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No change in Gujarat power tariff

(01 Apr 2018)

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) kept electricity tariff unchanged for majority of the power consumeRs for the coming financial year, even as it abolished the Meter Rent, and also introduced a special tariff category for encouraging electric vehicles. GERC issued the power tariff order for 2018-19 on Saturday after hearing petitions filed by Torrent Power as well as the four government power distribution companies — UGVCL, PGVCL, DGVCL and MGVCL.

The four government owned discoms have 1.25 crore consumeRs , while Torrent Power cateRs to 30 lakh consumeRs . Torrent Power had not sought any tariff increase for its Ahmedabad distribution area, but had proposed to recover a cumulative gap of Rs 390 crore by way of regulatory charge of 25 paise per unit.

The state-owned discoms had also not demanded any increase in tariff, but wanted a hike in Fuel and Power Purchase Price Adjustment (FPPPA) charge.

However, none of these proposals were approved by GERC. The regulator said in a statement that Meter Rent was being abolished from the electricity bill. In a bid to promote creation of charging facilities for Electric Vehicles (EVs), GERC announced introduction of a special tariff category for exclusive EV charging facilities with fixed charges of Rs 25 per month per installation and energy charges of Rs 4.10 per unit for LT consumeRs , and Rs 4 per unit for HT consumeRs . GERC also gave an option to commercial consumeRs to opt for demand based tariff by lowering its limit from existing 15 kW to 10 kW. To encourage 'Piyat mandalis' and use of surface water for irrigation purpose on cooperative basis, the Commission reduced fixed charges applicable to 'Lift Irrigation' tariff categories by 50%. The Commission said in its order that it had directed the companies to submit action plan for introducing 'Demand Response' measures. Energy and regulatory expert KK Bajaj said it was disappointing that GERC had not rationalised the electricity consumption slabs, and had also not put a maximum ceiling on FPPPA charges. For Torrent Power, GERC allowed total distribution loss of 6.85% for Ahmedabad area, and 3.69% for Surat, for the coming year.

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