Fixed electricity charge cut by up to 84% in Delhi
Most electricity consumers in the city will see their bills declines starting in August with the Delhi power regulator on Wednesday reducing fixed charges for most domestic connections by up to 84%. The new power tariffs will be effective from August 1.
Last year, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC), a quasi-judicial independent body, increased the fixed charge, the cost a consumer has to pay irrespective of quantum of power consumed, across all categories.
The 3.8 %surcharge on power bills, however, which goes towards paying pension to former employees of power utilities, remains untouched.
The regulatory surcharge too remains at 8%.
DERC chairperson Justice (retired) SS Chauhan announced the new tariff order for the year 2019-2020. Delhi has at least 4.9 million domestic power consumers and, according to the DERC chief, 98% of the city’s households will end up saving money on their monthly electricity bills with the new tariff order.
DERC kept the energy charges same for all categories, except for those who consume more than 1,200 units per month. A household whose electricity consumption crosses 1,200 units a month will have to pay 25 paise extra per unit.
“Out of 49 lakh (4.9 million) consumers, only about 64,000 households have a power consumption of more than 1,200 units a month. Also, there are only about 16,000 households who have a sanctioned load of more than 15kW, the category for which we have kept the fixed charges unchanged. So, it is safe to say that the majority of Delhiites will end up saving (money) with this year’s tariff order,” said Chauhan.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated residents, saying Delhi had the lowest power tariffs in the country and was the only city with 24x7 electricity supply.
The BJP responded to the order by demanding that Kdjriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government return Rs. 7,000 crore collected as fixed charges previously.
Delhi is due to go to the polls early next year. In the 2015 elections, the AAP had promised to reduce the power tariffs by half. Over the last four years, althought energy charges have not been increased, the surcharge and fixed charges have risen.
Chauhan said the fixed charge up to 2 kilowatts (kW) has been reduced from Rs. 125 to Rs. 20, while the charge above 2 kW and up to 5kW has been slashed from Rs. 140 to Rs. 50. For those having a sanctioned load of more than 5kW and up to 15kW, the charge will be Rs. 100 instead of Rs. 175.
In the non-domestic category, which is above 3 kilo volts-amperes (kVA), the existing rate of Rs. 8 per unit has been raised to Rs. 8.50 per unit. Energy charges for public utilities such as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), Delhi Jal Board, and the railways has also been increased from Rs. 5.75 per kVAh to Rs. 6.25/kVAh.
The tariff for charging stations for e-rickshaws and other electric vehicles has also been reduced.