They will provide higher revenue than high tension consumers

Low Tension (LT) power consumers, who were traditionally contributing less to the kitty of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation or its predecessor-entity Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, will provide higher revenue than high-tension consumers under the revised tariff schedule.

Of the total projected revenue of Rs.29,347 crore from the sale of power during 2012-2013, the share of LT consumers will be Rs.16,481 crore and that of HT consumers, Rs.12,866 crore.

The share of LT consumers would be 56 per cent in the overall revenue of the TANGEDCO through sale of power. Out of the projected revenue from LT consumers, the domestic category accounts for Rs.6,315 crore. This category will be next only to HT industrial units, which will be contributing Rs.9, 914 crore. The share of LT industrial units will be Rs.2,541 crore and that of commercial establishments, Rs.3,872 crore.

Had there been no hike in the tariff, the share of LT consumers would have been around 52 per cent for 2012-2013. Of a total of 58,861 million units (MU) to be sold totally, 41,541 MU would be given to the LT consumers and 17,320 MU to the HT.

Compared to the estimated revenue under the old tariff, the hike would mean 48 per cent higher revenue from the LT consumers and 24 per cent more from the HT category.

Low-end

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission's new tariff order has stipulated that in respect of multi-storeyed tenements/residential complexes, power supply used for common lighting, water supply and lift alone may be given separate connection and charged under the tariff of domestic consumers.

A perusal of the order also reveals that in respect of domestic consumers, the Commission almost endorsed what was proposed by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO). Only in the case of low-end domestic consumers, the Commission reduced energy charges from the proposed Rs.3 per unit to Rs.2.6 per unit for those consuming up to 100 units bimonthly and to Rs.2.8 per unit for those falling under the division of consumption up to 200 units. The government's subsidy will be Rs. 1.5 per unit for the first category and Rs.1 per unit for the second category.

For all others, the energy charges proposed by the Corporation were accepted in toto. Again, in the case of those consuming 501 units and above in two months, the Commission allowed a complete and abrupt withdrawal of government subsidy.

As for the criticism that the Commission delivered a tariff shock to the domestic consumers, K. Venugopal, TNERC member, says the Commission has ordered a steep hike in tariff for other categories of consumers such as agriculture. But, it is the policy decision of the government to provide 100 per cent subsidy for agriculturists. The future of the State electricity sector has been kept in mind, while revising the tariff, he explains. A senior official of the TANGEDCO says the tariff hike is steep only for a small segment of domestic consumers. The strength of those who consume up to 200 units bi-monthly is approximately 1.25 crore out of a total domestic consumers of about 1.57 crore. The number of those who consume up to 500 units is around 24 lakh while those consuming 501 units and above will be from the remainder.

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