Altogether 35 firms drawing power for their units have decided to become consumers of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) again.
The 35 companies were among 130 firms in the Konkan region of the state power utility and had been buying power from private producers as part of the open access system introduced last year.
These consumers are known for prompt and huge payments, as they buy power in bulk. The companies had opted for the open access system. It allows the firms to buy power from independent producers located anywhere by paying some duty and the wheeling (carrying) charges to the electricity company.
What came as a boon for MSEDCL is that the state energy regulator, Maharashtra Energy Regulatory Commission (MERC), in November 2016 tariff order allowed it to increase the wheeling charges and duty for consumers buying power from other producers, which use its network to supply to its consumers.
"The result was that the electricity tariff of consumers buying power from private players became costlier. This is the reason why some of these companies have decided to return to us," a senior MSEDCL official told TOI.
The officer added out that the tariff provided to them by the independent producers was lower than that of MSEDCL. But the new conditions mean that the companies have to cough up more as power tariff.
"Had the regulator's ruling not come, these firms would not have approched the MSEDCL for power supply," said Siddharth Soni, a consumer representative from Nashik.
MSEDCL officials are, understandably, happy with the development. "We are reaching out to the companies promising best services. As a result, we are gaining back their confidence. The tariff and other conditions are favourable no doubt, but the company has also improved its services and infrastructure over a period of time," MSEDCL regional director Satish Karpe said.