New power tariff order before May 15, says KERC chief

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) will issue the new power tariff order for all the five electricity supply companies (escoms) before May 15.

Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, KERC Chairperson M R Sreenivasamurthy said that he cannot say anything about the nature of the order to be issued. However, the new tariff order would be out before May 15, he added. 

Murthy was in the city to take part in the public hearing on the annual revenue requirement of Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company (Gescom) for 2014-15.

He said that the commission would go into the details of the capital expenditure made by the escoms for improvement of the power infrastructure before issuing the tariff structure. However, the capital expenditure found to be erroneous or not fruitful will not be considered when determining the new tariff, he added.

Ruling out the possibility of downward revision in the power tariff in the near future, the KERC chairperson said that production cost needs to be brought down for a downward revision and this was not possible at the present juncture.

Hydel power still cheaper

“Hydel power is indeed cost effective. Karnataka may need four more Sharavati projects for generating hydel power which costs as low as 50 paise per unit even today. But where is the possibility of new hydel projects?” Murthy sought to know. He noted that renewable energy such as solar power too had become costlier.

Asked about the rationale behind all the five escoms seeking a uniform upward revision of 0.66 paise per unit across the board, Murthy said that the government was buying power for the whole state and naturally there cannot be any demand for differential tariff.

He underlined the need for Gescom and Hescom taking concrete steps to bring down transmission and distribution losses, which is high in these two companies. KERC members H D Arun Kumar and D B Manival Raju were present.

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