NEW POWER TARIFF
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, March 19: Electricity tariff in Assam will decrease by 2 per cent (14 paise per unit) as compared to the existing rates from next month even as the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (AERC) has approved an increase in the fixed/demand charges for most categories of customers.
“The energy charges have been reduced by 20-30 paise per unit. The AERC has margilly increased the fixed/demand charges for most categories. This has resulted in an overall decrease of 2 per cent (14 paise/unit) as compared to the existing tariff,” an official communiqué issued by the AERC on Monday evening said.
The AERC said the cut in energy charges for Jeevan Dhara segment will be 10 paise, while it will be cut by 50 paise for public lighting for every unit consumed. Fixed charges have not been raised for two-three categories as the rates are already higher than that of other segments, the commission said.
The AERC communiqué stated that after truing up for 2016-17 and considering the standalone revenue requirement for 2018-19, the cumulative revenue surplus worked out to Rs 109.56 crore, the benefit of which has been passed on to the consumer by revising the tariff with effect from April 1, 2018.
For domestic purposes below 5 kW category, energy charges have been reduced to Rs 5.45 per unit from Rs 5.65 for 120 units, while it will be Rs 6.70 as against Rs 6.90 earlier for 121 to 240 units every month. For the balance above 240 units, it is reduced to Rs 7.70 from Rs 7.90, AERC said.
Homes having 5 kW to 25 kW load will see a decline to Rs 7.30 from Rs 7.50 for every unit consumed.
The AERC has, however, raised fixed charges for all the above four categories from Rs 30 to to Rs 40 per kW from Rs 30 now.
Similarly the energy rates for commercial segment have also been reduced, while the fixed charges were increased.
On other hand the AERC has approved the cumulative revenue requirement of Rs 5,721 crore for Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd for 2018-19 as against Rs 6,321 crore proposed by APDCL.
The AERC has increased night off-peak rebate from Rs 0.50 per kWh to Rs 1.50 per kWh in order to incentivise HT industrial consumer categories to shift their consumption more to night off-peak hours, thereby increasing the utilization of power within the State.
A source in the Power department, while claiming that the new power tariff (to be effective from April 1, 2018) is completely justified, said, “The Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) has been successful in augmenting its revenue due to its success in plugging various loopholes. The APDCL has also brought down the transmission and distribution losses.”
“The APDCL has also been successful to a large extent to ensure uninterrupted power supply in urban areas in the State. There has been some disruption in power supply in rural areas due to poor infrastructure and certain technical reasons,” the source added, adding that the APDCL is also in a position to purchase adequate power from the tiol Grid.
The State is currently producing about 250 MW of power. With revival of Bongaigaon Thermal Power Station, the power production will go up to 350 MW.