If you are customer of Reliance Energy (RInfra), Tata Power or state-run Mahavitaran in Mumbai, get ready for a shock when you get your next electricity bill. On Friday, the state’s power regulator, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Authority (MERC), approved an average tariff hike of 5.2% for RInfra customers and 3.9% for Tata Power users.
These are overall figures and include domestic, commercial and other users (such as schools, power looms and so on).
All the changes come into effect retrospectively from June 1, 2015.
For domestic users, whether your bill amount increases or decreases will depend on which company supplies your electricity and how much power you consume in a month (see graphic).
While Tata Power customers who use less than 300 units a month will actually see a drop in their monthly bills, if you are an Rinfra user, your bills will go up no matter how many units you consume.
MERC has also approved an overall reduction – of 2.4% – for customers of state distributor Mahavitaran, which operates in part of Bhandup, Mulund, Thane and Navi Mumbai. This overall cut, however, doesn’t benefit Mahavitaran’s domestic users; bills will remain more or less the same for those who use less than 300 units a month, but will be up to 9.5% more for heavier users.
Explaining the discrepant rate hikes, the MERC order explained: “Mumbai is an island city faced with a unique situation, where it has multiple distribution licensees, RInfra, Tata, and BEST in the same supply area. All three have different cost of supply, consumer mix andconsumption mix wheeling charges. Hence the different tariffs for the same category of consumers depending on the licenses areas.”
RInfra has about 21 lakh customers, mainly in the northern and western suburbs. It will now charge Rs 4.79 per unit (up from Rs 4.61) if you consume under 100 units in a month; Rs 6.54 per unit (up from Rs 6.31) if you use between 100 and 300 units; Rs 8.26 per unit (up from Rs 7.43) if your usage is between 300 and 500 units; and Rs 10.08 per unit (up from Rs 9.25) if your monthly usage exceeds 500 units.
Tata Power, which has about six lakh customers, will now charge Rs 2.05 per unit (down from Rs 2.62) if you use less than 100 units; Rs 4.21 (down from Rs 4.56) if you use 101 to 300 units. If your usage exceeds 300 units, however, your bill will rise by about 3%.
Meanwhile, Mahavitaran customers who use less than 300 units a month will see little change in their bills (1% hike); those who use 301-500 units will see a 5% hike, while heavy users (above 500 units) will face a 9.5% increase.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis welcomed the new tariff order, saying it was necessary to reduce industrial rates to allow Maharashtra to compete with other states. "High industrial tariffs were a major grievance in the sector and it is commendable that following this order we have cleared that hurdle," Fadnavis said.