Get ready for ‘power shock’ this month

B. S. Satish Kumar

KERC will issue revised power tariff order in a few days

Escoms have sought 90 paise per unit increase

KPTCL had moved the Electricity Appellate Tribunal

BANGALORE: The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission is all set to come out with an order this month to announce its decision on the proposals by the five electricity supply companies in the State seeking tariff revision.

KERC Chairman K.P. Pandey told The Hindu on Tuesday that the tariff order would be issued within this month.

“This decision has been taken as the legal hurdles for issuing tariff order have been removed,” he said.

The five electricity supply companies (Escoms) in the State had filed tariff petitions before the power regulator in June 2007 seeking an increase of 90 paise per unit across the board for all consumers, barring irrigation pumpsets, Bhagya Jyothi and Kutir Jyothi categories. They published details regarding their tariff proposals on June 15, 2007.

As per the Karnataka Electricity Reforms Act, the power regulator was supposed to announce its decision on the proposals by the escoms within 90 working days from the date of publishing of details of the proposal (in September 2007).

But just when the regulator was getting ready to prepare the tariff order after holding public hearings to elicit the views of consumers, a legal hurdle had come up with Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. (KPTCL) challenging the KERC’s transmission tariff order before the Appellate Electricity Tribunal.

In that order, the regulator had reduced the power transmission tariff being paid by the escoms to KPTCL much against the proposal by the transmission utility to increase it.

Meanwhile, the Escoms had sought that the decision on their tariff revision petitions should be put off till the tribunal decided the appeal by the KPT

CL on transmission tariff. The tribunal too had indicated to the KERC to wait for the disposal of the KPTCL’s appeal.

The KPTCL’s appeal was disposed by the tribunal by giving certain directions to the power regulator to modify the transmission tariff order. The KERC which modified its transmission order is now getting ready to issue the tariff order on the proposals by the Escoms.

According to sources, the main thing to be watched out in the tariff order would be whether the KERC will prescribe different tariffs for each Escom depending on their financial position instead of the present system of having a uniform tariff for all the Escoms.

It is interesting to see if the recently modified transmission order would have any impact on the finances of the Escoms as any additional financial burden might have to be passed on to consumers.