Suburban power consumers may soon have a reason to rejoice. Reliance Infrastructure will charge less than other companies for its supply after 2014.
The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has already approved multi-year tariff (business) plans of Reliance and Tata Power Company. The provisional rate of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), which is far higher than other two, would come up for hearing on November 29.
However, Tata’s rate in 2016 will be lower than others at an average of Rs. 5.89 per unit. Tata and Reliance are competing for a bigger share in the western suburbs because of the mechanism of switchover in which consumers could change their existing supplier for availing cheaper electricity.
In addition to regular charges, Tata consumers need to pay wheeling charge for using Reliance network and cross subsidy surcharge. Industry experts feel the competitive rates could stop migration from Reliance to Tata in the coming years.
Though in 2013, Reliance’s supply would be a bit costly at Rs. 6.74 per unit (average cost) than Tata’s Rs. 6.32 per unit, the provisional rate of BEST is Rs. 10.85 per unit.
Industry experts said even if the MERC reduced the BEST charge significantly, there would be no bigger scope for keeping competitive rates in the city.
BEST consumers would have to pay more because the apex court hasn't yet allowed easier migration in the island city.
From 2014, Reliance would start reduced the rate. It will charge average rate of Rs. 6.51 per unit against Tata’s Rs. 84 and BEST’s Rs. 11.39 per unit).
Next year, Reliance would reduce it further to Rs. 6.30 per unit against Tata’s Rs. 6.64 per unit and BEST’s Rs. 9.98.
In 2016, the suburban Reliance consumers would pay more at Rs. 6.32 per unit than Tata’s Rs. 5.89 per unit, but the rate would still be less than BEST’s Rs. 8.81 per unit.