DISCOMs Ask For Steep Hike in Electricity Tariff in Karnataka, Commission Goes Easy

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has issued the retail tariff order for various distribution companies (DISCOMS) for FY 2021.  The new tariffs will come into force from November 01, 2020.

The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) had proposed an increase in electricity tariff of ₹1.96 (~$0.03)/kWh for all categories of consumers resulting in an average increase in retail supply tariff by 25.24%. Against this, the Commission has approved an increase of ₹0.40 ($0.005)/kWh, accounting for just a 5.17% average increase. The tariff increase allowed by the Commission is ₹0.40 (0.005)/kWh for all the DISCOMs in the state though they had requested for a higher hike in tariff.

The state regulator allowed the recovery of additional revenue partly by increasing the energy charges in the range of ₹0.20 (~$0.003) to ₹0.25 (~$0.004)/kWh for all categories.

The Commission has continued with the tariff schedule for concessional power supply to the electric vehicle charging stations by including the EV battery swapping stations, without increasing the energy charges of ₹5 (~$0.07)/kWh. It has been maintained in the orders for all the DISCOMs in the state.

The green tariff of an additional ₹0.50 (~$0.007)/kWh over the standard tariff, which was introduced a few years ago for HT industries and HT commercial consumers, to promote the purchase of renewable energy from ESCOMs has been maintained. It will be the same for all the DISCOMs.

The Commission determined a wheeling charge of ₹0.23 (~$0.003)/kWh for the HT network and ₹0.54 (~$0.007)/kWh for the low tension (LT) network. The Commission noted that the wheeling charges would apply to all open access consumers using the BESCOM network only, except for energy transmitted from renewable sources. For wheeling of energy from renewable energy sources, separate orders issued by the Commission from time to time will be applicable.

Recently, KERC issued a discussion paper on wheeling charges and banking facilities for renewable projects. The Commission noted a need to revise the transmission and wheeling charges applicable to non-REC (renewable energy certificate) route based renewable power projects and examine the banking facility extended to them.

In May this year, KERC extended the validity of the existing tariff structure determined by the Commission in August 2019. The earlier regulation had expired in April 2020. The extension has been provided for one year from April 01, 2020, to March 31, 2021. The extension will facilitate the seamless development of solar projects, including rooftop solar installations in the state.

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