New Delhi: Delhiites will shell out less for their power bills from next month after Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission revised tariffs on Wednesday. The regulator has slashed energy charges across the board by up to 25 percent while hiking fixed charges payable to discoms by up to six times, the Times of India reported.
Under the new tariffs, fixed charges have been increased for all categories including domestic, commercial, industrial and even for DJB, DIAL, and DMRC from the earlier Rs 100-130/kVA to Rs 250/kVa. At the same time, energy charges have been slashed across the board. The 8 percent surcharge introduced by DERC last year, to be levied over and above the overall power bill continues to stay, the TOI report said.
Given the fact that fixed charges are typically a small part of the total bill, the net effect for most consumers is likely to be a saving on their current bills.
The commission claimed that the revised power tariff, effective April 1, will lead to an overall reduction in power bills. However, many industry experts who analyzed the order said the biggest benefits of the new tariffs would be high-end consumers, the TOI report said.
Meanwhile, experts also fear that the increase in fixed charges and reduction in energy charges could encourage more consumption of power.
However, those who are enjoying Delhi government’s subsidy in the 0-200 and 201-400 units slabs might actually take a hit as the fixed charges will go up.
“The subsidy is calculated at 50% of the energy charges, so when energy charges drop, the subsidy will also decrease,’’ TOI quoted an official as saying.
DERC admitted that subsidy beneficiaries might be at a disadvantage with the new tariff structure. “Subsidy is something the government has to decide. They can just tweak the subsidy at an absolute Rs 2/unit instead of 50%,” TOI quoted a DERC official as saying.
Domestic consumers who fall under the 0-2kW load category, who number about 26 lakh, are likely to be affected the most and some might have to pay more due to a sharp increase in fixed charges.
Explaining the logic of the new tariffs, DERC officials said that rationalizing fixed charges was overdue. Fixed charges are a fixed amount discoms pay to generation and transmission utilities from whom they procure power, whether they source power from the utility or not. The commission justified the increase in fixed charges saying it would be beneficial to consumers in the long run and the reduction in energy charges would keep bills within reasonable limits, the TOI report further said.
Officials said the restructured tariff schedule would benefit consumers and would also address the financial health of the sector. “The revenue gap at 2016-17 was Rs 9,349 cr and after all adjustments, it has come down to Rs 7,833. As per our new tariff structure, we expect a revenue surplus of Rs 437 crore at the end of this financial year,” TOI quoted DERC member BP Singh as saying.
For promoting e-rickshaws and vehicles, the tariff remains unchanged as last year at Rs 8 per unit. A new introduction in the tariff plan is the time of the day tariff for all consumers except domestic ones. The time of the day tariff varies as per peak and off-peak demand. The surcharge levied on energy charge during peak hours would be 20 percent while there would be a rebate of 20 percent during off-peak hours. Pension trust funding has been increased from 3.7 percent to 3.8 percent, the report further said.
The applicability of domestic tariff category has been expanded by including ‘paying guests’ at the premises having domestic connections with a sanctioned load of 5 kW.