Time-of-the-day (ToD) metering of power consumption is being introduced for nearly 11,000 high-end domestic connections in the State from the New Year to give them a financial incentive in consciously shifting a part of their overall electricity use from the hours of peak demand to those of lean demand daily.
The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is introducing this metering and billing system following a direction given by the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission a few months ago. The idea is to incentivise the consumer sector to help solve the systemic problem of the high peak demand in the State.
The problem in Kerala is that from around 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., power consumption is too high compared to the daytime consumption. Evening power consumption is naturally high everywhere when all lights are switched on, but in Kerala the variation is too wide because the industries sector that draws large quantities of power throughout the day is not as developed as in States such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
In a press release, the KSEB said the ToD metering would be applicable for all domestic consumers drawing more than 500 units of power a month. The meters had been installed in all such houses. The normal tariff for consumers in this category was Rs. 6.50 a unit. This rate would be henceforth applicable to them only from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., these consumers will have to pay 20 per cent more than the normal rate, which will come to Rs. 7.80 a unit.
During the lean consumption period from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., they need pay only 90 per cent of the normal rate, which will come to Rs. 5.85 a unit.
The KSEB was introducing the system in the hope that the high-end domestic consumers would go soft on their use of electricity during the peak hours by not using their power-guzzling home appliances when lights were on everywhere.