Your power bills will rise again from this month as KERC okays tariff hike

Public TV English
Public TV English
3 Min Read

BENGALURU: Citizens will have to bear with another hike in power tariff from October, the third hike this year. The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has accepted the demand by state electricity supply companies (Escoms) which had sought a hike citing increasing fuel (coal) costs.

In April, the tariff was raised by 33 paise per unit as part of annual revision. Again, in June, the tariff was raised by 31 paise per unit citing fuel adjustment cost (FAC). Now, the KERC has approved a 43 paise per unit hike for Bescom, 24 paise hike for Mescom and 35 paise hike for CESC, Hescom and Gescom.

As per the 2013 rules, Escoms can seek a raise or cut in tariff, depending on the cost of coal, every three months. But the hike which has been approved, it quite steep, consumers feel. The Escoms can absorb the cost by raising resources through other means, but is only eyeing tariff hike, energy experts feel.

What Can Escoms Do?

  • Transmission loss is about 10-12 per cent, but nothing has been done to reduce this. Even a 1 per cent reduction will result in savings of crores
  • Escoms are not focusing on renewable energy like solar, wind and water power. They are mainly dependent on thermal power plants which require coal.
  • Escoms are entering into long-term power purchase agreements (PPA), which should be stopped.
  • State and Central government entities owe Rs 6,670 crore. This should be collected with interest, but instead, the burden is being passed on to the common man.
  • Latest technologies should be adopted to prevent power loss and theft

So, who much will the tariff hike impact your monthly bills? In Bescom’s jurisdiction, a house which was getting a bill of Rs 500 can expect it to go up by Rs 40. If the power bill was Rs 1,000, it will increase by Rs 108 per month.

For their part, the Escoms have pointed out to the steep hike in coal prices in recent weeks. Also, they say that though they can seek a hike every three months, they are doing so after six months.

Between April and June this year, Bescom has spent Rs 643 crore more for power purchase while Mescom spent Rs 75.15 crore, CESC Rs 119 crore, Hescom Rs 273 crore and Gescom Rs 134 crore.

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