Himachal hikes domestic electricity charges by 15-20 paise/unit to wipe out revenue gap

SHIMLA- Electricity will cost more by 15-20 paise per unit for domestic consumers in Himachal Pradesh with the state electricity regulatory commission passing the increased rates for 2016-17. Industrial consumers have been spared from the hike. The electricity order, however, would result in additional revenue of Rs 154.48 crore to the state exchequer during 2016-17.

Himachal Pradesh Electricity tariffsHimachal Pradesh Electricity tariffs

The State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) which passed the tariff orders for 2016-17 also spared the “lifeline consumers” in 0-60 units slab from tariff hike but domestic consumers in higher slabs would be required to pay additional 15 to 20 paise per unit.

The SERC assessed the revenue requirement of the State Electricity Board at Rs 4,966.05 crore against total income of Rs 4,811.58 crore at present tariff and hiked the tariff for domestic consumers and some other charges to meet the additional requirements of the Board to the extent of Rs 154.48 crore.

The Board had projected a revenue gap of Rs 1,556.70 crore and asked for 33 per cent increase in tariff to wipe out the gap but the SERC scaled down the demand after hearing to the stakeholders and allowed aggregate hike of 3.5 per cent which worked out at Rs 154.48 crore, a spokesman of SERC said.

The order said that

There would be marginal increase of 15 to 20 paise per unit in the energy charges of domestic category while for other categories there is also a marginal increase of 10 to 25 paise per unit but charges for Industrial Consumers and Energy Charges applicable for them as per Tariff Order of 2015-16 shall continue to be applicable in 2016-17 and overall average tariff increase is of the order of 3.5 per cent.

Domestic supply is cross-subsidised by certain other categories, because domestic tariff is about 88 per cent of the average cost of electricity supply. Therefore, in order to narrow down the gap in tariff, as required under Electricity Act 2003 and National Tariff Policy 2016, tariff for domestic consumers in 1-125 units slab has been increased from Rs 3.50 to Rs 3.70 per unit, for 126-300 units from Rs 4.40 to Rs 4.60 per unit, above 300 units from Rs 4.95 to Rs 5.10 per unit and for prepaid consumers, the tariff would be Rs 4.60 per unit instead of Rs 4.40 per unit at present.

Monthly Consumer Service charges, which are payable in cases where demand charges are not applicable, have been increased marginally by Rs 10 for Domestic Consumers in the slab of 0-125 units, Rs 20 for Small Industries and Irrigation and Water Pumping, Rs 30 for Non Domestic Non Commercial (NDNC), Commercial and Street Light Consumers.

Justifying the hike in domestic tariff, the SERC said that

The HPSEBL is moving towards stable tariffs as per estimates, however increase of approx. Rs 154.48 crore became evident due to the fact that Rs 132.99 crore which was adjusted in the tariff by HPERC in 2015-16 was actually not received from the government.

Further, there had been no increase in tariff in 2014-15 and 2015-16 and this fact was considered while assessing the Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR).

Photo: Live Mint

Stay updated on the go with Himachal Watcher News App. Click here to download it for your android device.