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Change for the better?

If power companies have their way with the electricity regulator, then consumers will undergo a slew of measures that will completely overhaul the way power consumption is billed in the Capital. Avishek G Dastidar reports.

delhi Updated: May 13, 2011 02:33 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

If power companies have their way with the electricity regulator, then consumers will undergo a slew of measures that will completely overhaul the way power consumption is billed in the Capital.

In their aggregate revenue requirement petitions, the three private discoms have suggested a few radical steps for "rationalisation of tariff" aimed at increasing revenue collection and minimising loss.

One of the main suggestions is to bring out uniform fixed charges for sanctioned load up to 5 KW.

Typically domestic consumers have a sanctioned load of one or two kilowatts but, thanks to heavy appliances, they end up using much more without enhancing their sanctioned load. Discoms want to put all these consumers in one flat slab.

Discoms have said this gives undue advantage to consumers who have not increased their declared load to the actual connected load, while consumers of other billed loads are paying the fixed charges.http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/130511/13_05_pg2a.jpg

Farm houses, mansions in posh neighbourhoods and such entities which have sanctioned load of more than 100 KW should be treated as industrial connections and a higher tariff be charged, the discoms have said.

The Tata-owned NDPL has proposed that the provision of levying fixed charges based on actual load reading and levying a 30% surcharge for domestic consumers be reintroduced in the tariff, since increase in demand by any consumer category more than the sanctioned amount leads to overloading in the system and increases losses in the network.

Big shops and such commercial, power-guzzling establishments whose used load is more than 10 KW could be sold electricity at hourly fluctuating tariff, based on peak and off-peak rates.

Time differential tariff has been suggested for greater demand-side management.

"In Delhi there are many categories of consumers who use power just like commercial entities but enjoy benefits meant for poor domestic consumers. They bleed our resources and eventually become a burden on domestic consumers. We want to bring a change in that," said Ramesh Narayan, chief executive officer of BSES Yamuna.

Both Reliance and Tata-backed discoms are on the same page as far as these proposals are concerned. Both sides have firmed up ideas for better rationalisation based on their experiences. For instance, NDPL has proposed that propagate prepaid metering.

Consumers applying for temporary connections or caught in theft should be mandatorily required to take connections through prepaid meters only so that it may help regulate their electricity consumption.

Similarly, BSES has proposed that the current limit of R4,000 for receiving cash as bill payment be increased to R20,000 for better recovery.