BEST's faulty software will affect your September power bill

Sep 26, 2015, 13:24 IST | Shashank Rao

The amount will be calculated using the average of the previous three months (June, July and August); the software that generates bills has become corrupt and BEST is not able to generate correct bills

If you are a BEST power customer, don’t be surprised if you get an electricity bill that shows an exceptionally high or less amount for the month of September.

Also read: Gear up for power fluctuations as BEST's cable faults shoot up

Representation pic/Thinkstock
Representation pic/Thinkstock

The bill generating software of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking is in a complete mess and is unable to generate accurate and correct bills. The situation is such that when the 10-lakh odd consumers of BEST will receive electricity bills in October, it could either be higher or lower than usual.

The reason: the BEST authorities would be calculating the average of the previous three months (June, July and August) for the September billing for all consumers and then that amount would be shown on the bills.

Future shock
“The data of consumers and the electricity consumption generated by our software has become corrupt. So the billing system is not working,” said a BEST official on condition of anonymity. The data extraction is part of the software’s function, that collates bills from these e-meters.

Normally, the billing software reads the consumption of every electronic meter, which is then translated into the bill. The September bill would not be showing the units consumed but only the average amount that is generated. Officials added that when the system gets rectified, the actual reading for September and October would be shown.

Any excess amount paid would be credited as advance amount paid to the Undertaking. The authorities don’t expect much of a problem as they claim that since there hasn’t been much rain, the average power consumption of people in September would remain more or less same as the previous three months.

Also read: Your electricity bill might go up to keep BEST running

“We will be generating provisional bills for September due to technical failure. The consumers are expected to pay this provisional bill while the next bill will be generated for two months based on actual meter readings,” said H Gophane, spokesperson, BEST.

“The administration is showing inefficiency in their handling (of the issue). It is bad on the BEST’s part if people don’t get correct electricity bills and they (BEST) have a poor software system,” said Ravi Raja, BEST Committee member. The BEST is already troubled with increasing cable faults, which are making power supply a problem.

The island city — between Colaba to Sion/Mahim — has a daily demand of 890 MW. This power is bought at a cost of R 651 crore that includes purchases from Tata Power and the open market too. Sources said that on an average, consumers are charged R 8 per unit, which is consumed by them every month.

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