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Home News Power Sector News Electricity supply companies push for big hike in power tariffs in Karnataka

Electricity supply companies push for big hike in power tariffs in Karnataka

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KarnatakaElectricity consumers across the state will have to shell out at least `1 per unit more if the electricity supply companies (Escoms) have their way.The Escoms, which have to approach the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) annually for a revision of tariffs, have sought hikes ranging between `1 and `1.65 per unit of power this year. The state’s largest company BESCOM, reponsible for distributing around half of Karnataka’s power consumption, is seeking to increase tariff by `1.45 per unit of power.

The KERC hears petitions filed by the Escoms in Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi,Hubbali and Mysuru along with four more companies every year. This year, in a significant departure from tradition, all Escoms have asked for different tariff revisions. The Gulbarga Escom has in fact sought a hike of `1.65 per unit of power which is a record for the company.

Sources in KERC revealed that the companies were seeking higher tariffs owing to an increase in power purchase costs as well as system augmentation and upgradation.The government had announced short-term power purchase recently to cope with the shortfall in power due to non-availibility of coal for generation.Last year, the KERC had approved a hike of 48 paise per unit on an average as against the `1.48 increase per unit hike sought by all Escoms.

This year, the companies are seeking a differential hike in tariff, a move which experts say will prove detrimental to companies which have more non-paying consumers. The brunt of the hike will have to be borne by industries and commercial companies which may then seek to leave the region in favour of other cheaper cities, they explained.

The KERC will now seek some clarifications on the tariff petitions before announcing the schedule for the public hearings. The entire process is expected to take 90 days. While the new tariff is generally expected to come into effect from the start of the financial year, in the past, the tariff announcements have been delayed due to factors like election code of conduct being in place at that time.

Source- Indian Express


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