Come Monday, electricity will cost more across the city with the power regulator approving up to a 6% hike in tariff, which is expected to rise again after the annual revision in July.
The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission approved a 4-6% increase in power purchase adjustment cost (PPAC), or the fuel surcharge, as it restored a levy charged to compensate the discoms for rise in cost of buying electricity on account of increase in coal and gas prices.
The Delhi government, which has had disagreements with the power regulator, would seek legal opinion, a spokesperson said. “We disagree with the tariff hike,” power minister Satyendra Jumar Jain tweeted.
Power bills in south, west, central and east Delhi will go up by 6%, in north by 4% and in New Delhi 5%. The variation in rates is because different power distribution firms, or discoms as they are better known, service the national capital that produces barely 15% of the total electricity it consumes.
“The government will seek a review of the DERC order and will convey its disagreement to the commission in writing,” the spokesperson said.
Delhi purchases most of the power from state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation’s coal-fed plants.
Typically, the surcharge is revised every quarter but the Friday’s hike will be applicable till March 2016.
The hike in PPAC, introduced in 2012, was approved on the directions of the appellate tribunal of electricity that had directed it to determine fuel prices, the DERC said.
Tata Power had moved the tribunal against the DERC after it rolled back a PPAC hike within 24 hours in November ahead of the Delhi elections.
While areas served by BSES Rajdhani Power Limited and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) will see an increase of 6%, Tata Power consumers’ bills will go up by 4%.
A bigger hike, however, could be coming in July as the
process of annual tariff revision is underway. The three discoms have asked DERC for 16-20% hike in increase.
The Delhi government had earlier said it would ask the DERC not to hike tariff till the national auditor had examined the books of the discoms as ordered by it.
The AAP has accused the discoms of inflating costs and overcharging and had even made it a poll issue. Days after it swept to power in February, it announced 50% subsidy for small consumers.