People were getting higher electricity bills since they were spending more time in homes due to the COVID-19 lockdown, state-owned power distributor TANGEDCO on Monday informed the Madras High Court. Denying allegations in a PIL that it was using arbitrary and unjust methodology for calculating the power bills, the corporation told a bench of Justices M M Sundresh and R Hemalatha that they were following the statutory regulations.
Recording the submission by Additional Advocate General P H Aravind Pandian, the bench posted the matter to Wednesday. In his written arguments, Petitioner M L Ravi submitted that the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) has relied on the previous month bill amount to arrive at the present payable instead of considering the previous month units consumed.
This results in low tension domestic consumers having to pay 12 per cent to 50 per cent higher charges than that is permissible under the Tamil Nadu Electricity Supply Code. Such method adopted by the corporation has affected 96 per cent of domestic consumers who have been forced to pay up to 50 per cent higher charges, he added.
Power consumption charges were collected on a bi-monthly basis in the state and calculated based on different slabs for those who consume below 100 units, 101 to 200 units, 201 to 500 units, and above 500 units.