Low-end customers of Tata Power may see a major surge in their electricity bills, as the company has proposed steep hikes – in the range of 20%-80% -- for users consuming less than 300 units a month.
Bigger homes, especially with customers who have switched over and consume more than 300 units, might get relief, as Tata Power has proposed to slash tariffs by 10% to 20%. The tariff for commercial users too will be slashed in the range of 7-17%.
The details are part of the company’s tariff petition filed with the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). A decision on the tariff will be taken after the hearing in a few months.
The discom, India’s largest power company, divides its six-lakh consumer base into two categories -- direct consumers and changeover consumers who have shifted to Tata Power from other power utilities but continue using the previous utility’s network as Tata’s network in the city is not as extensive.
According to the company’s data, nearly 90 per cent of its customers fall under the changeover customers’ category. Tata Power has proposed a reduction in tariffs for three changeover consumer categories -- 33% for below poverty line consumers, taking their tariff from Rs1.91 to Rs1.38 a unit; 10% for those consuming between 300 units and 500 units, from Rs7.46 a unit to Rs6.75; and a 14% cut for those consuming more than 500 units, from Rs9.43 a unit to Rs8.14. Low-end consumers, who consume less than 100 units, will face a 38% hike, while those consuming between 100 and 300 units will see a 20% hike, if the Tata’s petition is accepted.
The hikes, however, are steeper for direct consumers -- from an 80% hike for its BPL consumers to a 71% hike for those consuming less than 100 units. For those consuming between 100 and 300 units, the proposed hike is 53%, from Rs4.47 to Rs6.83 a unit, while for those consuming in the range of 300-500 units (9% hike), the rate will go up to Rs9.35 a unit from Rs8.61 a unit. For those consuming more than 500 units, the hike is 2%.
In the petition, the company said the hikes are mandated to make up for the Rs1,240 crore revenue gaps that it has suffered, which it hopes, will be gradually recovered in the next three years.
A source said the company, beyond the revenue gaps, wants to also bring parity in tariffs for all categories of consumers. The source said, despite the hikes, the discom’s proposed tariffs were the lowest among the industry.