HELP! electric meter reading and fee calculation
Tammy Winand
India > Community Forums > India Expat Area
#1
| Member

HELP! electric meter reading and fee calculation

can anyone tell me how to accurately read the electric meter and calculate a monthly bill here?
I live in Himachal Pradesh, not sure if fees are different based on region...I have not been able to find specifics via googling.

My electric is supposed to be included in my monthly rent, this was reassured
to me repeatedly before I moved in, but of course there is no written agreement. I have been here 3 months w/ no charge being levied.
This month when I paid my rent, my landlord's wife began asking me to pay what seems like a very large extra monthly fee for electric and also threatened that if I do not pay it I will be asked to leave.
I pointed out they have never even read my meter (I have a meter for my own room inside my room, and the lock is mine so they could not have come in w/o me being here)

So I want to know exactly how much I AM using and what the proper authentic charge for it is.

Thanks

11 Replies

#2
| Humble Genius
Electricity charge (for supplies by the government owned or approved distribution companies) is calculated as follows -
Fixed minimum + Base unit * consumption and applicable taxes and surcharges. The charge per unit and fixed min is defined by your distribution company and varies by state, district, rural vs urban. Above a certain minimum units (say 200) a different rate usually applies. Without details such as your location, slab (<200 / >200), rural vs urban for the total (not just your meter's) consumption, no one on the internet can tell you unless they live in the same location as you (and even then it'd be an approximation).

Your best bet would be to ask around locally (from other households) what these charges are (assuming you dont trust your landlady on this at all) and figure out whether what you're being asked is way off the mark or not. Alternately google your local distribution company's name on the net and check if they give any information in this regard for your location.
#3
| Learning... from others' experiences!
To make it (what Vaibhav has said) simple :):

If the meter is provided by the electricity supply company, they issue a bill. The final amount mentioned on the bill is to be paid by the consumer.

But if the house owner provides meter to calculate the consumption by a particular tenant, he/she informs the tenant the rate of electricity per unit consumed in beginning. This is always slightly on the upper side from the billed amount. To know this, you need to first note the reading on meter and in the end of month again you need to check the reading. Difference is units consumed.

You have to read the difference of consumed units and pay the amount to the house owner.
#4
| Hati Hati
Agree with Vaibhav.
In addition - If you have a separate meter then ask to see the electric bill.
#5
| Learning... from others' experiences!
No, Nayan, in most of cases, the houseowner charges enhanced rate, and a tenant has to agree on it.
#6
| Member
my agreement (as above I repeat it is verbal only) is that ALL electric is INCLUDED in my monthly rental rate, none of the tenants in this building pay electric...the landlord agreed to this ...his WIFE is now attempting to charge me 1500 rupees above my rent as she says my electric stove (single burner used maybe 3x a week) is raising her bill higher than it has ever been

even if I HAD agreed to pay for electric monthly they would have to read the meter in my room, and no base reading was ever taken UNTIL yesterday after she made the demand
...hence I want to know for future reference if I am asked again

also do I have any recourse if she tries to kick me out as all I have is verbal agreement with landlord? (again as is the norm in this building, and in any bldg I've ever lived in in Dhasa, for all tenants)
#7
| Learning... from others' experiences!
Yes, electric stove consumes a lot of electricity and it could be around 2 to 3 units per hour (depending on the power of the stove). No house owner permits tenant to use electric stove.

You may ask the house owner to provide you a submeter or charge for electricity on actuals.
#8
| Humble Genius

Originally posted by: Tammy Winand View Post


also do I have any recourse if she tries to kick me out as all I have is verbal agreement with landlord? (again as is the norm in this building, and in any bldg I've ever lived in in Dhasa, for all tenants)


Could you please be clearer, which agreement is verbal - rental or just the electricity part thereof?
#9
| Member
What the OP has in her room is a sub-meter. There'll be no separate bill for it. The only way out, if paying for electricity separately, is monthly readings and then a per unit rate agreed in advance.

Verbal agtreements are exactly that, rescindable at any time since they cannot be proved. A long time Indian resident can fight eviction by going to court and getting a stay order, I wonder if the OP wants to go down that route, she is after all a tourist on a limited visa. Otherwise there's no recourse.
#10
| Learning... from others' experiences!
There is a way out: OP may shift to a new house with everything clearly informed to the house owner. No house owner will permit use of electric stove free of cost or included in the rent.

It seems she had not informed the house owner in advance about the use of stove. It was supposed to be informed.
#11
| Member
Moving out is always possible, isn't it? I don't think that's what the OP had in mind when asking about recourse.
#12
| In charge, navel affairs
Negotiate. Say that you (landlord) had agreed to free electricity. So, even if I have to pay for electricity for cooker/hot plate, we can work out (based on wattage and approximate montly use and electricity rate) what is a fair amount to pay now. Otherwise I will leave (hope you don't have a deposit with them!)

Whatever electricity bill they get will have a total amount to be paid and the total power consumed. Without getting into the complications of slabs etc, you can get an approximate per unit rate, at least, for reference.


(Some bills may even have the telescopic slab rates detailed)
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