Power consumers lose rebate for solar installations, ECS after KERC order

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The KERC has discontinued the solar rebate offered to power consumers.

BENGALURU: In yet another shock for power consumers, especially those who have solar installations, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has stopped the solar rebate that was being provided to them.

While electricity consumers are eagerly waiting for the rollout of the Gruha Jyothi scheme, huge power bills have come as a major shock. In many places, citizens are yet to get their power bills. Now, those who have solar installations stand to lose the solar rebate that they were eligible to so far. Even those who had opted for electronic clearance system (ECS) stand to lose the 0.2 per cent rebate.

In its recommendations on May 12, the KERC has said, “The solar rebate off 50 paise per unit of electricity consumed, subject to a maximum of Rs 50 per installation per month, hitherto allowed to tariff schedule LT-2(a) is now discontinued”.

Since 2007, the rebate was being provided to encourage the use of solar water heaters and lighting. This was being adjusted against the monthly power bills. Officials say that since it has already been made mandatory for buildings over 600 sqft with concrete roofing to have solar installations, the rebate has been cancelled. Also, many have already installed solar water heaters, an official explained.

The solar rebate will be discontinued for LT-2 (a) (domestic), LT-29(b) (private schools), LT-3 (commercial), LT-4 (irrigation pumpsets), LT-5 (licenced industries), LT-6(a) (water supply under local bodies), LT-6(b) (streetlighting) and LT-7 (temporary connection) consumers.

Officials claimed that the discontinuation is not because it will be a burden on the Escoms, but because solar installation for buildings of 600 sqft and above has already been made mandatory.

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