The Gruha Jyothi free electricity scheme seeks to subsidize domestic electricity consumption, but with a number of clauses.
In a bid to subsidize power consumption in the state, the Karnataka state government has announced the launch of a scheme called Gruha Jyothi. The free electricity scheme will seek to offer users subsidized electricity consumption at home, although with several very specific limits.
However, the scheme has so far been met with a number of objections and protests from residents of the state as well as the political opposition, who have called out the Siddaramaiah government in Karnataka for having produced a complicated subsidy scheme that is full of restrictions and exclusions. The government has launched a dedicated portal for the Gruha Jyothi scheme on the Seva Sindhu website, and the registrations have started today.
On this note, here’s looking at the Gruha Jyothi free electricity scheme, how to apply it, how it could benefit residents, what exclusions and restrictions are, and everything else that has happened about it so far.
How to Apply for Gruha Jyothi Scheme on Seva Sindhu Portal Online?
The Gruha Jyothi scheme can be applied for by users from the Karnataka government’s portals. Here’s how it can be done:
- For users transacting online, you can either click on the link here or search for and log on to the Karnataka state government’s Seva Sindhu platform – sevasindhugs.karnataka.gov.in.
- The Energy Department has clarified that customers will not need to show documents or records to register for the scheme.
- You will be asked to log in to your account with your email address or phone number on the platform. New users will need to register themselves to retrieve their account details.
- According to the Karnataka state government, users can also visit the nearest Bangalore One, Grama One or Karnataka One outlets to register for the Gruha Jyothi scheme. Registrations at these centres start at 11 AM on June 18th.
Note: Registrations for the scheme on Sevan Sindhu Portal are set to begin only on Sunday, June 18 from 3 PM. Users will need to have local proof of residence in the form of authorized identification details and, ideally, Karnataka state’s Revenue Register (RR) number in order to apply.
Gruha Jyothi Scheme: What is it?
The Gruha Jyothi, a free electricity scheme, is akin to subsidised power services offered in various states and territories, such as Delhi. Under this scheme, state residents who live in private households — both owned and rented — can potentially get their electricity consumption of up to 200 units for free.
Currently, 55,000 customers registered for the subsidy scheme on June 18th. However, the process of registering was hampered due to the unavailability of the website as the servers were down. The scheme will come into effect from August 1 for July’s electricity bill.
Here are the key schemes behind this scheme:
- The Gruha Jyoti scheme will come into place from August 1 and will be applicable to users from the total metered units that they will be billed for in July and will need to pay for in August
- Yesterday, the Karnataka state government announced that registrations for the scheme, which were expected to begin today, have been postponed to June 18
- The scheme will be applicable for up to 200 units in residential properties only, leaving any office spaces and shops out of it.
- The total number of subsidised electricity units every resident will get is 10 per cent more than their calculated monthly average.
- Subsidy of electricity will be calculated by the state electricity department, BESCOM, by calculating the average electricity consumption of the previous year.
Key Restrictions of the Scheme
The state government of Karnataka has detailed a number of key restrictions that will apply to users looking to avail of the Gruha Jyothi scheme. They are as follows:
- Suppose a user registered average monthly electricity consumption of 150 units last year. In that case, their total number of subsidised electricity units starting from July (next month) will be 10 per cent, i.e. 15 units, added to 150 units of monthly average last year. This brings the total subsidised units figure to 165.
- However, the plan will not apply to any user whose total electricity consumption is above 200 units. Hence, if your total electricity consumption is above 200 units per month, you will not be subsidised for the first 200 units — and will be needed to pay the entire bill amount.
- Households with two meters under one name will not be subsidised for both meters — only one will be opened for subsidy.
- Shop owners and owners of commercial establishments will not be allowed to apply for the subsidy.
- New residents of the state are yet to receive details in terms of what subsidy they will be allowed to avail
Tariff Hike for Users and Expected Revisions
On June 8, the Karnataka government raised electricity consumption prices for those above the 200 units bracket by ₹2.89 per unit. This has led to widespread criticism of the scheme by users and the opposition alike. In response, KJ George, energy minister of the state of Karnataka, said on June 10 that the process would be “simplified”, — which could include relaxation from compulsory linking of Aadhaar to avail the service.
Can you apply for free electricity offline?
Yes, you can apply for free electricity under Gruha Jyoti scheme offline. To do this, you will have to submit the forms and documents at Karnataka One, Grama One, and Bangalore One centres spread across the state of Karnataka.
I have a new connection. Will I be eligible for the scheme?
Yes, new connections will be eligible for the subsidy. However, the government is expected to release guidelines soon for the application process.
Will the subsidy be eligible in case I have more than one meter for my household?
No, the subsidy is only applicable to one electricity meter per household. Additionally, if you go over the limit of 200 units in any given month, you will have to shell out the entire bill amount for that month.
Is linking Aadhaar ID mandatory for availing the scheme?
Yes, linking your Aadhaar ID (online) or showing your Aadhaar card (offline) is mandatory to register and avail the electricity scheme.
My Aadhaar ID is from outside Karnataka. Can I still avail the subsidy?
Yes, you only have to submit residence proof that shows that you are a current resident of Karnataka, in order to avail the subsidy.