A delayed petition for imposing additional charges (Rs 1.51 per unit) on large-supply industrial consumers drawing power from utilities outside Punjab awaits the regulator’s approval.
Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) moved the petition to Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) in May. The amount, not a final yet, is proposed on the basis of losses the PSPCL incurs for paying fixed charges to own power generators, while consumers go shopping outside.
These additional charges proposed on the open-access consumers are over and above the wheeling and transmission charges. “Section 42 of the Electricity Act of 2003 allows the utilities to impose additional charges. What took the PSPCL so long to move a petition, when our power flow is stranded since much before?” asked a senior officer in the PSPCL.
“We moved the petition when we felt the need,” said PSPCL chairman and managing director (CMD) KD Chaudhri. PSERC chairman DS Bains said the orders will be out soon. Sources say the regulator has heard objections from the industry and is writing the orders. Of Punjab’s 434 consumers who opted to take power through open access, 249 continue to take the advantage. From April 1 to July 31, they consumed 2,000 million units, and are required to pay charges over and above Rs 1.82 per unit that they pay for wheeling and transmission.
The open-access consumers in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Gujarat pay additional charges already. The PSPCL met its peak-load demand of 10,155 megawatts in the year 2014-15 and 10,852 MW in 2015-16, to prove its ability to handle the rising demand.
It’s an option to the consumer who has a connected load of more than 1 megawatt, to draw power from source or sources other than the home state utility or corporation. Normally, this power is much cheaper rates and arranged by the consumer itself. The Electricity Act of 2003 allows it.