Power tariff hiked by up to 60p a unit across state

Power tariff hiked by up to 60p a unit across state

Power consumers’ monthly bills will now go up by an average of 5.93%. The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) on Monday revised the power tariffs. KERC chairman M K Shankarlinge Gowda told reporters that the hike will be with effect from April 1 and will continue till March 2019.

This means that those who have already paid the bill for April will have to pay the balance amount and those who have paid more, will be refunded the excess.

In 2017, KERC had hiked the tariff by 8%. Gowda maintained that this had nothing to do with the elections. “The decision was taken to ensure that citizens are not overburdened. It has been taken based on feedback,” he said.

The rates have increased across Karnataka ranging from 20 paise to 60 paise per unit. While the commission has approved a uniform increase across all Escoms, the hike in Bescom has been marginally higher. The slab-wise increase in energy charges ranges from 15 paise to 30 paise per unit. But in case of Bescom, the average increase in the rate (including fixed charges) in tariff ranges from 25 to 38 paise.

Gowda said that this time, it has been decided to increase the rate based on consumption. He said that domestic consumption in rural and urban areas will increase by 20-25 paise, the tariff for industrial consumption will increase by 20-30 paise. “We have also decided to introduce concession on industrial consumption of Rs 2 per unit when the power supply is used from 10 pm to 6 am,” he said.

The KERC has also given a 40-paise concession to railways to encourage electrification. The commission has approved traction at Rs 6 per unit without transmission and distribution (T&D) tariff and a special incentive scheme. Gowda said Escoms had sought a differential tariff hike ranging from 82 paise to 162 paise per unit.

Tariff for effluent treatment plants and sewerage treatment plant, located within the premises of the consumers’ installations will depend upon the category of installation. The commission has approved low tension and high tension industrial tariff for STPs.

Gowda said that KERC has asked all Escoms reduce their T&D losses and keep them within 15% in keeping with the central government norms, or face penalties. Only three companies have losses less than 15% — Bescom (13.19%), Mescom (11.40%) and Cescom (13.10%). It is high in case of Hescom (16.02%) and Gescom (17.33%).

Gowda also pointed out that the estimated amount of subsidy to be paid to Escoms by the government towards free supply of electricity to 27.17 lakhs IP sets and 28.42 lakh Bhagya Jyothi and Kutira Jyothi households now has been fixed at Rs 11,048.37 crore as against Rs 10,047.76 crore for 2017-18.