers’ complaints regarding excessive billing and alleged cheating in meter reading by the power distribution companies (XWDiscos), National Electric Power Regulatory Authority has summoned the chief executive officers (CEOs) of all the state-owned distribution companies next week.
A large number of complaints were submitted by the electricity consumers to the Nepra headquarters regarding incorrect meter readings which has resulted in the overbilling, said Nepra spokesperson here Friday.
Taking serious notice of these complaints regarding over billing, charging excessive units and cheating in meter readings, the authority has summoned CEOs of Discos on September 12, said Nepra. Most of the complaints filed by consumers are related to not having a clear picture of the meter reading on electricity bills and wrong date of meter reading, Nepra said.
Since last month, electricity consumers across Pakistan are protesting against the inflated bills.The government is trying to pacify the angry consumers by announcing various measures. However, the government has limited space to provide relief to the consumers.
Although the government wanted to provide an installment plan to the consumers using up to 400 units, but, he International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed only the relief proposal for consumers using up to 200 units. Under the permission, Discos will be allowed to collect electricity bills in installments.
Besides, increase in tariff, the other main reasons of the inflated bills were overbilling, recording meter reading after due date, and unclear picture of the meter reading. In some areas electricity bills are being determined on the bases of table meter readings. Since Discos are facing scarcity of staff, therefore instead of resorting to camera meter reading it is been done manually or not done even at all. In the far flung areas of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan consumers have complained that they don’t see meter readers visits and they are getting bills on mere assumptions.
Some consumers have caught the Discos employees red handedly, while doing meter reading after the due dates. The consumers have alleged that the meter reading after due date burden the consumers with undue money in their bills. The reason for doing meter reading after due date was a tactics used by the Discos to reduce its losses and cover its inefficiencies, they have alleged.