Special Correspondent

Will have to cut power consumption by 25% or pay more

Consumption should be 75% of the average between April 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008

Consumption above the quota will be charged at the actual cost at which the KSEB will buy power

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: High Tension (HT) and Extra High Tension (EHT) power consumers in the State will have to reduce their energy consumption by 25 per cent from Friday, or pay more.

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) passed an interim order to this effect on Thursday in response to a petition from the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). The petition had sought permission for imposing regulations on power supply because of the failure of the current monsoon.

This restriction is in addition to the 30-minute load-shedding for the other consumers already in force in the State. The restriction is applicable to HT and EHT consumers drawing energy from KSEB’s licensed power distributors such as the Technopark, Kinfra parks, Cochin Port Trust, Tata Tea in Munnar and various Special Economic Zones. Low Tension consumers served by the licensees are outside the restriction.

In its interim order, the KSERC said that all HT and EHT consumers should restrict their power consumption to 75 per cent of their average consumption during the period from April 1, 2007, to March 31, 2008. The quota would be fixed at this level for every such consumer on a monthly basis. The existing tariff would apply for the energy consumed within the quota. Any consumption above the quota would be charged at the actual cost at which the KSEB would buy power from expensive sources to make good the shortfall in power generation caused by the poor monsoon.

(The rates from such sources now range between Rs.8 and Rs.12 a unit. The normal tariff for HT and EHT consumers is Rs.3.50 a unit.)

The KSEB would have to get the rates for the additional consumption approved by the KSERC before the 5th of each month, according to the order. The KSERC would review the power position in the State on September 1, or earlier if required, to decide whether the restriction should be continued or relaxed. If the situation so demands, the KSERC might ask the KSEB to bring similar restriction for all categories of consumers after the review, the order said.