Power tariff will go up by an average of 24 per cent for domestic consumers with effect from August 16 in Kerala. The new rates will apply till March 31, 2015.
The lowest category of domestic consumers, using less than 40 units of energy a month, has been exempted from any tariff hike by the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission, which issued its tariff order for 2014-15 on Thursday.
The commission, however, restricted this heavily subsidised rate to the BPL families. Others in this category will have to pay at the rate of Rs.2.80 a unit.
The slab system, now being followed for billing domestic consumers, will continue with some changes up to the level of a monthly consumption of 250 units. The new rate for each category is given in the table. The highest rate for domestic consumers is Rs.7.50 a unit and it will be applicable to those consuming more than 500 units a month.
Up to a monthly consumption of 250 units, ‘telescopic billing’ will be followed for each domestic consumer. This means that, for the first 50 units the rate will be less, for the second 50 units it will be more, for the third 50 units still more and so on. After 250 units, the billing will be ‘non-telescopic,’ which means the slab rate will be applicable for the entire electricity consumed.
With these revisions, the average revenue realisation on a unit of electricity supplied to domestic consumers will be Rs.3.75 for the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).
As a group, the domestic consumers are cross-subsidised to the extent of 29 per cent of the cost involved in power supply. (The projected average cost on supplying a unit of electricity this year, as per the KSEB’s accounts approved by the commission, will come to Rs.5.28.)
For industrial consumers, the tariffs will go up by around 10 per cent on an average. As a group, they are already paying rates exceeding the average cost of supply. The revised rates exceed the average cost of supply by 15 to 20 per cent.
The commission has made only nominal increases in tariff to various sections of commercial consumers, who are actually paying rates far above the average cost of power supply. Even so, as a group, their revised tariff is nearly 80 per cent more than the cost of supply. For agricultural consumers, who are getting power at heavily subsidised rates, the tariffs are being increased by nearly 30 per cent.