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Defective electricity meter – what can you do?

By on August 25, 2015

Electricity meters just like any other device or appliance can go wrong any time. Although it does not mean that they are the sole reasons of high electricity bills, but it can be one of the issues. The first thing that you can do is to validate the electricity bill amounts using some guidelines that are available on our website. And if it is found that the electricity meter is defective, then you need to “act”. With this article we will try to explain what does it involve to “act” and how can it be brought back to a normal state.

First Step

If you have identified or felt that the electricity meter is faulty, the first thing that you should do is: inform your electricity distribution company. The meter may belong to the consumer or electricity distribution company but the responsibility of maintaining it lies solely with the electricity distribution company.  In fact as per CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission) regulations, electricity distribution companies should test the meter once every five years and the cost of the same has to be borne by the company. CERC regulations also state that responsibility of safety of meters lies with the customer.

If you wish to verify the accuracy of the meter then you need to submit an application to the electricity distribution company. Some electricity distribution companies have a fee to make this application. The meter can be tested in distribution company’s laboratory or any other authorized laboratory (laboratory authorized by state electricity regulatory commission). The meter has to be tested within a few months (e.g. 2 months in Maharashtra) and the consumer can request a copy of the report of the same.

What if your problem is not attended?

You made an application but you meter was not tested, or no one responded to your complaint or you did not get a report or you still not satisfied. The next thing that you can do is: register your complaint with Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum of the distribution company. Every distribution company is supposed to have a Grievance Redressal Forum which is a department dedicated to handle all consumer complaints. If you are still not satisfied by the response from the Grievance Redressal forum, you can always go to State Electricity Ombudsman appointed by the Electricity Regulatory Commission of the state.  The ombudsmen have authority over the distribution companies and can help you resolve your disputes with the electricity distribution companies.

Inform immediately if you feel meter is faulty

If a meter is found faulty, most distribution companies will adjust bills of only last few months (e.g. 3 months in Maharashtra). So it is very important to act quickly if you find that the meter is faulty. Similarly companies can recover bills of only for few months (e.g. 3 months in Maharashtra) if the meter has stopped working completely. Thus do not wait for long to get your meter tested if you feel that the meter is getting wrong readings.

Meter can go wrong either way

Meter can go fast and can go slow as well. If it is found that the meter is slow, then the excess amount will have to be paid by the consumer. It is important to note that if you have a very old mechanical meter, it is likely that it can be running slow. Many people complain of higher electricity bills when their meters are changed to electronic meters. But the fact of the matter is, old mechanical meters tend to get slow and whenever they are replaced with new functioning electronic meters, people tend to get electricity bills higher than what they used to pay. This happens because the new meters show the correct readings.

So act soon if you feel that your electricity meter is not correct.




About the Author:
Abhishek Jain is an Alumnus of IIT Bombay with almost 10 years of experience in corporate before starting Bijli Bachao in 2012. His passion for solving problems moved him towards Energy Sector and he is keen to learn about customer behavior towards Energy and find ways to influence the same towards Sustainability. .