HYDERABAD: For people wanting to opt for open access in Telangana to get cheaper power, it’s going to get costlier as the Discoms propose to introduce facilitation charges of Rs 20,000 per month for open access consumers. The Discoms, on Monday, submitted additional information regarding the charges, as part of ARRs, to the State Electricity Regulator Commission (ERC).
Explaining the rationale behind the facilitation charges, the Telangana State Southern Power Distribution (TSSPDCL) said that the consumer benefits from the open-access facility in terms of getting cheap electricity, but the Discom has to incur excessive burden in the form of operation and maintenance costs, cost of maintaining an exclusive team of employees and the additional cost of infrastructure.
It added that the open-access users are paying only Rs 5,000 per application as operating charges to the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) for the monitoring their schedules of drawl/injection whereas the Discoms are not collecting any charges from the open-access users even though a lot of man-hours are involved in granting open access, monitoring the energy use and working out the deviation settlements at various stages to avail the open-access facility.
“In view of this, the licensee proposes to introduce ’facilitation charges’ of Rs 20,000 per month or part thereof (at a rate of 5 per cent increment every year) for providing open-access facility under the head ‘other charges in HT’ in order to meet the cost being incurred in providing the facility,” the TSSPDCL stated.
Senior vice-president of the Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) Anil Agarwal said that the Discoms neither provide electricity power at reasonable rates nor do they allow them to procure it from the open market. He pointed out that the Discoms had increased the additional surcharge on open-access power. The increase in power tariff to the extent of `1 and hike in fixed charges is on the cards for which Discoms have already submitted the proposal to ERC, he said. “Sorry state of affairs,” he remarked.
Prepaid meters mandatory
The Discoms have also proposed to make prepaid metering for all government offices mandatory. The Discoms requested the ERC to include an additional clause under the general conditions of LT/HT tariff.
Belated payment charges
The Discoms also proposed to levy belated payment charges for consumers under LT temporary supply category.