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Home News Power Sector News ATE directive - MERC raises power tariff again

ATE directive - MERC raises power tariff again

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MERCThere seems to be no end to the woes of power consumers in Maharashtra. Even as they are coming to terms with the steep hike in power tariff effected in November, power regulator MERC has hiked the tariff by over 1% with immediate effect. MSEDCL had filed a petition claiming that the tariff hike in November was not sufficient. In addition, Appellate Tribunal for Electricity ( ATE) had asked MERC to allow MSEDCL to recover Rs 487.46 crore for losses incurred in 2001-02.

This is the main reason for the hike. MSEDCL will recover additional Rs 405 crore from consumers.

MSEDCL officials said that as MERC had not specified the methodology for recovering the amount, this would be done on pro-rata basis on the lines of the surcharge approved in the commission's October 31, 2011 order. This means that lower end consumers will pay less while industries and high-end domestic and commercial consumers will pay the maximum amount.

The commission has, however, issued several directives to MSEDCL for improving its functioning. The company has been asked to submit a plan to recover arrears within 30 days. It stated that while MSEDCL's collection efficiency was between 94 and 97%, it had to increase beyond 100% to improve the company's financial condition.

Expressing dissatisfaction over MSEDCL's failure to meter distribution transformers and unmetered agricultural consumers, the commission has directed it to submit an action plan within a month to meter transformers and perform circle wise energy audit. A similar plan has to submitted for metering farm pumps.

Despite MERC directions to not release any unmetered agricultural pump connections, MSEDCL sanctioned over a lakh such connections in 2010-11. The commission has directed MSEDCL to meter them within six months.

The commission has also rejected MSEDCL's claims of power consumption by unmetered agricultural pumps. It has asked the company to study agricultural pump power consumption and submit a report within one year.

MSEDCL had claimed that intra-state transmission loss was 1.17% against MERC's target of 5.69%. However, the commission has expressed doubt about this figure, stating such a drastic change was not possible. It has asked MSEDCL to completely review its energy accounting process and present the actual figure when it submits the next tariff petition.

Source- Times of India


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