ANDHRA PRADESH ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSION
CODE OF PRACTICE ON PAYMENT OF BILLS BY CONSUMERS AND FOR DISCONNECTING ELECTRICITY SUPPLY FOR NON-PAYMENT
To establish a standard procedure for issue and payment of electricity bills, including appropriate guidance for consumers.
Unless the context otherwise requires, the words used in Code of Practice connote the same meaning as in the APER Act, 1998, APERC (Conduct of Business) Regulations, 1999 and licence issued by APERC for Distribution and Retail Supply.
3. PERIODICITY OF BILLS
3.1 Bills shall be issued at a periodicity of not more than 2 months in respect of domestic, commercial and general purpose consumers. Agricultural consumers are provided with Pass Books and C.C charges are collected monthly as per tariff fixed for this category. In respect of all other categories of consumers, the bills shall be issued monthly.
3.2 The consumer should be informed in advance the periodicity of billing for his service (monthly or bimonthly), date in the calendar month when his meter will be read, bill date in the calendar month and due date for payment in the calendar month. It is obligatory on the part of Licensee to read meter of a service on prescribed date. But in unforeseen circumstances the licensee may record the meter reading two days before or after the prescribed date.
The bill date shall be the date of meter reading for spot billing system and in other cases it shall be within one week from the date of the meter reading. The bill shall be served to a consumer immediately after the meter reading incase of spot billing system and in other cases within a period of four (4) days from the date of issue of bill in urban areas and within a period of eleven (11) days from the date of issue of bill in rural areas.
The licensee shall obtain the acknowledgement of the consumer after issue of the bill and also the authorised meter reader should attest the meter reading and the date of reading in the passbook/ or meter card provided to the consumer
3.3.1 Bills shall be sent to the consumers, other than HT category, either by post or by hand delivery and in case of HT consumers, either by certificate of posting or by hand delivery. The fact of dispatch of bills to the consumers of a particular area shall be displayed by appropriate notice on the notice board of the Electricity Revenue office concerned. Loss in transit if sent by post / Under Certificate of Posting, shall not be the responsibility of the licensee.
However in case of hand delivery, proof of serving the bill must be available with the Electricity Revenue Office of the area.. It is the responsibility of the Licensee to ensure prompt delivery of bills to consumer. However, if the consumer does not receive the bill within Four (4) days in case of urban consumers and 11 days in case of rural consumers of completion of the period of billing, he should approach the ERO concerned to obtain a duplicate copy of the bill.
3.3.2 The Licensee shall issue the first bill for all services before end of next billing cycle of energising the connection. In case, the consumer does not receive the first bill before end of next billing cycle from date of energising the connection, he may report to the Section Officer of the Licensee who shall arrange for issue of the bill within next 14 days.
3.4 Change of occupancy/vacancy of Premises
It shall be the responsibility of the owner of the connection to get a
special reading done by the licensee at the time of change of occupancy
or on the premises falling vacant.
4. The following information shall be included on the body of the bill.
a) Bill Number.
Information from (p) to (s) may be printed on the reverse of the Bill. In case of spot bills for category I, II and VII the data on fixed charges, capacitor Surcharge and Surcharge for low Power Factor need not be shown for the present.
5. PAYMENT OF BILL
5.1 The payment of bill shall normally be made at the specified local collection center of the Licensee on any working day during prescribed hours.
i) The Consumers can make Electricity Bill payments upto Rs.5,000/- by
5.6 The Licensee shall issue a receipt to the consumer for the payment of electricity bills made by way of cash or demand draft / bankers cheque drawn on any scheduled bank. In case of payment made by way of personal cheques, the licensee shall issue an acknowledgement to the consumer for the receipt of cheque. Bank certificate that money is transferred to licensee's account is sufficient proof of payment.
5.7 The HT consumers shall pay the CC charges within 15 days from the date of the bill and LT consumers within 14 days from the date of the bill and in both cases the Licensee shall ensure distribution of Electricity Bills to the consumers not less than 10days before the due date of payment.
