BENGALURU: Just 24 hours after polling ended for two Assembly seats in the state, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) on Wednesday announced a hike in power tariff by 40 paise per unit with an average increase of 5.4 per cent against the Electrical Supply Companies’ (Escoms) demand for increase of 17.26 per cent in power tariff.
The Escoms had sought an average hike of Rs 1.26 per unit. The KERC order will come into effect on the billing date from November 1, 2020 onwards.
KERC Chairman Shambhu Dayal Meena made this announcement during a virtual interaction with the heads of all Escoms and the Hukkeri Rural Electric Cooperative Society (RECS).
Energy charges alone have been increased by 20 to 25 paise per unit slab wise.
“This tariff is applicable to the electricity consumed from the first meter reading date falling on or after November 1, 2020,” Meena said.
According to the order, there has been a 40 paise increase per unit with an average increase of 5.4 per cent.
The KERC has also allowed an increase in fixed charges of Rs 10/KW/HP/KVA for all categories and Rs 15/KW/HP for temporary category.
The order also allowed an increase in energy charges in the range of 20 paise to 25 paise per unit for all categories and 50 paise per unit for temporary category.
The Bangalore Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (Bescom) had proposed an average tariff increase of 196 paise/unit for FY-21 against which the KERC has approved an average increase of 40 paise per unit of all tariffs (including demand charges and energy charges).
The Escoms had contended that the maintenance cost and other overhead costs continued to rise despite pandemic, as the Escoms were supposed to honour prior agreements to purchase power.
“We agree that consumers are utilising less power due to the pandemic, but we need to carry out regular maintenance of thermal plants and honour our prior power purchase agreements. Therefore, the KERC must allow us to increase our power tariff by more than 25 per cent,” the Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company appealed in its petition.
The Escoms had also argued that the increased tariff must be made applicable from the beginning of this fiscal (from April onwards).
Rejecting part of their arguments, the KERC maintained that the economic crisis triggered by the Covid pandemic do not permit them to agree to the Escoms’s demands, however, the KERC agrees that the Escoms’ maintenance costs go up annually, therefore, it will allow them to increase power tariff by 5.4 per cent instead of average demand of 17.26 per cent increase.
The order also said that for the domestic consumers in areas coming under municipal corporations and urban local bodies of other Escoms, the tariff for monthly consumption of up to 30 units is increased from Rs 3.70 per unit to Rs 3.95 per unit and for consumption between 31 and 100 units, the tariff is increased from Rs 5.20 per unit to Rs 5.45 per unit.