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BESCOM sanctioned load and Fire pumps

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Power

Multi-storied apartments in Bangalore are starting to have issues with BESCOM sanctioned load and fire pumps. Though what follows pertains to the apartment where I stay (Brigade Millennium Mayflower in JP Nagar 7th Phase), it would be applicable to several apartments all over Bangalore. 

The common area of the building (that includes lighting, water pumps, lifts) is is powered by BESCOM power supply (sanctioned load 100KW) with standby generators. The system is configured such that when BESCOM power goes off, the standby generator comes on automatically. The fire hydrant pumps are also connected to the same supply.

In Aug 2010, our association received a notice from BESCOM informing us that as per the inspection report, our connected load is in excess of the sanctioned load. If we look at our equipment - the load arising out of the lifts amounts to about 50KW; the lights, water pumps and other equipment about 35KW. This makes about 85KW. The fire hydrant pumps, which hitherto were not included in the connected load, have a load 90KW, and as a result, with their inclusion in the connected load, we exceed the 100W sanctioned load by about 75KW. BESCOM imposed about Rs 30K as back billing penalty for ‘unauthorized load’ and is currently imposing penalty charges until the unauthorized load is removed or extra sanctioned load is obtained. 15 days time was given for filing objections.

We wrote to BESCOM before the deadline, filing our objections to the inclusion of fire pumps in the sanctioned load. The logic given by the builder to us was that the fire safety equipment is kept on standby only and is not a part of the day-to-day regular power requirements of the building. Also, the fire system configuration and fire fighting protocol is such that lifts and other electrical equipment are switched off in the event of a fire and the BESCOM power is also isolated. Hence the issue of exceeding the issue of unauthorized load does not arise. We also met with the BESCOM AEE but we were told that the explanation was not valid and that we would be intimated in writing. 

It is past three months and BESCOM has not replied to our letter. Further, they continue to impose penalty charges every month which we are forced to pay for fear of power being cut off.

We now have the option of either applying for extra load (which simple logic shows will remain idle unless there is a fire emergency) or disconnecting the fire pumps from BESCOM (which is said to be permissible according to the Kerala Electricity Board Terms and Conditions.

 

KERALA STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SUPPLY, 2005

 

 

‘Connected Load’ means the sum of rated capacities in terms of kW or kVA of all connected energy consuming devices in the consumer’s installation. For the purpose of levy of any charges or tariffs or determining connected load, 5 amps / 15 amps plugs with no appliance connected, shall be treated as 60W / 500 W respectively. If any equipment is connected to a plug point, equipment’s load alone shall be considered. Load of fire protection equipment shall not be considered for assessing the connected load if the same is connected to standby generator. In case of HT and EHT connections, the contract demand shall be treated as the connected load.'

 

We could not find anything mentioned in the Karnataka Electricity Board documents. We have also approached the Fire authorities to verify this.

The building contains the same equipment as it had at the time of completion – nothing added or removed. It received the Fire NOC, Electrical Inspectorate approvals, BESCOM sanction, among other approvals with the same equipment.

What do residential associations do in such situations? 

Manivannan Sir - can you help or guide us. 

Comments

sanjayv's picture

Same story here

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 We got a similar notice from BESCOM along with  following an inspection.  I was here during the inspection coincidentally.  The guy told us that if a load is connected to the grid, even if it was on standby, you need to have load sanctioned for that.  

The fire infrastructure was making slow progress  from the builder's side, but post Carlton, it was finished up in a Jiffy and pumps were added.  So now we are well above the sanctioned load.

Our meter reading also records every time we exceed the sanctioned load in the month and slaps a penalty for that.  During regular operation, we rarely exceed the sanctioned load, and if we do, it is by a small fraction.

That is one thing about these rules I don't fully understand.  Every customer has to have a sanctioned load that is the sum of all the loads connected in the facility (regularly used or not).  So even for your home, when you go to get the name changed in the electricity bill from the builder to yours, the BESCOM engineer is supposed to inventory all your load.  Do the math and you will realize fairly quickly that most apartments which have between 3-5kW sanctioned are under capacity.  Also, what happens if I add an AC or another water heater after the sanction?

In short, a lot of confusion for me at this point.

express917's picture

bescom load calculations

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Adding fire pumps load to the calculation of total load does not sound logical. During any fire accident all the power utilities needs to be shut down as a measure of safety.In fact we always see display boards stating that do not use lift in case of fire.Therfore the usage of fire pumps will not exceed the total load in case of a fire accident.

Also adding the fire pumps load to the total load for sanction will create a total higher power reqirement of the building.With so many high rise buildings coming up in bangalore we would be projecting a higher power requirement than what is actually required.

