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High power usage to cost more from this month, but only by a bit

High power usage to cost more from this month, but only by a bit

NEW DELHI: After remaining unchanged for two years, electricity cost in the capital will change from Friday. However, the difference in the bill amount will likely remain minuscule since the rate for units consumed have been left untouched and only the fixed charge
component has been restructured. Announcing the new tariff schedule for 2017-18 on Thursday, Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) said the changes ensured not only affordable power for the majority of consumers, but also only marginally higher prices for users in the economically advantaged classes.

The power bill consists of four components: fixed charge, energy charges according to units consumed, surcharge and an electricity tax that goes into the kitty of the municipal corporations. Under the new order, the fixed charge has been changed for different categories, but the others remain the same.

The existing fixed charge for users with a domestic load of up to 2KW, who constitute almost 75% of all domestic power consumers in the capital, was Rs 40 a month. For those with a 1KW load, this has come down to Rs 20, while remaining stagnant for households with 2KW load. There are 11,72,000 consumers in the capital who will benefit from the reduction of Rs 20 in their monthly bills.

The rest of the consumers, with loads falling in the newly created slabs of 3KW, 4KW and 5KW, will see marginal increases that will not exceed 1.15% of their current bills. So, those in the  3KW category will pay Rs 5 additional per month, while households in the 4KW category will pay Rs 40 extra and 5KW category, Rs 75.

Delhi government and Aam Aadmi Party welcomed DERC's order, given that keeping power bills low for the people of Delhi has been the party's key policy. The state government has set aside Rs 1,720 crore as power subsidy for the current financial year to meet its election promise of lower power costs.

Justifying the order, BP Singh, lone member of DERC, said, "Based on the petitions made by the discoms in Delhi — BSES Yamuna Power Limited, BSES Rajdhani Power Limited and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited — the demand was for aggregate revenue of Rs 22,772 crore. After truing it up and taking care of penalties, we revised it to Rs 20,336 crore. The revenue is Rs 20,394 crore, which means a surplus of Rs 58 crore."

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