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Additional Security Deposit for BESCOM:

Some questions answered


Additional security deposit is the difference between the security deposit
with BESCOM and the billing corresponding to two months as per the
revised rates.
Ganga Madappa, 22 Jan 2014 , Citizen Matters

In the past month, several apartment complexes on Sarjapur Road in


Bengaluru received a notice from BESCOM asking for payment of
additional security deposit. In one case, the notice specified that the
existing deposit was Rs 47,120 and the calculated MMD (Months
Minimum Deposit) was Rs 1,43,690, and therefore the difference of Rs
96,570 was needed to be paid to BESCOM to avoid disconnection.
When this came to Citizen Matters notice, we decided to have a chat
with BESCOM to find out what the security deposit meant and why
apartments should pay up.

What is the security deposit that BESCOM asks for?

BESCOM collects a security deposit from all its consumers at the time
of issuing a new connection. The initial security deposit is a standard
amount that is fixed based on the amount of power that a consumer
requires. From the following year, this amount is typically calculated on
the average bill amount corresponding to two months in the case of
monthly billing, and on the average bill amount corresponding to four
months in case of bi-monthly billing.
BESCOM sources say that the security deposit is akin to the deposit
collected by banks as minimum balance or by landlords from tenants
prior to giving a house on rent, and that it was necessary to collect this
money to protect itself from those consumers who did not pay their
electricity bill on time.
BESCOM also states that consumers are typically given 30 days time to
pay their bill. A grace period of 15 days is added to this. So even for
those consumers who do not pay their bills on time, the connection
typically did not get disconnected for 45 days and this was another
reason why it was essential that they collected the security deposit.
What is the Additional security deposit (ASD)?
At any point in time, the security deposit that BESCOM needs to have
from a consumer is equal to 2 months billing. For instance if the average
bill amount corresponding for 2 months is Rs 1500, where monthly
billing is approx. Rs 750, then the security deposit that a consumer is
liable to give BESCOM is Rs 1500 (750x2). In the following year, if the
monthly billing value rises to Rs 950, as a result of hike in the unit price
rise or due to increase in consumption of power, the security deposit
should be Rs 1900 (950x2). At this time, the BESCOM sends a notice to
the consumer, asking him to pay the difference, in this case, Rs 400, to
meet the difference. This is the ASD amount that consumers can see at
the bottom of their electricity bill and needs to rightfully be paid to
BESCOM.
Why does BESCOM ask for ASD every year?
With the almost annual increase in the unit price of power, and an
increase in the number of electrical appliances that consumers use, it is
only inevitable that power consumption too increases and with it the

billing amount too. The Additional Security Deposit is the difference


between the security deposit that BESCOM has and what they are meant
to have in correlation with consumers present billing.
BESCOM carries out an audit every year in March-April and this is
when the amount of security deposit for consumers is calculated.
Officials also mentioned that they asked consumers for ASD, only if the
additional amount to be paid was greater than Rs 200 for domestic
consumers and Rs 1000 for commercial consumers.
How can ASD be paid?
The Additional Security Deposit can be paid just as the regular
electricity bill - either at one of BESCOMs sub-divisional offices or
online. Here the additional amount paid would automatically be
considered as payment for the additional security deposit in case there
was any balance to be paid. For consumers who pay their electricity bill
at Bangalore One centers, you need to ensure that you inform the staff
sitting at the counter that the payment is for the ASD.
Tips from BESCOM
Switch off lights and other electrical appliances when not in use.
While leaving your home for a long period of time, turn off the
mains.
Turn off all lights other than security lights when a building is not
in case
Tips to reduce consumption of electricity
Switch off the fridge for one hour between 6 to 9 pm
Do not use washing machines, geysers, iron boxes and other heavy
appliances during peak hours
Turn off unnecessary lights and fans during peak hours
Switch off air-conditioners during peak hours
Information Source: bescom.org
How can I check if I need to pay ASD?
The ASD amount is typically printed at the bottom of your monthly
electricity bill, immediately after the total billing amount.

Is there any possibility of the ASD being refunded?


The ASD is refunded only on termination of a meter. BESCOM officials
stated that the chances of them having to refund was minimal as people
typically do not surrender their meter or terminate the connection.
However, Ravi, a resident of SJR Redwoods on Sarjapur Road, says that
in the past he has seen cases where BESCOM gave discount on the
electricity bill when the security deposit paid was more.
Who pays the ASD in case of a rented property?
In case of a rented property, the ASD needs to be paid by the land owner.
However, it is up to the landlord and tenant to decide between
themselves by mutual consent as to who would bear the responsibility of
payment. In the event that the ASD amount was to be refunded, it would
be given to the landlord; therefore the tenant shouldnt ideally have to
pay the amount.
What happens to the ASD request received for common areas in
apartments?
The community has to share the amount and pay it. Typically, the
association will pay it from the corpus or common funds.
Should the ASD be paid compulsorily?
It is best that people pay the additional security deposit that BESCOM
asks for. While BESCOM is justified in asking for the security deposit
and the additional security deposit, there does not seem to have been
sufficient communication from them in the past to intimate people about
what it really is. This gap in communication has probably led to people
misunderstanding the reason for the security deposit and therefore being
unwilling to pay the amount.
Since January 2013, BESCOM has put a grievance redressal system in
place where consumers can resolve complaints about faulty or excess
billing. You can have a look at the press release here.