Once TRP is cleared, the increase will take retrospective effect from April 1

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC), a statutory body to regulate the affairs of power sector, is likely to pass order soon on Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) & Tariff Revision Petition by the Puducherry Electricity Department, enabling hike in power charges for domestic and commercial consumers of Union Territory of Puducherry.

The PED had submitted the TRP for 2013-14 in January to the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission for the State of Goa and union territories. As per the statutory requirement, the Commission had subsequently held a public hearing in Puducherry recently.

The TRP, which is yet to be approved, envisages the minimum charge per unit of consumption will go up from 60 paise to Rs. 1.50 for domestic consumers and from Rs. 2.50 to Rs. 4.50 for commercial users. Domestic consumers who use 300 and above units will have to pay Rs. 4.50 per unit, which is Rs. 2.15 more than the existing tariff. However, no change was made to power consumed by farmers for agriculture, except a nominal increase in fixed charges. It means farmers would continue to get free power.

The TRP had further stated that while for domestic consumers consuming between 101 and 200 units, the difference in hike will be Rs. 1.55. The consumption rate between 201-300 units would be Rs. 3.50.

LT industrial consumption rate will increase from Rs. 3.4 per unit to Rs. 4.25. Similarly, charges for HT users have been proposed to be increased.

Reliable government sources told The Hindu on Monday that the Commission had almost completed all formal procedures for issuing orders for the tariff hike. It was likely to issue orders within this week.

When asked whether the Commission would fully accept the proposed tariff hike by the PED, a senior official said it was not necessary for the Commission to fully endorse the proposal. It would also take points and objections raised by the forums and consumers at the public hearing. There were chances for the Commission to fix charges by taking into consideration the financial health of electricity department and the interest of consumers. The revised tariff would take retrospective effect from April 1.