BENGALURU: Your next electricity bill is likely to be significantly higher as an average power tariff hike of 5.30% across the state was announced by the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) on Monday. The new rates will have a retrospective effect from 1 April 2018 as the KERC could not announce the hike earlier due to the election model code of conduct which was in place. The revised amounts will reflect in next months bills, according to the KERC.
As per the new tariff order, for people living in urban areas supplied by the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) the average increase including a hike in fixed charges is 38 paise per unit. Fixed charges have been hiked by Rs. 5 per kVA to Rs. 10 per kVA for low tension (LT) installations. Domestic consumers in BBMP and other municipal corporation areas under BESCOM will now pay an average of 25 paise per unit more. The same category of consumers under other electricity supply companies jurisdictions across the state will pay between 20 paise/unit to 25/unit depending on the amount of power consumed.
For industrial consumers, the power tariffs across the state have been hiked between 20 paise/unit to 25 paise/unit. Commericial consumers in BESCOM category will pay 25 paise per unit more while high tension (HT) consumers in other ESCOM areas will pay 20 paise/unit more.
This year, the State Government will have to cough up Rs. 11,048 crore as subsidy to be paid to ESCOMS for supplying power to 27.17 lakh irrigation pumpsets and 28.42 lakh households under various schemes. An allotment of around Rs. 8000 crore had been made for the same in this years state budget but the Government will have to make up for the shortfall of around Rs. 3000 crore.
"The growth in consumption of High Tension (HT) consumers has not been as expected. In order to provide incentives to industry, we have announced a special incentive discount of Rs. 1/unit for all HT consumers who use energy between 10 AM to 6 PM and Rs. 2/unit for those consuming power between 10 PM and 6 AM," said KERC Chairperson MK Shankarlinge Gowda at a press conference to announce the hike.
He also said that keeping in mind environmentally friendly measures promoted by the Government, the KERC had decided that effluent treatment plants and sewerage water treatment plants (STP's) located within premises of consumer installations will be charged the same tariff as applicable to the installations. Earlier, STP
STP's were being charged commercial rates even if located in apartment complexes. "The commission has also approved LT and HT industrial category tariffs for solid waste processing plants considering the environmental and social benefits," he said.