Haryana Sets Additional Surcharge of ₹0.78/kWh for Open Access Consumers

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The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has approved an additional surcharge of ₹0.78 (~$0.009)/kWh for open access consumers who avail power from any source other than the distribution companies (DISCOMs) of the state.

Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) had filed a petition with HERC for the determination of additional surcharge for the first half of FY 2023.

The DISCOMs levy an additional surcharge on open access consumers to recover the fixed cost of the surrendered power. For the previous six-month period (October-March FY 2022), Haryana had set ₹1.08 (~$0.014)/kWh as the additional surcharge

Background


The DISCOMs’ petition proposed to recover an additional surcharge of ₹0.83 (~$0.011)/kWh from the open access consumers, calculated on the basis of slot-wise surrendered power and slot-wise open access power.

Later, the Commission issued a public notice inviting suggestions and objections from the stakeholders.

Cleanmax Enviro, in its comments, said that the attribution of backdown of power from generating units to the state’s (C&I) consumers sourcing power under open access was not convincing. And hence, no additional surcharge should be levied on these consumers.

IEX, the power exchange, stated that the consumers of the DISCOMs pay demand charges even while availing power through open access. These demand charges account for the recovery of some part of the fixed cost borne by the DISCOMs and ought to be considered while working out the power purchase fixed cost obligation for the open access consumers.

Additionally, IEX said that the National Tariff Policy, 2016, emphasized that additional surcharge obligation should be applicable if it were conclusively demonstrated that power purchase commitments continued to be stranded consequent to open access and no other reason could be assigned for the same.

Commission’s analysis

The regulator noted that only backing down of running units had been considered for computing costs of stranded power and to arrive at the additional surcharge.

The Commission said that while calculating the fixed cost for estimating the additional surcharge, the DISCOMs had taken the average fixed cost approved by the Commission. However, to determine the additional surcharge for the first half of FY 2022-23 and onwards, the fixed cost of ₹1.11 (~$0.014)/kWh approved for FY 2022-23 was relevant.

Accordingly, the Commission approved the additional surcharge of ₹0.78 (~$0.009)/kWh applicable from the date of the order.

Last September, HERC had announced that it would prepare a consultation paper to revisit the Multi-Year Tariff (MYT) Regulations, 2019. It would place the consultation paper in the public domain inviting suggestions from stakeholders. After holding a public hearing, the Commission would take a final view.

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