Excessive electricity bills paid for 10 years due to a defective electric meter

We were suspecting our electric bills to be high - so after several complaints starting from Feb 2009 - meter was taken for testing in Aug 2009 and found to be defective. Meter was found running even when mains supply was switched off. Reliance gave us 20% refund for 5 months starting from Feb 2009 based on Meter test report - which had tested meter for 10%, 20% and 100% load at Unity and 0.5 lag Power Factor. Average Percentage Error of this 6 readings was 20%.

We went to Grievance Forum - they gave order for 20% refund for additional 3 months - as per MERC regulation. But, our current (new) meter reading shows reduction in consumption of units by 61% compared to old meter. This is in spite of the fact that consumption pattern has remained unchanged - before and after the meter change.

So, we're thinking of approaching Ombudsman for the same. But problem is that of MERC regulation - which states following (relevent provisions are reproduced below):


Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Electricity Supply Code and Other Conditions of Supply) Regulations, 2005

15.4 Billing in the Event of Defective Meters
15.4.1 Subject to the provisions of Part XII and Part XIV of the Act, in case of a defective meter, the amount of the consumer’s bill shall be adjusted, for a maximum period of three months prior to the month in which the dispute has arisen, in accordance with the results of the test taken subject to furnishing the test report of the meter alongwith the assessed bill.:

Provided that, in case of broken or damaged meter seal, the meter shall be tested for defectiveness or tampering. In case of defective meter, the assessment shall be carried out as per clause 15.4.1 above and, in case of tampering as per Section 126 or Section 135 of the Act, depending on the circumstances of each case.

Provided further that, in case the meter has stopped recording, the consumer will be billed for the period for which the meter has stopped recording, up to a maximum period of three months, based on the average metered consumption for twelve months immediately preceding the three months prior to the month in which the billing is contemplated.

I feel that meter was running fast since May 1999 - when we had shifted over from Single Phase to Three Phase supply.

So, problem we are wondering is from where and how to get refund for a fast running meter for almost 10 years? Any sugestions?

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