5.8 In case a cheque given by the consumer bounces, action will be initiated for disconnection, taking it as a case of non-payment as detailed in Para.10. The licensee will not accept payment through cheques from such consumer for a period of one year from the due date of payment of bill when the cheque given by the consumer bounced. For that particular one year the consumer has to pay his bill in cash only. In addition the licensee retains the right to proceed legally against the consumer for making payment through an invalid cheque.
5.9 The consumer has the facility to make advance payment of bills incases where he/she proposes to lock his/her premises and go out of station for long periods. In such cases advance intimation is to be given by the consumer to the Asst. Accounts officer of the licensee under whose jurisdiction the consumer is situated. The licensee shall adjust the bill amounts against the advance payments made.
5.10 Advance payment of anticipated bills by consumer If a consumer intends to make advance payment of bill(s), the same shall be accepted by the licensee, in the manner prescribed by the licensee, and the amount so paid shall be adjusted towards energy and other charges in the next bill. No interest shall be paid on balance amount lying unadjusted with the licensee.
6. Additional Charges for belated payment of bills:
In case the consumers do not pay the bills within the due date mentioned in the bills, additional charges for belated payment of bills shall apply as per tariff orders issued from time to time.
7. Adjustment of Bill Amount:
amount paid by the consumer shall first be adjusted as per the priorities
stated hereunder: 1st Priority: a) Arrears of C.C. charges.
8. Installment Facilities:
Licensee may grant on its discretion, the facility of payment of arrears bills by installments.
8.1 Grant of installment facility shall not affect the liability of the consumers to pay additional charges for delayed payment as per tariff notifications issued from time to time, till full clearance of arrears. Apart from the additional charges leviable for belated payment, such consumer shall be required to pay the interest charges at 24% per annum on the amount outstanding out of the charges allowed to be paid in installments.
8.2 The Licensee shall designate the authorities who may grant installment facilities for LT and HT services from time to time.
9. Erroneous / Disputed Bills
The consumer has to normally make the full payment of the amount even when he raises a dispute.
9.1 The Licensee shall normally resolve the dispute as indicated in para-9 of APERC Regulation No.6 (Standards of Performance). The procedures prescribed in the general terms & conditions of supply of Licensee as approved by the Commission shall apply wherever the dispute attracts such procedures.
9.2 On examination of the complaint, if the Licensee finds the bill to be erroneous, a revised bill shall be given to the consumer indicating a revised due date of payment, which should be fixed not earlier than seven days from the date of delivery of the same to the consumer. If the consumer has paid any excess amount, it shall be refunded by way of adjustment in the subsequent bills. The licensee should pay to the Consumer interest changers at 24% per annum on the excess amount outstanding.
9.3 If the Licensee finds the bills to be correct, the consumer shall be intimated accordingly and notified to pay the amount with additional charges for belated payment from the due date.
10. Disconnection due to non-payment
Where a consumer neglects to pay the charges or any other amounts due from him to the Licensee, by the due date mentioned in the bill, in respect of supply of energy to him, the Licensee shall serve a notice immediately to the consumer giving a notice of seven days prior to disconnection of power supply as indicated in para-5 (1) (c ) of APERC Regulation No.7 (Consumer's Right to Information). Supply of energy may be restored if the consumer pays all his dues and charges for disconnection and reconnection of supply. Such suspension of supply of energy shall not relieve the consumer of any of his obligations under the provisions of the Electricity Supply agreement.
11. In case of continued default in payment of C.C. charges by any consumer, the Licensee shall be entitled to terminate the agreement executed by the consumer as per the terms & conditions of supply of the Licensee as approved by the Commission.
12. Power to remove difficulties:
If any difficulty arises in giving effect to any of the provisions of these Regulations, the Commission may, by general or special order, direct the licensees to do anything not being inconsistent with the provisions of the Andhra pradesh Electricity Reform Act, 1998 which appears to it to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of removing the difficulties.
Nothing in this code of practice shall in any way prejudice or effect the rights and privileges of Consumers under other laws including but not limited to the Consumer protection Act, 1986.
14. If there is conflict between the regulations and general conditions of supply, the latter will prevail.
"This code was approved by APERC on dated 16.10.2002"