The revision of electricity tariff proposed by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) for domestic consumers will impact both, those who are getting new connections and existing consumers, according to K. Kathirmathiyon, secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause.
He says there is a proposal to bring all common services in group houses under Tariff 1D (Fixed charge of ₹100 per kw and ₹ 8 per unit). The supply for common lighting, water supply, and lift should continue to be in Tarff IA. The free units for this can be withdrawn. Further, sewage treatment plant and reverse osmosis plant are only for the residents and are not for commercial activity. So it should also be part of Tariff 1A.
Tangedco proposes to collect the entire cost of creation of infrastructure in case of ‘other’ domestic service connections such as group houses and other categories. When group houses get domestic connection, these houses are considered as domestic units. So there is no reason to collect infrastructure charges from the consumers.
The licensee (Tangedco) has also proposed “a scheme” for residents to volutarily give up the free 100 units. The State government may increase, reduce, or withdraw the free units, or request the public to give it up. The licensee is not competent to make such decision, he said.
Further, the revision proposes that each house, residence, or premises be given only one service connection. Additional connection will be permitted only if it is rented or leased out to a different family occupying a separate portion. Proof of rental agreement or lease deed should be produced and fixed charge of ₹ 450 will be collected for an additional connection.
Mr. Kathirmathiyon said the licensee has not given any reason for such restriction for additional connection and for collection of fixed charges though the licensee had completely withdrawn fixed charges for domestic consumers. Further, there is no clarity if this is only for new connections or existing connections too.
The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) code has clearly stated the norms for new domestic connections. If there is “a permanent physical and electrical segregation”, new additional connection could be provided accordingly, it says.
Further, there may be a tenant occupying a separate house on rent on the same premises where the house owner residents. Later, the tenant may vacate and a family member may occupy the house and not for rent.
“The licensee’s intention seems to just deny the 100 free units to those houses. When the service connection is for domestic purpose as per TNERC norms and the State government states all domestic services will get 100 units free, the licensee plans to collect charges for these,” he said.
It is also planned that the Tangedco will assess the domestic load and not the consumer, based on the floor area.
“This is absolutely wrong, unfair and also illegal. There is no provision in the TNERC Regulation Code for many of these revisions. Without any such provision we do not know how it found a place in the Tariff petition,” he said.