Suburban consumers of Tata Power Company can continue to use Reliance Infrastructure’s network to get cheaper power supply from the former.
The appellate tribunal for electricity (ATE) on Friday said it is in the interest of consumers of Tata Power and R-Infra that the changeover consumers of Tata Power get supply on R-Infra’s network, even if there is a Tata station in the vicinity.
“It would be convenient and economical for the consumers, who may want to get back to R-Infra, in case its tariff becomes more attractive in the future,” said the tribunal.
While R-Infra had alleged that Tata was cherry-picking consumers, the tribunal has dismissed the charge. The decision on network will benefit Tata consumers, as they won’t have to pay extra to Tata to lay the new network, even as they continue to avail of cheaper power by paying R-Infra wheeling (rental) charges and other compensatory levies such as cross subsidy surcharge (CSS) and regulatory assets surcharge.
While the tribunal held there should be no restriction on any licensee to lay the network to supply power to new connections, it also maintained that duplication of distribution network should be avoided in consumer interest. The tribunal also asked the regulator to come up with an appropriate framework to help consumers choose an affordable power supply network.
Tata has been competing with RInfra in suburbs for the past five years. Lakhs of consumers, including most commercial establishments, have migrated to Tata because of its lower tariff.
ATE chairman Justice M Karpaga Vinayagam and technical member Rakesh Nath issued the order.