Massive relief for electricity consumers | Daily News


 

Massive relief for electricity consumers

Rate to be decided on February bill:
Govt grants Rs.3,000 m subsidy to CEB for relief measures:
Two months grace period for payments:

The Government has decided to base the electricity bills for March, April and May on the rate applied in the bill issued for February or the minimum bill received afterwards, Power and Energy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday.

Accordingly, the consumers will be charged the February electricity bill value for each of the months of March, April and May ignoring the amounts indicated in the bills received for these three months when the country was in lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister further assured that a two-month grace period will be given to consumers to pay their bills and the supply of electricity will not be disconnected during the grace period.

The Government has subsidized the Ceylon Electricity Board to the tune of Rs.3,000 million in order to provide this relief for electricity consumers, the Minister disclosed.

The Government has decided to provide this massive relief to electricity consumers considering the large number of complaints received from them pertaining to the electricity bills issued on March, April and May months, he pointed out.

He added that the manual meter reading process which was temporarily halted for past few months due to the COVID 19 pandemic will be streamlined and recommenced from the previous month. The Ministry of Power and Energy earlier appointed a four- member committee to make recommendations on providing relief to consumers who faced irregularities in their electricity bills during the coronavirus pandemic.

It was brought to the attention of the Ministry that many consumers were overcharged during the lockdown period.

Electricity sales volumes fell 15 percent to 4,016 GigaWatt hours (millions of units) in the first four months of 2020, since most heavy users such as factories had stopped production though domestic consumption went up as most people were confined to their homes.


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