Delhiites have got a brief reprieve from power tariff hike with the Election Commission sending a circular to Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission to stall the process till bypolls at the end of November. The regulatory body had sought permission from the commission to add fuel surcharge to power bills.
DERC was due to announce power purchase adjustment cost (PPAC) surcharge based on the petitions submitted by the three private discoms-BYPL, BRPL and Tata Power Delhi - on Friday. With the circular from the EC on the model of code of conduct, the announcement will be held back for at least another month.
"The circular said that any new schemes or announcements that can influence voters should not be taken up. So, we cannot announce any PPAC surcharge. A decision will be taken after bypolls are held," said DERC officials.
Last week, the discoms submitted their petition to the regulator for PPAC. BYPL sought an increase of 17.1%, BSES Rajdhani asked for 7.26% and Tata Power Delhi petitioned for 9% hike due to fuel costs. The PPAC surcharge is for costs incurred by discoms between July and September and would have been applicable in consumer bills from November 1 to January 31, 2015 had PPAC been announced as scheduled.
"In all likelihood, the regulator will announce fuel surcharge after bypolls. But the situation in Delhi can change any day where government formation is concerned as there is no certainty on when the code of conduct will be lifted," said a source.
PPAC, a surcharge given to discoms to compensate for variations in the cost of market-driven fuel costs, was halted by DERC during tariff announcement in July, but the regulatory body had stated it was temporary and would start again by November.
While revising the power tariffs, DERC in July had withdrawn the PPAC of around 8% till October. The discoms, particularly BRPL and BYPL, have been demanding significant hike in tariff citing rise in power purchase cost. Official figures state that around 80-90% of the total revenue of discoms goes into purchasing power from central and state government-owned entities at rates determined by the central and state regulators.