Delhi discoms demand yet another hike in charges

Wednesday, 23 January 2013 06:21 Suresh Kumar MG

DelhiPower consumers in the city will have to brace for spending more on their monthly bills as all three power distribution companies – the Anil Ambani-owned BRPL and BYPL and the Tatas-owned Tata Power -- want a further hike in power tariffs to not only recover their "past dues" but also "to have adequate finances to be able to purchase power for the coming months". In petitions submitted to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, the companies have sought an immediate release of funds to be able to recover a part of their accumulated regulatory assets and suggested either increasing the tariff by 10 per cent to 22 per cent or enhancing the surcharge to recover past dues.

Tata Power has even suggested protecting the low-end consumers from a steep hike by making large consumption users, across all the categories -- domestic, commercial and industrial — pay more for their use.

In its petition to the DERC, Tata Power has recommended creating a new category for domestic consumers by setting up a new slab for consumption between 400-600 units. As on date there are three categories: 0-200, 201-400 and 400 and above.

It has also proposed creating a slab system for commercial and industrial consumers so that like the domestic category the consumers in this section too can be charged as per their consumption.

The company that has sought an overall hike of about 10 per cent says introduction of the slab system for commercial and industrial categories will protect the consumers who use less energy and run small establishments like kiosks and shops.

As for a hike, it has recommended to keep the raises under 5 per cent for the low end consumers and making the guzzlers pay. For instance, the hike for consumers who use up to 600 units a month can be restricted to 5 per cent and for consumers who use more than a 1,000 units, the hike can be more than 15 per cent.

Similarly, for commercial and industrial consumers who use up to 10 kW of energy the hike can be around 5 per cent, but those who use more than 50 kW and above, the hike can go up to 20 per cent. Tata Power has suggested that for big consumer who use more than 50 kW and above the hike can be as much as 15 per cent, but it can go up to 20 per cent for using energy during peak hours and 10 per cent for use during non peak hours.

BRPL, which claims to have an outstanding revenue gap of Rs.1,393 crore, has sought an increase of 21 to 22 per cent. The company has pointed out that the surcharge of eight per cent that was allowed by the DERC in the last tariff order has not helped bring down its losses.

It has also sought a revision in the power purchase adjustment (PPA) formula, claiming that it does not cover all the requirements of the company. Referring to mounting regulatory assets, the discom has said the DERC should consider releasing some funds to meet the company's immediate needs and adjust the remaining through timely PPAs.

BYPL too has sought a hike of about 13 per cent to recover past dues. The company has said the annual revenue requirement for the financial year 2013-14 is estimated at Rs. 5,118.99 crore (without carrying cost and past revenue gaps) against the projected revenue at the existing tariffs of Rs. 3,386.24 crore. Thus, there is a revenue gap of Rs. 1,732.75 crore for FY 2013-14 alone.

DERC Chairman P. D. Sudhakar said the petitions will be studied before a staff paper for the convenience of the consumers is drafted and the stakeholders and consumers called for a public hearing.

Source- Hindu