Despite assurances by the Government that those who consumed less than 60 units of electricity would not see an increase in their electricity bills, a consumer from Moratuwa complained that the bill he received on Tuesday for this month, had doubled even though he had consumed less than 60 units.
Mr. V.S.K. De Mel who did not use any electric appliances but only used electricity for lighting said he had received the bill issued by the Lanka Electricity Co. (LECO) on Tuesday which read Rs. 741.18 for 59 units of electricity consumed as the amount payable for this month. However, if calculated according to the tariffs specified under the old system the bill should have read as Rs.365.50.
A family member said their household consumption was not more than 60 units per month and that prior to this they were charged a nominal sum varying between Rs. 200-300. “We were promised that if we consumed less than 60 units we would not be affected. But our electricity bill has now doubled,” he said.
The electricity tariff has three components - the number of units consumed, the percentage rate of the fuel adjustment charge and a fixed rate which vary depending on the number of units consumed.
According to the old electricity tariff system, users who consumed 0-30 units were charged Rs.3 per unit and for 31-60 units they were charged Rs.4.70 per unit. The number of units consumed were multiplied tier by tier and then added together, after which the percentage of the fuel adjustment charge and a further fixed rate was added.
For 31-60 units of electricity consumption the fuel adjustment charge was 35% and the fixed rate was Rs.60. This added to a total of Rs. 365.50.
“I went to LECO and made a complaint because I thought the meter reader had miscalculated my bill. But I was told that the bill had been calculated the way they had been advised to by the Public Utilities Commission. They told me there was nothing they could do,” he said. (Olindhi Jayasundere)