.........BHUBANESWAR: Retail power consumers of the State will pay a higher tariff from April 1 with Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) on Thursday announcing a hike of 10 paise per unit in electricity tariff for 2017-18.
The power tariff for domestic consumers having consumption upto 50 units has remained unchanged at Rs 2.50 paise per unit. This will benefit about 33 lakh domestic consumers out of 56 lakh electricity consumers of the State.
The Commission has spared the BPL and agriculture consumers from the tariff hike. Last year, the power tariff had remained unchanged.
“While approving the average cost of supply for distribution companies (discoms) at Rs 4.88 per unit, the OERC has fixed the tariff at Rs 2.50 per unit for the first 50 units, Rs 4.30 per unit for consumption above 50 units upto 200 units, Rs 5.30 per unit for consumption above 200 to 400 units and Rs 5.70 per unit for consumption above 400 units,” OERC’s Director (Regulatory Affairs) Priyabrat Patnaik told reporters.
The principal reasons for tariff hike for the ensuing fiscal include 40 per cent rise in coal cost, pass through of Rs 154.40 crore towards past power purchase dues of NTPC by the Grid Corporation of Odisha Limited (Gridco) as per the CERC order and gradual decrease of the cheap hydropower share in the total power purchase, he added.
Besides, the Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS), Talcher, a unit of national power major NTPC, has increased the fixed cost of power by Rs 50 crore from Rs 373.59 crore to Rs 426.93 crore. This pushed the power purchase cost of Gridco by 17 paise per unit in 2017-18, Patnaik said.
The average bulk supply price of the State has increased from Rs 2.73 per unit in 2016-17 to Rs 2.77 per unit in 2017-18 as against the Gridco demand for Rs 3.97 per unit.
The Commission has approved a special rebate of 5 paise per unit to rural consumers for timely payment of bill. With the existing rebate of 10 paise for prompt payment, the rural domestic consumers will get a net rebate of 15 paise per unit, said OERC Secretary KL Panda.
To promote cashless transaction among the consumer, the commission has allowed one per cent rebate over and above the normal rebate for digital payment of energy bills, Panda added.
Responding to a query, Patnaik said the Commission has approved distribution loss of 21.34 per cent against 29.22 per cent proposed by the distribution companies. The Commission has approved about Rs 4 crore in the annual revenue requirement of the discoms for supply of uniform to their employees.