Power bills spurt due to FSA
By Express News Service | Published: 07th July 2012 11:50 AM |
Many citizens across the state are having to pay hefty bills for power consumed by someone else with the discoms slapping a fuel surcharge adjustment (FSA) from this month. Some of them have seen their bills jump by more than 50 per cent. In Hyderabad, one consumer whose power consumption charges had been Rs 130 in June, received a bill for Rs 188 in July. The reason: it includes Rs 58 extracted by the discom towards FSA for the year 2009-10.
By way of FSA for 2009-10 alone, the discom, AP Central Power Distribution Company Ltd (APCPDCL) is raking in Rs 1,481 crore.
This backdated FSA collection opens up a curious possiblity: if a consumer has moved to a rented house since 2010, he is essentially
paying the bills of the previous occupants of the house. In other words, some citizens are paying for power they had not consumed at all.
Power utilities recently hiked tariffs after receiving the nod from the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC). But the state government decided to absorb the hike for some classes of consumers. But two months after the government's decision, the discoms have started collecting FSA charges.
The power utility had actually decided to collect FSA charges from 2008-09 to 2011-12 but the High Court cut out 2008-09 from the purview of that decision, so the discoms started collecting arrears since 2009-10.
A public hearing will be conducted by APERC on July 16 on collection of FSA for the years 2010-11 and 2011-12. If FSA charges are collected for all the years from 2008 to 2012, the discoms will be richer by Rs 11,130 crore.