Steep increase in power tariff set to affect consumers

With the steep increase in power tariff, domestic consumers using electrical appliances will have to think twice before using them.

In a situation where there is a jump of 50 per cent for those who consume less than 200 units, 86 per cent for those consuming up to 500 units and 105 per cent for those utilising 501 units and above, using these appliances is going to be an expensive proposition.

With televisions, water heaters, air-conditioners and refrigerators dominating their daily life, it will be a challenge for consumers to use them judiciously.

Under the revised schedule, domestic consumers have to shell out Rs.1,845.75 for 501 units and above of energy consumed bi-monthly. If the consumption is 500 units, the charges would be Rs.1,680.

But, under the old tariff system, the consumption charges were Rs.900 for 500 units and Rs.902.20 for 501 units.

While announcing the new tariff, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) came out with a four-tier slab system, in which the domestic consumers are grouped under those consuming 100 units, 200 units, 500 units and 501 units and above.

The subsidy, which was hitherto given to all types of consumers, will now be provided only to the first two slabs of consumers and partly to the third category.

Accordingly, those consuming power up to 100 units will get a subsidy of Rs.150 on their bills; up to 200 units, the subsidy is Rs.100 and up to 500 units, the subsidy is Rs.50 and those consuming 501 units and above nil.

After taking into account the subsidy, those consuming a maximum of 100 units of energy will have to pay Rs.110 and fixed charges of Rs.20. In the old system, the user paid differential tariff of 75 paise for first 50 units and 85 paise for the second 50 units amounting to Rs.80. In the second slab of up to 200 units, power users have to pay Rs.1.80 per unit (Rs.360) and fixed charges of Rs.20. Under the old system, power consumption was calculated on differential basis – 75 paise for first 50 units; 85 paise for next 50 units and Rs.1.50 for 100 units. Besides, the consumers paid fixed charges of Rs.10, totalling to Rs.240. The third category consisted of those consuming up to 500 units of energy.

The first 200 units will be charged at Rs.3 per unit and there is no subsidy. For the next 300 units, the charges are Rs.3.50 per unit and they also got a subsidy of 50 paise per unit.

The fixed charges are Rs.30 and the total bill comes to Rs.1,680. Previously, for the same units of consumption, the consumers paid Rs.900 including fixed charges of Rs.10.

Interestingly, there is no subsidy for the last category (501 units and above) the tariff increases steeply corresponding to the units consumed. For the first 200 units, the charges are Rs.3 per unit; for the next 300, it is Rs.4 per unit and from 501 and above, it is Rs.5.75. The fixed charges are Rs.40. Previously, the consumers under the last category paid an average of Rs.1.80 per unit against the present average rate of Rs.3.68 per unit, in addition to fixed charges of Rs.10.

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