How Solar power can help you save on your electricity bills — [Part-1]

There are times when you start wondering why your electricity bills are increasing every month. It is of crucial importance to know how to save your electricity bills with the constant rise in Grid Tariffs. These tariffs are fixed by the KERC (Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission), and the tariffs are different for every consumer category.

As more people realize the need for a clean reliable source of energy and plan for long term savings, their First step is to understand their electricity bills. To help you to get an insight into your electricity bill, a simple info graphic is presented below.

BESCOM bill for a Residential User:

1. Revenue Register Number: The RR Number is a Unique ID which identifies the Meter installed by BESCOM.

2. Tariff Category: BESCOM have categorized different establishments under different categories and have assigned different electricity rates to each. To understand the Tariff rates click here. For residential consumers, the category is LT (Low Tension) 2 a (i) and for commercial comsumers, the category is LT (Low Tension) 3 a (i).

3. Sanctioned Load: The maximum amount of load demand from your househould when all the appliances are connected. Applying for the correct santioned load for your house is of crucial importance as it helps to avoid paying penalty for heavy load demand.

4. Cumulative Readings: In order to calculate the consumption, BESCOM stores your previous bill readings in their devices and calculated the difference between the current reading and previous reading to check your total consumption for a month and generate the bill.

5. Consumption: The actual consumption of your household is given in bold and large numbers. The units of electricity is measured in Kilo-Watt Hours which is a measurement of energy. On these units you are charged based on the tariffs and slabs decided by KERC (Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission). For large segments, the number of units is multiplied by a Constant which varies based on different loads.

The second half of the bill shows the fixed tariff rates for Residential users:

6. Fixed Charges: This residential segment has a sanctioned load of 3 KW. KERC have fixed a nominal charge per KW of sanctioned load for a residential segment, as seen in the Fixed Charges box.

7. Slab Rates: Residential users are charged under Slab Rates. Tariff Slab Rates are decided by the KERC and they are charged depending on the units consumed. The consumer has to be aware of such slabs, as exceeding his/her monthly consumption over 200 units, he/she will be charged at a higher tariff of Rs 6.90, which increases your bill by a considerable amount.

8. Final Amount: After adding Taxes, penalties,etc. fixed by the State Government, the final amount payable is printed.

It is crucial for any residential or commercial owner to understand this block as this helps you understand that by turning off devices at home when not needed, your bill might not fall into the higher paying slabs and thus reducing your overall bill cost. BESCOM are providing rebates to users who have installed Solar Heaters in their houses, so consumers can reap the benefits up to Rs.50 savings in their monthly electricity bills.

Understanding the different parts of the electricity bill above, can help you understand your electricity bill and also plan on reducing the electricity consumption for your home. By keeping a track of your units being consumed and your sanctioned load, you can save on your monthly electricity bills.

In Part-2, we talk about how rooftop solar PV plant can reduce your electricity bills and how you can gain long term financial savings…

Update(Dec): The electricity tariffs are revised for this year to be:

Revised Tariff for 2017–18