Distribution companies oppose the move
The plea of industrialists for waiver of 50 per cent of restriction and control (R&C) penalties imposed for exceeding their quota of power consumption is likely to be conceded soon with the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) taking a sympathetic view of their case. The distribution companies have requested the APERC not to allow waiver keeping the impact of over consumption of power in view and the industries too approached the regulator seeking relief.
About Rs.20 crore has already been paid by industries in the purview of Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (SPDCL) towards R&C penalties and if the APERC finally grants their appeal, it (SPDCL) has to refund half of that sum.
According to official sources, the point of debate now is to whether adjust the money (Rs.10 crore) towards future consumption charges or refund it as demanded by the industries.
The DISCOMs impose R&C penalties under Section 23 of the Electricity Act, 2003 on the Contracted Maximum Demand or Recorded Maximum Demand whichever is higher. They cannot afford to take over-drawing of power lightly every time. The power transmission and distribution is monitored on a real-time basis by Southern Regional Load Dispatch Centre situated in Bangalore, which cracks the whip on DISCOMS when things go awry.
Industries which consume excess power have to pay higher tariff in addition to the R&C penalties, which the DISCOMS are compelled to impose to save the grid from extreme variations. Penalties are certainly a source of revenue but grid safety is the basic objective of it all and the present situation is bad enough to keep things under tight leash.