Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board has approached the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission to levy reliability charge on high-tension (HT) consumers who opt to avail themselves of power during evening peak hours from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. till May.

To elicit views from interested persons on this proposal, the Commission will hold a public hearing on December 30 at Rani Seethai Hall here. Next week, the Commission’s Advisory Committee will discuss the proposal.

The Board’s proposal follows the request made by the Confederation of Indian Industry (Tamil Nadu State Council — Southern Region) last month that the TNEB could purchase additional power of 1,000 megawatt (MW) at a price not exceeding Rs.7 per unit and supply it to the HT industrial units from December to April.

The additional cost would be shared by all willing consumers, for whom the Board would lift 20 per cent power cut and not impose any restriction for usage during peak hours.

The Board’s petition of December 14 stated that the CII’s idea would be implemented in the case of 255 HT consumers initially, who had opted to draw power during the evening peak hours with a peak-hour relaxation up to their base demand.

The TNEB was in the process of procuring power of 200 MW in the first phase.

Apart from the clearance for the levy of reliability charge, the TNEB requested the TNERC to approve the tariff for supplying the additional power to the HT consumers on the actual cost-sharing basis at a fixed rate not exceeding Rs.7 per unit. The charge would be collected from the HT consumers.