A Grace Period to Pay Electricity Bills
The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Lank Electricity Private Limited (LECO) are to announce a grace period and certain conditions for consumers to pay their electricity bills.
Releasing a press statement the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), LECO and CEB states that consumers need not worry about their electricity supply being disconnected for non-payment of bills, as they can wait for the announcement regarding the grace period to pay their bills.
According to recommendations made by the PUCSL, consumers will receive separate bills for each month the curfew imposed to combat the spread of covid-19 was in force. The issuance of separate bills for each month is to ensure consumers can continue to benefit from the number of electricity units allowed at a concessionary rate (pro-rata basis).
As there could be a time gap between the last meter reading and the next of more than one billing cycle, the total units of electricity consumed will be divided equally for each billing period or month (confirming pro- rata basis or concessionary electricity tariff). This is to ensure that the total consumption of electricity by a consumer within the months affected could be adjusted and separated for each month in a reasonable manner, says the press release.
The statement further adds that it is possible that some consumers have received estimated bills. In such circumstances, the difference between the estimated bill and the one issued after the meter is read will be adjusted, and the consumers advised of the fact. There will also be no disconnections of electricity supply, in the event there are disputes regarding the bills already issued or to be issued, and the CEB and LECO are committed to resolving any concerns expeditiously. Consumers could also contact the PUCSL if they are unsatisfied with the solution provided by LECO or the CEB.
The statement has provided the following explanation to help consumers understand the bills easily.
Example of prorate basis of confirming the concessionaries that the consumer receives
If the electricity consumption is 120 units for a period of two months, the first 60 units will be charged Rs. 2.50 and the second 60 units will be charged at Rs. 4.85. Accordingly, the fixed rate for each month will be Rs. 60 totalling to Rs.120.
When bills are issued for two months or more simultaneously, the total amount applicable for each month must be communicated to the electricity consumer separately in two bills.
As per the above example, the fee for the first month will be Rs. 280.50 and for the next month, the charges should be Rs. Rs. 280.50. The grace period to pay the bills will also be communicated to the consumer.
Electricity consumer who uses up to 60 units per month will be charged as follows when issuing electricity bills for two months at once.
|Per Month||Calculating the bill for two months at once|
|Unit Catergory||Untis||Per Unit
|Charge||Unit Catergory||Untis||Per Unit
|Monthly Fixed Charge||60.00||Monthly Fixed Charge||120.00|
The statement adds that the recommendations of the PUCSL are to ensure consumers have sufficient time to pay their bills. The recommendations have been finalised in accordance with proposals from LECO and CEB. Consumer complaints too have been taken into consideration.
It further notes, that the two electricity providers had continued to supply power throughout the curfew period though bills had not been issued or payments made by consumers. However, the financial situation of the two companies need to be protected to ensure uninterrupted power supply, therefore prompt payment of bills would help maintain the financial stability of the companies.