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TNEB electricity bill sends shock waves to a few domestic consumers

During the Pandemic, When a normal course of life has been affected and people are restricted within their residences, there’s huge shock ensued in the form of electricity among consumers, not an actual electric shock but shock in the form of electricity bills. The readings have indicated an exponential rise in consumption for the past few months. Many users began complaining about the generated bills as exaggerated and unreasonable than the average periodic consumption. This issue garnered much traction when a distinguished Tamil actor Prasanna tweeted about it referring to

“ How many of you feel #TNEB is on a looting spree amidst this COVID lockdown?” His tweet sparked controversy in social, print, and other broadcasting media platforms which started questioning TNEB billing algorithm and procedures. Many common household individuals reiterated that their entire proportion of their salary is now spent on electricity bills.

TNEB Reply to Billing: 

Since his tweet gained huge attention, TNEB officials took it to twitter and explained about the billing cycle. 

  • TNEB Bill for LT Domestic consumers is charged bi-monthly. Due to lockdown, officials were unable to note readings for the month of April and May and hence asked consumers to pay ad-hoc payment based on the previous month’s bill.
  • Now the reading for May/June month is taken and subtracted from the last reading cycle. (Consumption  =  Current Reading- Last Billing Cycle Reading)
  • This Consumption in units is divided by 2 and taken separately for billing as two bi-month cycles.
  • Slab rates are applied to the above both bi-month billing cycles and results are added and Adhoc payment value is subtracted.

Bill amount = Bi-Monthly_Consumption_1 + Bi-monthly_Consumption_2 – adhoc_payment (previous bill payment).

Example :

TNEB Follows slab rates for billing, As per accusations, there are no flaws intrinsically in the TNEB billing methodology as they have followed recommended standards for billing and metering framed by TNERC. Due to lockdown, electricity consumption has increased multi-fold since people run air-conditioners and other essential requirements round the clock. 

Normally a house-hold air-conditioner, when running for an hour, accounts for 2-3.5 Units Consumption. 

Fan running for 12 hours accounts for 1-Unit of consumption.

A pedestal fan running for 7 hours accounts for  1-Unit of Consumption.

Induction stove for 1-hour usage accounts for 2-Units of Consumption.


**Average consumption in households with the above appliances. These are indicative values that vary from appliance to appliance and on BEE energy labels.

TNEB is known for its unparalleled service both for LT & HT Consumers compared to other electricity regulators across the nation. TNEB also charges competitive rates as tariffs on par with the national average. There are no vulnerabilities in bill procedures. Consumers should be aware of their appliances and energy consumption rates and regularly conduct energy audits. Using energy-efficient appliances with a 5-star rating (from BEE) will save energy and reduce the electricity bill by a large percentage. A small increase in consumption from a monthly average slab can increase the bill amount by more than 70%. Slab rates reinforce the idea of energy conservation among consumers and should not be discerned as punishment but as a way to bring lesser electricity consumption and inculcate best practices of energy saving mechanisms. 

About the author:

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About the author: Electrical Engineer with a deep passion for AI & deep learning. Also, an avid writer who likes to research & write about Geopolitics of US & China. Passionate about free markets & foreign trade. Get to know more about me on Twitter @anandaragavan

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