The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board has proposed tariff hike for different categories of consumers in the State. However, in an official statement the board made it clear that 90 per cent of the domestic consumers would be left untouched. The predominant section of the domestic consumers falls within the category of those whose monthly consumption is below 200 units. It also adds that there will be no tariff hike in the case of those who consume 200 units a month or 400 units bimonthly.

At present, the per unit energy charges are 65 or 75 paise up to 50 units in two months and 75 or 85 paise up to 100 units in two months. [The lower charges for two slabs are applicable to those whose consumption does not exceed 100 units in two months].

There are 1.38 crore domestic consumers and the overall strength of power consumers in the State is about 2.05 crore.

There will be no change in the charge (Rs. 1.5 per unit) for consumption ranging between 101 units and 200 units bimonthly.

The existing bi-monthly charges for consumption of 201 units to 600 units and above 600 units are Rs. 2.20 and Rs. 3.05. Creating a slab for consumption from 401 units to 600 units in two months, the TNEB has proposed to hike the tariff by 50 paise per unit for the slab of 201 units to 400 units; 75 paise for 401-600 and Re. 1 for above 600 units.

On Monday, the Board filed a petition before the Tamil Nadu Electricity Commission, seeking a revision in the tariff. The proposed hike is expected to net an additional revenue of around Rs. 1,000 crore in 2010-2011. It has been proposed to restore the confidence of lenders in the Board, says an official.

TNERC sources say that once the petition is admitted, it will be made public.

There will be no impact on around 19 lakh farm connections of low-tension category, 13 lakh huts, 1.5 lakh places of worship, 1.4 lakh handloom weavers (for consumption up to 100 units) and 85,000 powerloom weavers (500 units), all of whom will continue to enjoy free power supply.

An official says that in the case of high-tension commercial establishments, the proposed hike per unit is 80 paise – from Rs. 5 to Rs. 5.8 and for HT industrial units, it is 50 paise (Rs. 3.5 to Rs. 4).

In the case of LT industrial units consuming above 1,500 units bi-monthly, the proposed hike will be 30 paise (Rs. 4.7 to Rs. 5). In the case of LT commercial establishments consuming above 200 units, it will be 70 paise (Rs. 5.8 to Rs. 6.5).

The Electricity Board has not proposed changes in the tariff for LT industrial units and commercial establishments consuming up to 1,500 units and 200 units in two months respectively.

The official release made it clear that in the last seven years, no hike in the power tariff was effected.

As a result, the Board is functioning under huge losses.

Due to unavoidable circumstances, the TNEB has been forced to file its petition. After examining the petition and conducting public hearings, the Commission will announce its decision.