Power curbs to continue - Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission

Thursday, 27 November 2008 05:10 News

KSERCThe Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) issued an order on 25-11-2008 permitting the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to continue the thermal surcharge and supply restrictions on power consumption now in force in the State. The KSERC said the power situation in the State was yet to improve. There had been no improvement in the flow of water into hydroelectric reservoirs in the State. Further, the shortfall in electricity received from Central generating stations too was continuing. This meant that the KSEB would have to buy expensive electricity from generating stations that are run on liquid fuels to bridge the gap between energy demand and availability of power from cheaper sources.

Eventhough some of the stake holders complained to withdraw thermal surcharge in view of the reduction of oil prices in the international market, the commission observed that" Even though the price of naphtha and LSHS has come down, due to drawl of power from power exchange and traders, the marginal cost of power has not reduced substantially." .

Commission had conducted public hearing at Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad on 01-11-2008 and 04-11-2008 respectively. 26 participants attended the public hearing at Thiruvananthapuram while 49 at Palakkad. KSEB Officers' Association General Secretary Sri. B Pradeep presented the view of the Association before KSERC at Thiruvananthapuram. Sri. KA Sivadasan, President, KSEBOA attended hearing at Palakkd. Although trade unions from various industries represented before the KSERC public hearings, officers associations/ trade unions of KSEB except KSEBOA did not represent to present their views.

KSERC had observed that KSEB had not submitted the details of details of thermal surcharge collected so far.Hence it is observed that "In the absence of the details regarding actual amount of surcharge billed so far, it is not possible to ascertain the amount to be recovered as surcharge for the period from August, 2008 onwards.  Considering this, the Commission is of the view that unless the details of surcharge on a monthly basis are not furnished on time, the collection of surcharge from January, 2009 cannot be permitted.

The restrictions on consumption now in force apply to industries, commercial establishments and high-end domestic consumers. The industries and commercial establishments will get only 80 per cent of their usual power consumption at the normal tariff. And each domestic consumer will get only 200 units of power a month at the normal tariff. For consumption above these ceilings, they will have to pay a higher rate that will depend on the actual rate at which the KSEB will purchase energy from expensive stations running on liquid fuel. This will be fixed by the KSERC each month after gathering relevant accounts from the KSEB.

KSERC instructed KSEB to refix the quota of HT-EHT consumers for the month of October 2008. Commission directed that for the month of October 2008, quota (Q) shall be calculated separately from October 1 to 14 at 75% level (A) and from October 15 to 31 at 80% level (B).  The monthly quota for October shall be the summation of the two ie., Q=(A) + (B).  The additional consumption over and above  the quota so fixed (Q), shall be 8 charged at the rate fixed by the Commission.   Any over recovery shall be adjusted in the bills for the month of December 2008.

The KSERC gave the KSEB following directives for preventing the imposition of more restrictions in power supply in the State.

1. KSEB shall immediately replace  the faulty meters as per the directions issued by the Commission  earlier, so as to effectively implement the restrictions. 
2. Generating units of Panniyar and Shabarigiri shall be put into service without any further delay. 
3.  KSEB shall strictly restrict the luxury and wasteful use of electricity by the public.
4.  Immediate steps shall be taken to recover the arrears of electricity charges of defaulting consumers in a time bound manner
5. Additional purchase from traders shall only be made on competitive bidding basis complying merit order principles