Brace for steep power tariff hike

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Bangalore: The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) is set to give its biggest shock to consumers on Monday, with the power tariff likely to go up by more than 23 paise per unit.

The hearing on power tariff revision for the year 2014-15 will conclude on Monday, after which the KERC will issue the revised tariff order. KERC sources said the order could be the highest one awarded by the commission since it came into existence in 2000.

The hearing process for 2014-15 was delayed due to various factors, including the Lok Sabha polls. Escoms had filed tariff revision applications in the last week of November, but the KERC extended the time limit to file the applications to December 13, 2013. The hearing was supposed to be completed by mid-March, but was extended due to the polls. It began on April 22, after the State had voted.

The escoms have, in their applications, projected an energy supply of 62,959 million units (mu) during this year (2014-15) against energy supply of 61,075 mu for the year 2013-14. The escoms are seeking an increase of 66 paise per unit and hope to generate a revenue of Rs 27,772 crore, against Rs 24,469 for the current year.

The 66 paise per unit excludes irrigation pumpsets, Bhagya Jyothi and Kuteera Jyothi.

During 2013-14, the escoms had sought a revision of 70 paise per unit, but the KERC allowed a hike of 23 paise per unit. In 2012, they had sought an increase of 73 paise, but the commission had allowed a tariff hike of 13 paise.

The escoms had also urged the KERC to consider Rs 2,000 crore expenditure made in the year 2012 for purchase of power. The then government had assured of providing an additional subsidy of more than Rs 2,000 crore.

However, the present government has refused to release the subsidy amount.

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