Guwahati: Residents of Assam would have to pay an 8 percent increase in power tariff which translates to an average increase of Rs. 0.59 per unit.
This was announced by the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC) on Monday.
“There is an overall increase of around 8% in the tariff for FY 2022-23 over tariff for FY 2021-22, which translates to an average increase of Rs. 0.59 per unit,” it said.
The key changes in the tariff are:
- The energy charges have been increased by 25 paise to 50 paise and fixed charges have been increased by Rs. 10 to Rs. 50/kW across different consumer categories to recover the revenue gap of Rs. 546 crore
- The Commission has allowed a 20% rebate on total energy charge to the Oxygen manufacturing plants for their continued contribution by supplying Oxygen during Covid period
- The Commission has also decided to categorise Charitable Organisations involved in eradicating hunger specially for children under educational institutions, i.e., General Purpose (b) and HT Bulk Supply
The Commission said the Covid-19 pandemic had adversely affected the economy as a whole during FY 2020-21 and onwards.
“Though the impact of Covid-19 is minimal in case of generation and transmission, there was a significant impact on the distribution sector, i.e., Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL), it said.
APDCL, in their petition, factored the impact of Covid-19 as well as other issues and prayed before the Commission for approval of truing up gap of Rs 1168 crore, including carrying cost of Rs 195 crore for FY 2020-21. APDCL has claimed an APR gap of Rs 710 crore for FY 2021-22 and ARR gap of Rs 1157 crore for FY 2022-23, totalling Rs 3035 crore.
However, to give some tariff relief to consumers, APDCL restricted their claim to Rs 2,189 crore, which translates to a hike of 34% over the existing tariff. Thus, the per unit increase claimed by APDCL is Rs. 2.41.
“The overall sales were lower by 357 MU during FY 2020-21, however, LT sales increased by 43 MU and HT sales decreased by 357 MU. This has significantly impacted the revenue of APDCL, i.e., revenue lower by Rs. 780 crore” it said.
Lower sales to the consumers resulted in selling surplus power at a lower rate. During FY 2020-21, APDCL sold surplus power of 1328 MU at a loss of Rs. 1.44 per unit, resulting in total revenue loss of Rs. 191 crore.
APDCL has reported higher distribution loss of 18.55% as compared to 15.5% approved by the Commission. The higher distribution losses have resulted in higher power purchase cost of Rs. 158 crore, of which only a part, i.e., Rs 53 crore is passed on to the consumers.
The Commission said it has taken utmost care to protect the interest of the consumers as well as the power utilities in arriving at its decision after considering all representations, written submissions and issues raised by the respondents and on consideration of the prayers of the utilities.
To ease the burden on the consumers, the Government of Assam has committed to provide an amount of Rs. 400 crore as Power Purchase Subsidy to APDCL in FY 2022-23.
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