Brace for another possible hike in electricity tariff

As consumers are getting used to the idea of paying more for electricity in a pandemic-hit scenario, they will have to brace for one more possible hike. The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) has set the ball rolling for another revision in tariff for the coming fiscal.

Senior officials confirmed to The Hindu that the average hike sought for FY 2021-22 is ₹1.39 per unit. “Fixed charges is the main component of the hike sought. The average amount is not uniform across categories. It will primarily be more pronounced for three categories: HT connections, temporary connections and IP sets,” said an official.

It was only two months ago that KERC announced an increase in tariff by an average 40 paise per unit. Given the extraordinary circumstances in 2020, the Commission had decided to make the new tariffs applicable from November instead of April, when the new financial year kicks in, to “ensure that the consumers are not burdened owing to adverse economic conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

However, the Commission had made it amply clear that ₹1,443 crore that would have been recovered as additional revenue towards tariff revision for seven months from April 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020, against the total revenue gap of ₹2,473 crore, has been kept as ‘regulatory asset’ to be recovered from the consumers in the financial years 2022 and 2023.

Before COVID-19 paralysed the world, Bescom had asked for ₹1.96 per unit hike citing a revenue deficit of ₹5,872.08 crore for 2020-21. The year before that, all ESCOMS had sought hikes ranging from ₹1 to ₹1.67 per unit. The KERC had then allowed a 33 paise per unit increase.


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Sagar Biswas

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