Power consumers in Uttar Pradesh will have to pay more for electricity as the UP State Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPSERC) on Wednesday revised tariff upwards for 2014-15.
Reeling under the exorbitant loss of Rs 13,000 crore. UPSERC announced an average 8.90 per cent tariff hike, shifting burden more on unmetered consumers including non-agricultural rural consumers as well as departmental employees and pensioners.
Significantly, though, the commission has introduced a rebate of 0.25 per cent for paying bills before time while also proposing a plan to ensure 100 per cent metering in the entire state in the next six months.
Announcing the revised tariff on Wednesday, UPSERC chairman Desh Deepak Verma said, “For the first time, we have introduced performance-based tariff hike with the aim that honest consumer should not suffer because of the rest. Consumer with higher consumption will pay higher tariff.” The commission has also hiked fixed tariff rates of Power Corporation employees and pensioners getting unmetered supply by about 38 per cent, whereas employees having metered supply would continue to get 50 per cent rebate on the rates applicable.
Its focus on metering, UPSERC has fixed a target for Power Corporation to enroll 36 lakh consumers per annum to including all 3.29 crore households in the state under the network. The corporation also has to reduce the existing distribution line loss from 27.66 per cent to 23.52 per cent.
Verma informed that one per cent reduction in distribution line loss amounts to a saving of Rs 500 crore, and so a reduction of around 4 per cent would save nearly Rs 2,000 crore.
Every year, the Power Corporation presents before the UPSERC its proposal to hike the tariff. The commission chairman says if the corporation fails to meet the set targets, it will deduct 10 per cent from the corporation’s proposed tariff next year. “In a state that has over 3.29 crore households, only 1.09 crore have electricity connections. In rural areas, only 0.60 crore of about 2.56 crore households have electricity connections. Thus, corporation has been given the target of enrolling 36 lakh consumers in a year. If they fail, 10 per cent will be deducted from their next proposed tariff hike as penalty.”
Moreover, to reduce the “undue advantage” taken by consumers from One Time Settlement policy, UPSERC also changed its format and will now allow OTS only once in three years. The commission has also reduced the power purchase rates from Rosa Power Plant and Bajaj Hindustan, calling the earlier rates as “high”.
To encourage metering, the major decision that has come in the new tariff order is linking power tariff of unmetered non-agricultural rural consumer to per KW usage. So far, unmetered rural consumers used to pay only Rs 180 as the fixed charge every month irrespective of their usage. However, as per the revised tariff, rural consumers using load up to 2 KW will pay Rs 180 per KW every month, whereas rural consumers with load more than 2 KW would have to pay Rs 200 per KW per month.
While the total hike for metered domestic user comes to around 4.51 per cent, commission has added new slab in the energy charge list. Earlier, domestic metered consumer had to pay Rs 4 per KW for usage up to 200 KW, Rs 4.50 for usage between 201-500 KW and Rs 5 for usage above 500 KW. Now, Rs 4 per KW would be charged for usage up to 150 KW, Rs 4.50 for usage between 151-300 KW, Rs 5 for usage between 301-500 KW and Rs 5.50 for usage between 500 KW and above.
Last power tariff hike was announced in May 2013.