The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has received permission to charge Rs.10 for each unit of electricity used above the level of 300 units a month by domestic power consumers.
The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission gave this permission to the KSEB in an order issued on Thursday. Up to the level of 300 units a month, normal tariff will apply for domestic power consumers. The permission is to charge the consumers according to this formula till the end of May, starting April 26.
The KSEB's petition, in the context of its difficulties in accessing sufficient quantity of low-cost energy to satisfy the demand in the State this summer, was for permission to limit the supply of power at normal tariff to the domestic consumers to 150 units a month. The commission rejected the plea, which would have affected around 10 lakh consumers. The modified formula permitted by the commission would mean higher monthly electricity bills for just over one lakh domestic consumers.
The commission, in its order, also permitted the KSEB to restrict the supply of power at the existing tariff to industrial and commercial consumers having low-tension power connections to 90 per cent of their ‘base average consumption.' For the electricity used above this limit, they will have to pay Rs.10 a unit. The power consumed in April and May last year will be taken as the basis for determining the ‘base average consumption.'
The KSEB had suggested exempting farm consumers, public lighting, and institutions for the poor from these restrictions. The commission approved the suggestion.
The commission, by an order issued on April 5, had allowed the KSEB to restrict the supply of power at normal tariff to high-tension and extra-high-tension power consumers to 90 per cent of their average consumption during the months of April and May and charge them at the rate of Rs.10 a unit for the electricity used above this limit.