Shimla: Power tariffs in Himachal Pradesh have been hiked by up to 16 per cent for all categories, including domestic consumers (except BPL families) with immediate effect. The increase will be reflected in the electricity bill generated for April 2013, State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) announced in its tariff order in Shimla on Saturday.
Tariff for domestic users would be hiked by 16 per cent, while industrial and commercial consumers would have to pay 15.47 per cent and 14.20 per cent more. Tariff for public utilities would be raised by 13.48 per cent and 8.83 per cent, the order said. The average domestic tariff has been increased from Rs 3.69 to Rs 4.28 per unit for domestic consumers, Rs 4.76 to Rs 5.50 per unit for industrial consumers, Rs 5.21 to Rs 5.95 per unit for commercial consumers and domestic consumers (except the lifeline consumers with consumption upto 40 units) would have to pay 17 to 23 per cent more.
This would be inspite of direct subsidy from the government for which Rs 320 crore have been earmarked during the current financial year against Rs 270 crore in 2012-13. There would be no increase in tariff for BPL consumers up to 40 units. Subsidised tariff would go up from Rs 1.10 to Rs 1.30 per unit for consumption up to 125 units. The tariff would go up from Rs 2.20 to Rs 2.70 per unit for consumption between 126-250 units and it would be Rs 3.95 for consumption above 250 units against Rs 3.25 per unit at present.
Out of the total of over 17.81 lakh domestic consumers in the state, there are about 3 lakh families in below poverty line (BPL) category. The total power consumed by domestic consumers was 175.56 crore units, costing Rs 713.29 crores at non subsidised rate of Rs 4.28 per unit. The government subsidy in four domestic slabs would be Rs 1.85, Rs 2.20, Rs. 1.70 and Rs 0.75 per unit, respectively.
The service charge for non-BPL consumers have also been increased from Rs 30 to Rs 40 per month. SERC assessed total expenditure of the Board at Rs 4,609.09 crore against revenue of Rs 4,150.28 crore, leaving a revenue gap of Rs 527.11 crore which would be offset by additional revenue of Rs 544.64 crore generated by tariff hike, thus leaving a surplus of Rs 17.53 crore. Commission has fixed Transmission and Distribution (T&D) loss reduction targets for each year from 2011-12 to 2013-14.
However, against the target of 12.55 per cent, the Board has reported achievement of 13.43 per cent and the commission did not allow an expenditure of Rs 20.26 crore for this under performance. The Board was unable to recover Rs 100 crore from project developers aginst the expenditure incurred by it on survey and investigation of projects allotted to the developers. The SERC introduced two new categories in Large Industries -- HT-1 and HT-2 -- up to and above 1 MW in response to concerns raised by several consumers about the per unit impact of demand charges on smaller LIP consumers.
Night time concession charges of 20 paise per unit have been increased to 40 paise per unit for consumers upto a load of 1 MW in two part tariff category of Small and Medium Industry and Large Industry. Peak load exemption permission duration would be extended from 1 year to 3 years and consumers would be allowed to change their contract demand twice in a financial year with a minimum ceiling of 50 per cent.
In order to meet the power demand, which was about ten per cent, the Commission has allowed HHPSEB to make additional power purchase of about 500 MUs, which is about 6 per cent more than its total requirement and keep it as a reserve, to be made available round the year.