The revised tariff for electricity consumers that came into effect on September 10 has increased charges to get new domestic connections (by underground supply cable) by nearly 400 % from the 2018 charges.
The charges a consumer should pay for a single phase domestic connection in 2018 was ₹160 and for three phase (5 KW) was ₹745. It is ₹9,250 and ₹ 33,200 respectively now.
According to K. Kathirmathiyon, secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause, the development charges that were collected in 2018 to give new single phase connection were ₹400 and it is now ₹7,000. Similarly, the service connection fee was ₹250 and it is revised to ₹1,000. Development charges and service connection fee are part of the total amount collected to give a new connection. In the case of three phase connection, the development charges in 2018 were ₹1,400 and now it is ₹25,000 and service connection fee has gone up from ₹500 to ₹1,500. The caution deposit is revised to ₹4,500 from ₹3,000 for three phase connections.
Mr. Kathirmathiyon said in most places, the underground cables are laid by other Departments, such as Highways. Yet, there is a steep hike in the development charges collected. There was a revision in 2019 and again a steep hike again now. There are no clear reason in the tariff order for upward revision of miscellaneous fees. Electricity connection is essential for consumers who want a new connection and they will have to shell out this high amount. “The solution is to have more players, competition so that the public are not affected,” he said.
Similarly, in tariff for energy consumption by domestic consumers, the highest increase in tariff is for those who consume 401 to 500 units (52.65 %). For those who consume more than 1,000 units (two months), there is 32.28 % increase in tariff. A large number of domestic consumers fall in the 401 to 500 units consumption (two months) category.
The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission had not accepted some of the proposals of Tangedco for domestic consumers, such as different tariff slab for temporary connection for construction activity at an existing house and connected load based on the size of the house.