The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) on Friday said that a poor monsoon coupled with unbridled shooting up of power consumption was making the current financial year a very difficult period for the State’s power sector.
Defending its tariff petition for 2014-15, which seeks to raise the electricity charges by 16.41 per cent to net Rs.1,423.63 crore, the KSEB told a public hearing called here by the commission that the inflow to the hydel reservoirs in the State had been 25 per cent deficit in June. And July was starting off on a worse note, with the first four days bringing 40 per cent deficit in inflow.
The KSEB’s representative told the public hearing that the calculations that formed the basis of the petition were on the assumption of a normal monsoon that would have enabled it to meet around 35 per cent of the total energy demand by working the hydel stations.
A deficit monsoon would upset these calculations since the KSEB’s dependence on expensive thermal energy would then go up.
He said the power consumption pattern too had gone haywire in June because of the poor monsoon. Usually, during the wet and cold monsoon months, power consumption would be around 25 per cent less than during the summer months.
This had not been the case during this monsoon so far and, therefore, total expenses on power purchase could go beyond the level indicated in the tariff petition.
Organisations representing various consumer sections presented their views on the KSEB tariff petition at the public hearing. Commission chairman T.M. Manoharan and members P. Parameswaran and Mathew George heard them.