Power rates in Haryana are already among the highest in the region and consumers might have to brace up for another increase in power tariffs early next year.
The power distribution companies, Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), which increased power rates thrice this year, have projected a colossal revenue gap of Rs 6,879 crore for the financial year 2013-14.
Of this, Rs 4,703 crore is the projected revenue gap for the next financial year and the balance amount of Rs 2,176 crore is the additional financial liability on the account of previous years, according to the aggregate revenue requirement (ARR) filings made by the two power utilities before the state power regulator, Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC), for 2013-14.
Though the two power companies have not proposed a revision in power rates despite instructions from the electricity regulator to submit proposals to cover the revenue gap, there are not many options available.
As per the National Tariff Policy and successive orders of the appellate tribunal of electricity in recent years, the revenue gap is to be covered by way of tariff and not allowed as regulatory asset.
There are instances where the gap has been left uncovered in the past and the power utilities permitted to fund it through borrowing. The companies, however, do not seem to have the required financial wiggle room now. Given their adverse financial position, the banks are not willing to extend any further short-term loans for uncovered gap or regulatory asset, an energy sector expert said.
The commission will consider their power supply cost, revenue requirement, loss levels and subsidy before determining the gap and tariff for the next year.