Rajasthan to Get $250 Million from World Bank to Reform Electricity Distribution

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has provided relief to electricity consumers in the state by not increasing the charges paid by them.

This welcome decision comes after the commission reviewed the petitions filed by state-owned as well as private distribution companies (DISCOMs) active in Gujarat.

After hearing petitions filed by the state-owned distribution licensees, Torrent Power Limited (TPL) and state load despatch center for the mid-term review of aggregate revenue requirement for the financial year (FY) 2019-20 and FY 2020-21, truing up of FY 2017-18 and determination of tariff for FY 2019-20, the GERC issued the final orders.

In all the orders, the GERC stated there will be no increase in power tariff for the consumers of state-owned DISCOMs and Torrent Power Limited (Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar and Surat area).



Moreover, the commission reduced the number of slabs in residential tariff from five to four to simplify the present structure. Now, the slabs of 100-200 units and 200-250 units have been merged into one slab of 100-250 units. Due to this, there will be a reduction of ₹0.10 (~$0.0014)/kWh in the energy charge for the consumption falling under the earlier slab of 200-250 units.

The GERC has also provided relief to farmers and others involved in agriculture activities. Energy charges for agriculture consumers using electricity for lift irrigation purpose have been reduced by ₹0.30 (~$0.004)/kWh, from the earlier ₹1.80 (~$0.025)/kWh to ₹1.50 (~$0.021)/kWh.

Now, small consumers who had a contract demand of up to 6 kW will be able to avail the benefit of the optional demand-based tariff. For FY 2019-20, for the state-owned DISCOMs, the commission has approved power purchase cost (APPC) at ₹4.32 (~$0.061)/kWh. This is ₹0.10 (~$0.0014)/kWh more than the APPC of ₹4.22 (~$0.060)/kWh for FY 2018-19.

The commission has revised the base fuel and power purchase price adjustment (FPPPA) charges for the state-owned DISCOMs to ₹1.61 (~$0.023)/kWh. This is ₹0.12 (~$0.0014)/kWh more than the FPPPA charges of ₹1.49 (~$0.021)/kWh for FY 2018-19.

While simplifying tariff structure for consumers is a good move, reducing the tariff for agricultural customers could put a stress on DISCOM financials.

Recently, the GERC issued an expression of interest from the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited electric meter testing laboratories for the empanelment by GERC as independent third-party meter testing laboratory in the state.