The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (ATE) has ordered the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to refund service connection charges collected during the period between March 2, 2005 and September 8, 2010 to high tension and extra-high tension electricity consumers in Kerala.
ATE made the judgment on an appeal filed by Kochi-based Kerala High Tension and Extra High Tension Industrial Electricity Consumers' Association against KSEB and the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
The association approached ATE after the Regulatory Commission, in its order dated April 30, 2012, refused the refund, saying these amounts were already treated as revenue and the Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) and the. Expected Revenue from Charges (ERC) of KESB were already approved.
"Finalization of ARR and ERC and true up could not be a reason for not allowing the refund," ATE said in its order. "KSEB is liable to refund the service connection charges collected during the period March 2, 2005 to September 8, 2010 to the high tension and extra-high tension electricity consumers along with simple interest at 10% per annum from the date of collection of the charges till the date of refund," ATE said.
"The refund which is ordered now could be included as an expenditure in the ARR of the Electricity Board for the year in which the disbursement takes place and passed on to the consumer in the tariff for the subsequent period". "The amount which is due to the appellants legally cannot be denied because it would have an impact on the retail supply tariff of the Electricity Board," ATE observed.
According to A R Satheesh, state vice-president the association, the total refund would be Rs 14.4 crore.