We approved a power tariff hike of 4.8%: Meena

Five electricity supply companies had sought an increase of 17.37%, says Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission chief

The increase in power purchase rates owing to hike in cost from new thermal stations and energy cost from renewable power, wage revision and increased operations and management costs are just some of the reasons for the increase in tariff of the five electricity supply companies (Escoms), said Shambhu Dayal Meena, chairperson of Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC).

On Thursday, the KERC announced a uniform tariff hike of 33 paise per unit, including fixed charges. Of the 33 paise per unit hike, 22 paise is energy charges and 11 paise is fixed charges. The slab-wise increase in energy charges ranges from 15 paise to 30 paise per unit.

The hike was 34 paise per unit last financial year, and 48 paise per unit the year before.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Meena pointed out that there was a gap of ₹7,217 crore between the revenue estimates and hike sought by Escoms. “The Escoms sought an increase of 17.37% in tariff. We approved a hike of 4.8%,” he said.

He also said that as per the current tariff structure, a part of fixed charge is recovered through energy charges; and the current level of recovery of the fixed charge is 24.07%. To ensure full recovery of the fixed charge, the KERC has decided to increase it gradually. Accordingly, KERC has approved marginal increase in fixed charges in the range of ₹5 to ₹10 per kW/HP/kVA for all installations, except irrigation pumpsets. “With the marginal increase in fixed charge, the recovery extent will be 27.73%,” he said.

Mr. Meena said the commission was encouraging Time of Day tariff and would continue the incentive scheme introduced in the 2018 tariff order for HT consumers. HT consumers using energy between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. will get concession of ₹1 per unit. The incentive will be ₹2 per unit for those who utilise energy between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Those using power during the peak hours – 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. – will have to pay ₹1 per unit more. The KERC has approved concessional tariff of ₹5.2 per unit for Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. To encourage electrification of railway traction leading to use of clean energy and reduction of carbon emission in Karnataka, the KERC has continued the concessional tariff to railway traction at ₹6.2 per unit round the clock without Time of Day tariff.

In view of the State government’s Electric Vehicle and Energy Storage Policy, which envisages 100% electric mobility and promotion of electric vehicles, KERC has fixed concessional tariff at ₹5 per unit for 2019-20.

Grievance redressal meets must

KERC has reiterated its earlier directive of holding regular consumer interaction meetings at the sub-divisional level every three months for timely redressal of grievances. Failure to hold these meetings will invite a penalty of ₹1 lakh per sub-division, which will be payable by the jurisdictional officials.

Free power to select pumpsets

There are around 28 lakh irrigation pumpsets in the State. The government has proposed to provide free power to pumpsets that are below 10 HP and has earmarked funds for it in the State Budget. Bescom managing director C. Shikha said KERC had directed the Escoms to take up GPS-based enumeration of these pumpsets. Of the 8.5 lakh pumpsets in Bescom’s jurisdiction, 8.19 lakh had been enumerated.

Solar rooftops popular

Bescom has been receiving nearly 100 applications a month for installation of solar rooftop installations. Bescom managing director C. Shikha said the online application process had been made user-friendly. A timeline for approvals had been fixed. To create awareness about solar rooftop systems, Bescom held meetings with the Bangalore Apartments Federation. She said the LIDAR project to map solar rooftop potential in the city would be launched soon. The Beta version was implemented first in Malleswaram.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 6:27:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/we-approved-a-power-tariff-hike-of-48-meena/article27357420.ece

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