No power tariff hike in Andhra Pradesh

There is no increase in power tariff for any category of consumers in Andhra Pradesh for 2019-20, for the fifth year in a row, except for railway traction.

The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC), which announced the retail supply tariffs for 2019-20 here on Friday, also provided some relief to about 39.42 lakh consumers in all HT (high tension) and LT (low tension) categories by lowering the tariff by way of rounding it off to the nearest 5 paise or 10 paise.

“There is no direct or indirect hike in energy or demand charges or any other charges contributing to tariff or non-tariff income to the distribution licencees – Southern Power Distribution Company of AP Ltd (SPDCL) and Eastern Power Distribution Company of AP Ltd., (EPDCL) from any category of consumers except railway traction,” Chairman of APERC, Justice G. Bhavani Prasad, said while releasing the retail supply tariffs along with members Dr. P. Raghu and P. Rama Mohan.

The railway traction tariff has been increased to ₹3.75 per unit from ₹3.50 per unit (energy charges) and to ₹350 per KVA from ₹300 per KVA (demand charges).

“The increased tariff is still the lowest in the country and the second lowest is in Telangana,” Justice Bhavani Prasad said adding that the increase has been “reasonable” as the two distribution companies had proposed ₹3.95 per unit as energy charges and ₹390 per KVA demand charges.

The increase in railway traction tariff has been lower than the proposal so as to prevent the burden on the cost of railway projects in AP, particularly the electrification of all lines in the State by the end of 2020, the APERC Chairman explained. He stated that the regulatory commission has estimated the revenue deficit to be about ₹7,064 crore after avoiding the possible burden of ₹1,898 crore on consumers as the distribution company had projected the revenue gap at over ₹8,962 crore.

The deficit, however, is met in total by the State Government by way of subsidy against free supply of nine-hour power to all non-corporate farmers. The corporate farmers are now defined as those who are paying income tax as against the decision taken with the discretion of field-level distribution officials.

In line with the amendments to National Tariff Policy, 2016, the APERC has also simplified or modified the existing 92 categories – categories, sub-categories and slabs – into 56 without omitting any existing category or sub-category for the 2019-20 retail supply tariffs. The regulatory body has also provided some relief to 13 categories of consumers by reducing the demand, energy and peak-time Time of Day (ToD) charges.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 8:05:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/no-power-tariff-hike-in-andhra-pradesh/article26344418.ece