Power consumers will have to pay heavily enhanced tariffs from August to October

Power consumers reeling under high power bills due to heavily enhanced tariffs have another jolt in the waiting from next month onwards. The component of Fuel Surcharge Adjustment or FSA, which has been insignificant in the power bills for the past three months, is all set to break the back of consumers from August up to October, 2013.

The notification put on the APERC website indicates that the power bills for the quarter of July-September 2013 will contain FSAs charged over the consumption of two bygone quarters — January-March 2011 and October-December 2012 respectively. In that order, the bill for consumption in July will contain the energy charges for the month, along with the two FSA components of January 2011 and October 2012 respectively.

Similarly, bills of August and September will have FSAs for the corresponding months of the above said quarters. While FSA for the latter quarter is relatively lesser at 55 paisa per unit, the same for the period between January and March 2011 is fixed at over Rs.1.22 per unit. But if put together, the combined figure will be the highest FSA ever charged, since the present surcharge collection spree began last year.

Officials from CPDCL attribute the high FSA during January-March 2011 to increased agricultural activities of the Rabi cropping season. While power is offered free of cost to farmers, FSA on the agricultural consumption — which is nothing but deferred billing — is transferred to the non-agricultural consumers, thereby increasing the burden on them.

The only silver lining in the offing is that the double whammy of FSAs will end by December 2013, after which the consumers will be levied surcharge only for a month’s consumption up to September 2014.

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