Ninety per cent of Delhiites will pay less for power with the regulator on Thursday hiking tariffs but nullifying its impact by withdrawing a fuel charge of 6-8%.
“Although we have increased tariffs slightly, the power purchase adjustment cost (PPAC) has been subsumed for the next three months. Hence, power bills of those consuming up to 800 units will come down,” said PD Sudhakar, chairman of the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC). “The PPAC surcharge will be reviewed in November, for which power discoms will submit their petitions.”
However, those who consume more than 800 units will see their monthly bills go up. For this, a new slab of 1,200 units and above has been introduced with a rate of Rs. 8.75 per unit.
According to DERC, the average tariff hike for those using up to 800 units works out to 5% while it is 16% for those consuming between 801 and 1,200 units. The hike for commercial consumers is 11%.
In addition to power guzzlers, residents of VIP areas under the New Delhi Municipal Council will pay more than they currently do as the regulator has approved a hike of up to 9.52% for them. But their bills will still be low compared to the rest of the city as they already enjoy much lower rates.
In a Facebook post, power minister Piyush Goyal said that the move to hike rates was a decision taken solely by DERC and that the government will “certainly find ways to see how consumers will be given further relief”.
Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay, too, said bills should be reduced by at least 30% in keeping with the party’s election promise.
He said the party’s city unit has written to the Centre seeking a subsidy in the Delhi budget, which will be presented in Parliament on Friday.
Power was a major poll plank for parties during December’s assembly elections. Both the Aam Aadmi Party and BJP had during their campaigns promised to slash tariffs — AAP by as much as 50%— if elected to power.
If the PPAC is revived in November, it would automatically lead to an increase in power rates.