Monthly electricity bills of consumers are set to increase from next month with the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) hiking the fuel adjustment cost (FAC) ceiling to 20 per cent from the current 10 per cent.
The commission revises average FAC ceiling to 20 per cent of variable tariff for all distribution licensees in state, MERC said in its order. The revised ceiling will come into effect (for FAC allowable to be charged to consumers) from September onwards. FAC is a variable energy rate that can fluctuate each quarter with fuel and purchased power costs of suppliers.
The decision is bound to affect monthly budgets of consumers who are already reeling under high tariffs and will now have to factor in the hike.
Suppliers,including Tata Power,RInfra,MSEDCL and BEST,have been claiming that rising fuel cost and earlier ceiling of 10 per cent on passing this burden to consumers have further aggravated their losses.
After analysing monthly FAC of all utilities,MERC had suo motu proposed to increase cap to 25 per cent it observed under-recovery of cost in recent past. The state regulator,however,relented only after public hue and cry over its decision.
With this revision,FAC ceiling for MSEDCL works out to be 94.91 paise per kiloWatt hour (kWh),99.9 paise for Tata Power,128.4 paise for RInfra and 144.58 paise for BEST at the prevailing retail tariffs.