Power tariffs are set to rise in Delhi after the festive season as the three distribution firms have sought a revision citing an increase in their electricity procurement costs. To recover their higher power purchase costs, BSES Yamuna, BSES Rajdhani and Tata Power Delhi Distribution have approached the regulatory commission, which will consider the matter next month.
BSES Yamuma, which distributes power to 14 lakh consumers in central and east Delhi, has sought a 17 per cent increase in tariffs as its 'power purchase adjustment charges'. Tata Power's distribution arm in New Delhi has sought 9 per cent increase for its power purchase costs while BSES Rajdhani sought 7.26 per cent rise. Tata Power Delhi and BSES Rajdhani supply electricity to 14 lakh and 20 lakh consumers respectively.
These distribution firms have been claiming that their power procurement costs are high due to their dependence on ageing and natural gas-fired power plants of NTPC and other state-owned firms. 'Power purchase adjustment charges' account for 85 per cent of the electricity bills that consumers receive in Delhi.
"We have no control over cost of power purchase, which has gone up 300 per cent since 2002. However, the electricity tariff has increased by less than 90 per cent during the same period," said an executive with one of the distribution firms in Delhi.
The executive, who did not wish to be named, said Delhi's distribution firms procure 80-85 per cent of their electricity from central government controlled generating companies that are governed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. How ever, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission has not enabled distribution firms to recover their entire cost burden, he said, adding that the tariff hike sought by his distribution firm is as per the provisions and regulations of the Electricity Act.
BSES Yamuna, which has sought the highest tariff hike, submitted before the electricity regulatory commission that SJVN and Damodar Valley Corporation have snapped their power supplies and it is compelled to purchase additional power from other generating stations at higher rates even as both the state-run firms continue to levy fixed charges.