With the acute power shortage we would be adding to the problem by projecting an unnecessary higher demand.

However as along as the fire system is connected to an auto mode standby D.G.Set there should not be any  fire safety concern.

O.P.RAMASWAMY

sanjayv's picture

How is this calculation to be done currently

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This has to be clearly defined somewhere.  Does anyone know of  a location / reference where this is clearly described?   Will be interesting to benchmark these practices to International norms / methods.

express917's picture

bescom sanctioned load

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Got further information regarding sanctioned load from bescom and maharashtra electrictity board

BESCOM definition of connected load

 2.17    Connected Load’ means the sum total of the installed (connected) capacities in Kilowatts (KW) of all the energy consuming devices on the Consumer’s premises, which can be used simultaneously.  This shall be expressed in KW   or KVA.  If the ratings are in KVA, the same may be converted to KW   by multiplying the KVA by 0.85.  If the same or any apparatus is rated by the manufacturer in HP, the HP rating shall be converted into KW   by multiplying it by 0.746.

on this link...

 see the following link regarding maharashtra electricity board

http://www.mercindia.org.in/pdf/LT_Booklet.pdf

 I found the foll definition in the Maharashtra Electricity Board Tariff Booklet

 “Connected Load” means the sum of the rated capacity of all the energy consuming devices duly wired and connected to the power supply system including portable apparatus in the consumer's premises. Further, Connected Load, shall be calculated after allowing a tolerance of 5%. The Connected Load shall not include load of spare plug sockets, standby or spare energy consuming apparatus installed authorizedly, through change over switches, which cannot be operated simultaneously & load exclusively meant for fire fighting purposes. The equipment under installation & not connected electrically, equipment stored in ware house / show rooms either as spare or for sale is not to be considered as Connected Load.

 

O.P.RAMASWAMY

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amy's picture

Fire equipment excluded from connected load - it's official

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To keep you all posted, the matter in discussion has been resolved.

Subsequent to bringing this issue to the notice of Mr Manivannan (who took swift action), the matter was also brought to the notice of the KERC by us.

A few days ago, we received a copy of BESCOMs official notification in which fire equipment is to be excluded from calculation of connected load. Back billing for unauthorised load and penalties are not to be charged and refunded if already charged.  

This will benefit all MS buildings in Bangalore by giving clarity to the issue of connected load and the treatment of fire equipment.

sanjayv's picture

Great work. Can you share?

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Great work!  This will be very useful to many people.  Can you share a copy of the notification (scanned copy?)  Would be great to have.

amy's picture

This article explains the

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This article explains the effort and impact of BESCOM's notification.  

http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/view/2693-bescom-load-sanction-penalities-revoked

The notification is on this link.
 
akkala.eec's picture

Still having fine. Please help

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We are still getting the fine even after submitted the letter saying, we have disconnected the fire fighting equipments.

When we got the fine notice, (MS with 280 apartments) we have disconnected the load and submitted a letter. (Somehow, we misplaced the acknowledgement). Recently, we realized, the fine is still there and send another letter to BESCOM Mahadevapura saying we have disconnected. This happened in December 2011. Soon, we came to know about the circular that, the fire fighting should not be considered for connected load. We submitted the circular copy to AEE of E4 division Mahadevapura and asking him to stop the fine which was charging to us for the last one year plus and asked for a refund of the entire fine we have paid.

He came for inspection, instructed us to connect the fire pump (which is disconnected and running in diesel) through a Diesel Generator. Even after trying to convince him that, there is  a circular which says, fire fighting equipments should not be considered for connected load, he is just shouting at us saying, just do what I say.

One contractor contacted us and saying, he is expecting some money and that's why he is delaying the inspection report. I clearly said, we can't give any bribe. Even today, I've submitted a letter asking for the current status as the inspeciton happened on 24th Dec, it's almost a month and no report gone to the accounts/billing department to stop the fine.

Mani sir,

How can you help me in this. We came to know all these things recently and were paying huge amount as fine throughout the year. Now, AEE plays in between and trying to make money out of it and I'm very clear, even if I pay one more month, I'll not pay any bribe. Please help me.

Joseph

amy's picture

Suggest escalation

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As you have already been in touch with the AEE, and the matter is not resolved, I suggest you escalate this through email to the MD <mani1972.work@gmail.com> and mark cc to AEE E4 (your sub-div) <aeee4.work@gmail.com>.

akkala.eec's picture

Thanks, Hope to see some

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Thanks, Hope to see some resolution soon as AEE is not cooperating at all.

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