"The private distribution companies in the state have already given a proposal for a hike in power tariff. The hike is inevitable as power demand is scaling up and the generation costs have moved up. Besides, hydro power generation in the state has been on the decline. The revised tariff is likely to be effective from April 1 but a decision will be taken only after a public hearing. The public hearing is scheduled for February 2 and it will continue for 15 days", a top official of Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) said.
It may be noted that Orissa is set to face a shortfall of 1825 million units (MUs) of power in 2010-11, according to the Load Generation Balance Report (LGBR) prepared by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). As against the overall demand of 24,795 MUs in this fiscal, the power availability will be 22,970 MUs, thereby creating a deficit of 7.4 per cent. In the eastern region, Bihar is the only state apart from Orissa which will grapple with power shortfall during 2010-11
However, in terms of peak energy requirement, Orissa will be in a surplus position in the current financial year. The total peak power availability in the state will be 3916 MW compared to the peak demand of 3850 MW, a surplus of 66 MW.
Orissa, which had the reputation of being a power surplus state, was facing a deficit situation in the past couple of years. To overcome the power crisis, Grid Corporation of Orissa (Gridco), the bulk purchaser of power is buying power at higher cost.
According to the last power tariff hike effected from April 1, 2010, bulk power supply tariff was fixed at Rs 1.57 per unit for Central Electricity Supply Utility of Orissa Limited (Cesu), Rs 1.94 paisa per united for Western Electricity Supply Utility of Orissa Limited (Wesco), Rs 1.95 paisa per unit for Northern Orissa Electricity Supply Utility of Orissa Limited (Nesco) and 90 paise per unit for Southern Orissa Electricity Supply Utility of Orissa Limited (Southco).
The retail power tariff for the domestic power consumers was kept unaltered at Rs 1.40 paise per unit for the first 100 units of electricity consumed.
However, for the next two slabs- 200 units and 300 units, the tariff was increased by 80 paise and one rupee respectively.
This meant that for electricity consumption beyond the first 100 units, the consumers had to pay Rs 3.10 as against the existing Rs 2.30 while for power consumption beyond 200 units, the consumers had to pay Rs 4.10 compared to Rs 3.10 which they are paying at the moment.
The agriculture sector was spared the hike in power tariff and the rate was kept unchanged at Rs 1.10 per unit.
Source- Business standard