Tamil Nadu

Aptel stays TNERC order granting concession on minimum demand charges

HT consumers given 70% concession by TNERC during lockdown period

The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (Aptel) has stayed the order of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) directing Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (Tangedco) to provide a 70% concession to high tension consumers on minimum demand charges as per existing norms, during the lockdown period from March 24 to May 3.

The Tangedco had moved Aptel against the order and raised various issues including that of fairness of dispensation besides correctness and legality of the unilateral directives. It also questioned the power and jurisdiction exercised as well as the propriety of the procedure followed by the State Commission leading to the blanket order.

“We note from the impugned order that the State Commission did not hold a formal hearing, nor called for any objections in strict sense and thereby seems to have prima facie been in breach of rules of natural justice,” the Aptel held.

In our opinion, the Commission needs to be called upon to explain to us the power and jurisdiction which was exercised by it so as to deviate from the requirements of Regulation No.6 of the Supply Code and lay down principles different from those envisaged therein, it added.

The Aptel stayed the order till next hearing and posted it for further hearing on June 8.

Based on representation from many consumer fora, the TNERC had granted the relief to levy minimum charges of 20% of demand charges, as per Regulation 6 of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Supply Code, 2004, during this lockdown period, TNERC said.

For instance, under normal circumstances the maximum demand charges are ₹350/KVA and the minimum monthly demand charges are 90% of the sanctioned load. If the sanctioned load is 1,000 KVA, 90% of it is 900 KVA and the minimum demand charges is 900x350 = ₹3.15 lakh, apart from the regular consumption charges. As per the concession granted by TNERC, the minimum demand charges which the HT consumer had to pay was 1000 KVAx350X20% = ₹70,000.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 11:42:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/aptel-stays-tnerc-order-granting-concession-on-minimum-demand-charges/article31636917.ece

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