OERC committee members object to tariff hike plan

GRIDCO, OPGC and OHPC have proposed increase in tariff for bulk power supply
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

BHUBANESWAR : An overwhelming majority of the state advisory committee of Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) on Wednesday made a strong plea against power tariff hike as proposed by bulk supplier GRIDCO and two power generating companies of the state, OPGC and OHPC.

Members of the OERC committee representing a cross section of the consumers told the commission there is no need for an increase in power tariff as the aggregated technical and commercial (AT&C) loss of the four distribution licensees is on slide as per the vesting order trajectory of the commission and there has been huge infusion of capital for infrastructure development.

They said the capital expenditure incurred by the state government in the last few years should be taken into account while determining the tariff so that consumers are benefited.

Some members pointed out that the Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) is not generating power as per its design energy capacity as a result of which the state in losing out on cheaper power. With huge potential for small hydro projects in the state, the regulator was suggested to ask GRIDCO to identify viable projects through public private participation (PPP) mode.

The proposal of the four power distribution companies to the commission for allowing to charge delayed payment surcharge (DPS) on low transmission (LT) consumers were strongly objected by most of the members.

The other demand of the members representing the consumer groups was to do away with the existing practice of collecting meter rent every month and include the cost of the meter in capital expenditure.

Since the investment made by the state government is not transferred to the book of accounts of the distribution companies (discoms), the commission said steps have been taken to transfer it to the discoms in shape of equity during capital expenditure of Rs 5,600 crore for a period of five years. The state government has 49 per cent equity in all four discoms.

It has been a ritual for the commission to listen to members of its advisory committee before determining the annual revenue requirement and power tariff for distribution, generation, transmission and bulk trading licensees.

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