Power bills to rise as KERC approves 70 paise hike in tariff for all consumers with effect from April 1

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BENGALURU: A day before the announcement of the Assembly poll results, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) on Friday approved a 70 paise hike in power tariff.

In a statement, the KERC said the hike the hike will be effective from April 1, 2023 and will apply to all low-tension (LT) and high-tension consumers (HT). The Escoms had proposed an average increase by 139 paise per unit, ranging between Rs 1.20 to Rs 1.46 per unit.

The KREC had conducted a public hearing from February 13 to March 1 to hear objections to the proposed hike in power tariff. The hotel owners’ association in the city had opposed any such move.

In the statement, the KERC said that under the Discounted Energy Rate Scheme (DERS), to encourage industries to consume more power, the KERC has approved reduced energy charges of Rs 5 per unit against the existing rate of Rs 6 per unit. The scheme, which was applicable to HT consumers, is now extended to LT industries and LT commercial installations with a sanctioned load of 50 KW and above also.

Representative image.

To encourage use of electric vehicles, the energy charges for EV charging stations has been reduced to Rs 4.50 per unit against the existing rate of Rs 5 per unit. To promote setting up of data centres in the state, industrial tariff has been extended to them and rebate for micro and small industries of 50 paise per unit has been continued for one more year, the press release said.

The Commission has also issued some new directives to the Escoms. The power utilities have been asked to link the RR numbers of of irrigation pumpsets (IP) sets with Aadhaar numbers of the consumers within six months, failing which the government will not release subsidy in respect of those connections, it said.

Last year, power tariff was hiked twice in the state. In April 2022, the power tariff was increased by 35 paisa per unit. In September 2022, the fuel adjustment cost was increased from 24 paise to 43 paise. After the installation of the new digital meters, consumers have been getting higher electricity bills. Citizens have expressed their outrage as the electricity bills have already shot up after the installation of new digital meters.

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