The Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEBL) on 08-12-2016 requested permission from the State power regulator to recover over Rs 30 crore as additional surcharge from 14 industrial consumers who dumped KSEBL power in favour of cheaper electricity purchased through the open access system.
The KSEB has filed a petition before the State Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking additional surcharge and cross-subsidy surcharge from high-end consumers who opt for the open access facility. The demand was made at a public hearing here.
On their part, the industrial consumers, represented by the Kerala HT/EHT Industrial Electricity Consumers Association, termed the KSEBL's arguments baseless. They argued that open access was a right granted under the Electricity Act, 2003. But the entire effort of the KSEB, they alleged, was directed toward discouraging and preventing open access.
The KSEBL seeks to recover Rs 16.13 crore as additional surcharge for the 2014-15 financial year and Rs 15.84 crore for the April-July period of 2016-17. According to the KSEBL, its demand for cross subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge was based on the provisions in the Electricity Act, 2003, and the National Tariff Policy, 2016.
KSEBL suffers huge financial loss when consumers dump KSEBL power at short notice and use the open access facility to buy cheaper power from outside. It also jeopardises the KSEB's power purchase plans as it inks agreements with suppliers on mid-term and long-term basis, the State Government company informed the commission.
When consumers opt for other power, the KSEBL is forced to surrender contracted power at cheap rates incurring a huge loss, the KSEBL said. The surcharge, it argued, is required to make up for the losses and prevent tariff hike for other consumer categories.
Source- Indian Express