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Home KSEB Regulatory Commission permits KSEB to collect fuel surcharge

Regulatory Commission permits KSEB to collect fuel surcharge

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Power tariff in Kerala will go up by 50 paise a unit for some categories of consumers with effect from August 20.

This follows the Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (KSERC) order permitting the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to levy fuel surcharge to cover the additional cost it is incurring on account of rise in the prices of thermal fuel.

All domestic connections consuming 80 units or less a month have been excluded from the surcharge. This will be just 30% of domestic consumers in the state.

The KSERC, comprising C. Balakrishnan (chairman), C. Abdulla and M.P. Ayappan (members), said in its order issued on Monday that the decision to allow the KSEB to pass on the burden to the consumers was an interim measure and the commission would review the adequacy of the surcharge and consider revision, if any, on or before November 1.

The commission has directed the KSEB to limit its purchase or generation of high-cost power to the minimum to reduce the overall cost and that procurement of additional power should be only through competitive bidding. It has asked the board to examine the possibility of extending power restriction to low tension categories of consumers and submit a proposal. The board has been directed to take necessary steps to discourage unnecessary and luxury consumption as part of its efforts towards energy conservation and curtail wastages. The board has been asked to submit details of power purchase and generation cost, reservoir position, sales, revenue and surcharge collected on a monthly basis for review.

The KSEB had asked for a thermal surcharge from 50 paise to Rs. 2 for various categories of consumers on grounds of additional costs on thermal fuel. Due to the increase in fuel costs, per unit cost of electricity from various generators are as high as Rs.13/-. The commission held a series of hearings in the State capital and Ernakulam and a majority of the participants had opposed the KSEB plea.

The commission said it would permit only adjustment in changes in fuel prices periodically as per the provisions of the Electricity Act, Tariff Policy and Regulations.

As per Section 62 (4) of the Act, it was not possible to amend the tariff or part of any tariff more than once in a financial year in respect of any changes expressly permitted under the terms of fuel surcharge.

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