In a huge respite for the electricity consumers in the national capital, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has reduced fixed charges by 50% for industrial and non-domestic consumers.
The notification issued by DERC stated that in the lockdown period (until May 30, 2020), several commercial and industrial (C&I) establishments did not tap into their contracted capacity. Yet, the fixed charges at the applicable rate were invoiced to them based on the billing demand as per the DERC.
The Commission had received representations from various stakeholders, including industry associations, and non-domestic consumers for waiver of fixed charges during the COVID-19 situation.
The notification stated that DERC wants to avoid hardships for such consumers. So, the fixed charges for the unutilized capacity (contract demand – maximum demand) during April 2020 and May 2020 for eligible industrial and non-domestic consumers could be billed at a reduced rate.
So, the Commission decided that for the eligible industrial and non-domestic consumers with maximum monthly demand less than the contract demand, the billing of fixed charges for such consumers should be split into two parts:
Fixed charges for billing demand up to the maximum demand should be billed as per the existing rate of ₹250 (~$3.40)/kVA/month.
Fixed charges for remaining billing demand (Contract demand minus maximum demand) will be billed at 50% of the existing rate, which is ₹125 (~$1.70)/kVA/month.
The notice asked the distribution licensees to adjust the fixed charges of April 2020 and May 2020 for such consumers in the subsequent two billing cycles from the time of issuance of this order.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted the decision and said: Delhi government stands with the people of Delhi in this hour of crisis. This relief in fixed charges will help lakhs of people to face hardships caused by Coronavirus.
Mercom had earlier reported that DERC has announced that it would not raise the electricity tariffs for the financial year (FY) 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In its press statement, DERC said that the new electricity tariff would be applicable in Delhi from September 1, 2020. The Commission has waived off a 20% surcharge under the time of day (ToD) tariff (tariffs that vary by time) for September 2020 to support non-domestic, public utilities, and domestic consumers due to the ongoing pandemic.
DERC also announced rebates and incentives on power bills raised between March 24, 2020, to June 30, 2020, considering the COVID-19 outbreak and the repercussions it has had on all services, including power supply.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.