The Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) has directed the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to make arrangements towards disallowing landlords from charging more than the maximum billing rate based on consumption from tenants.

Issuing the new electricity tariff, ERC has asked NEA to instruct all houseowners not to collect electricity charges in an arbitrary manner from their tenants.

Moreover, ERC has also asked NEA to conduct a study on making arrangements for the tenants to get their own meters and sub-meters before another updated tariff is announced.

At present, most landlords charge up to Rs 15 per unit from their tenants. NEA’s new tariff states minimum Rs 3 and maximum Rs 12 per unit.

The problem of landlords collecting inflated electricity charges from their tenants is not typical to Kathmandu, but is rampant across the country.

Most tenants cannot raise any objection against their landlords’ such demand because they are not aware that they can file a police complaint against such move.

According to NEA, some landlords don’t even bother showing their tenants the electricity bill and the tariff they are paying. Hence, many tenants are forced to cough up whatever the landlords demand.

According to NEA Executive Director Kulman Ghising, it is illegal for houseowners to charge more than the rate fixed by the Authority.

He also informed that some landlords giving their shops on rent were even found to charging up to Rs 40 per unit. Ghising said that the average electricity tariff has been reduced by 10 percent.

NEA has said that anyone can lodge a complaint with the police administration if they are being over-charged for electricity. However with ERC’s new directive, consumers will be able to lodge their complaints at NEA itself.

ERC’s newly fixed electricity tariff will come into effect July onwards.