Domestic consumers will now have to pay more for the electricity they use. The Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) on Friday approved a 10 paise hike across the slabs in the retail supply tariff for the year 2013-14.
The new tariff will come into effect from April 1. This is for the fourth consecutive year that the power tariff has been hiked in the State. Effecting an average 2.4 per cent hike in the tariff for LT consumers, the commission noted that the raise is nominal.
For the first 50 units, a consumer will now have to pay Rs 2.30 per unit against Rs 2.20, whereas for the slab 50 units to 200 units, the tariff will be Rs 4 per unit. For the slab of 200-400 units, the tariff will be Rs 5, while the next slab will be charged at Rs 5.40 per unit.
This will mean that those consuming less will pay relatively more. For the first 50 units, the average rise in power bill will be 4.5 per cent, whereas for 100 and 200 units, it will be 3.2 per cent and 2.8 per cent respectively.
Going by a simple calculation, those who consume 50 units and shelled out Rs 110 during 2012-13, will have to pay Rs 115 during 2013-14. Those consuming 100 units will pay Rs 315 against the current charge of Rs 305. For a consumption of 200 units, Rs 715 will be charged against Rs 695 earlier.
‘’Against an annual average inflation rate of 7.6 pc in 2012-13, a 10 pc rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and 16 pc hike in diesel prices, the 2.4 pc raise in tariff is nominal,’’ the commission said and hoped that the consumers can bear the slight rise.
The OERC, however, spared irrigation, pumping and agriculture and allied agricultural activities from the hike as the tariff at present level of 110 paise and 120 paise remained unchanged in the low tension (LT) category. A marginal rise of 20 paise was effected for allied agro-industrial activities to 400 paise per unit. For the high tension (HT) category too, there was no rise for irrigation, pumping and agriculture and allied agricultural activities.
While the small hike in tariff for domestic consumers may still cause a stir, the commission has introduced a re-connection charge __ read a delayed payment penalty __ for the LT category. Earlier, bill payment after due date did not attract any penalty while a re-connection charge was levied after disconnection of a supply line. From next year, consumers who do not pay electricity bill in time and have not been disconnected will be levied a charge of `150 after a two-month delay.