Power charges to go up in Andhra Pradesh

 Telangana | Written by : Suryaa Desk Updated: Sat, Apr 01, 2017, 11:25 AM

HYDERABAD: Sparing 90.5 per cent of power consumers from a power shock, the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) on Friday announced that the power tariff for 2017-18 would be hiked by only 1.98 per cent. But an overall burden of Rs 800 crore has been imposed on consumers by increasing various service charges starting at Rs 10. As a result, consumers of all categories put together have to cough up about 4.8 per cent more than their annual power expenditure. The revised tariff will come into effect from Saturday.

Of the 1.59 crore electricity consumers, 1.44 crore have been spared from the tariff hike. Only C category domestic power consumers, whose monthly power consumption is 2,700 units or above, have to pay increased power charges. When AP became a part of the Centre's UDAY scheme, it was concluded that the power tariff in the state could be hiked by 3.6 per cent in 2017-18. However, APERC chairman G Bhavani Prasad said the Commission had the right not to increase the tariff.

Though AP power distribution companies (Discoms) requested ERC to impose fixed costs on domestic consumers, it chose not to. There will be no fixed charges for 1.28 crore consumers. Interestingly, Goshalas have been removed from commercial category and will be charged less. In Lt-II (A), around 6.45 lakh consumers, who are 53 per cent of the non-domestic/commercial consumers using up to 50 units per month, will not face any change in charges.

Around 13,000 consumers in LT-IV running cottage industries also remain totally unaffected. Only Group B consumers in LT domestic have to pay Rs 10 per month more towards customer charges. For LT-I domestic group C Category consumers, who are about 5.83 lakh in number, the increase in power charges is only three per cent.

The State government has agreed to pay a total of  Rs 3,700 crore towards power subsidy for agriculture and certain categories of consumers. Though the State showed Rs 3,300 crore as power subsidy, later it informed the ERC that it would give Rs 400 crore more.

Though the Railways had decided to go in for an open access power purchase, the power regulator requested it to buy power from AP Discoms. If the Railways stopped purchasing power from AP, the sale of power would drop by 200 MW. "The State has a power surplus. If the 200 MW power was sold in open access, then AP will realise only Rs 2 to Rs 3 per unit and will end up in loss. Thus, an agreement has been reached with the Railways that power will be supplied at Rs 3.55 per unit. The agreement may incur a loss of  Rs 100 crore, but if the Railways does not purchase power, then the loss will be more than Rs 100 crore," the ERC chairman explained.

Meanwhile, the Commission, for the first time, with the intention of providing relief to the victims of electrical accidents, provided a sum of Rs 25 crore as reserve fund to be shared between two Discoms - Rs 15.50 crore for SPDCL and Rs 9.5 crore for EPDCL. The amount will be paid to victims of electrical accidents in accordance with a regulation that is proposed to be made by the Commission soon.

Revised power tariff

LT-I Domestic (Telescopic)

Group A: Annual Consumption is less than 900 units during 2016-17

0-50 units  -  1.45

51-100 units - 2.60

101-200 units - 3.60

Above 200 units - 6.90

Group B : Annual consumption is above 900 and below 2,700 units during 2016-17

0-50 units  -  2.60

51-100  - 2.60

101-200 - 3.60

201-300  - 6.90

Above 300 units - 7.75