Looking to implement a uniform power tariff for the lowest rung of domestic consumers before the Mumbai civic polls next year, the state government has directed all distribution utilities in the city to submit their plans by next week for bringing a state-determined rate into force.
Officials said the move will benefit nearly 40 percent of Mumbai’s residential electricity consumers, with a majority falling in the 0-100 units category.
The energy department held a round of meetings this week with representatives from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST), Reliance Energy and Tata Power. The companies are expected to come up with concrete plans by June 15 to apply the state-determined rate to consumers falling in the 0-100 units category, sources said.
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A government official who did not wish to be named said, “The Maharashtra State Electricity Board had given a formula based on which the state decided a uniform rate for domestic consumers using up to 100 units. We have had meetings with all utilities and they have been told to work out plans. We will have a clear idea about the tariff by the coming Wednesday.”
While the MERC will take the final call on the uniform tariff, officials said the decision is in the interest of the public and the regulator will definitely consider it.
Power distribution utilities have already submitted their tariff revision proposals to the MERC, with many having finished public hearings to hear out suggestions and objections.
Currently, all four power distribution utilities charge different rates across categories, with Reliance Energy’s tariff for the 0-100 units category being highest and Tata Power’s the lowest.
Tata Power, which has been keen on the state’s proposal for uniform power tariff, currently charges residential users consuming 0-100 units Rs 1.38 per unit for changeover consumers, which forms 90 per cent of its customer base. The firm has proposed a 38 percent hike to Rs 1.91 per unit to the MERC for 2016-17.
Reliance Energy currently charges Rs 5.39 per unit for consumers using up to 100 units and has proposed a 10 percent hike to the MERC for 2016-17 with a rate of Rs 5.93 per unit.
BEST, which supplies electricity to the island city, charges Rs 3.93 for residential consumers using up to 100 units and has proposed a 13.99 percent drop to Rs 3.38 per unit to the MERC for 2016-17. The MSEDCL, which supplies power to Kanjur, Mulund and Bhandup, charges Rs 3.76 per unit for low-end domestic customers.