The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) has issued an order stating that an additional surcharge of ₹0.44 (~$0.0060)/kWh will be applicable in case of open access consumers who avail power through open access from any source other than their respective distribution companies (DISCOMs) and for open access transactions from October 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019.
The surcharge will apply to all open access consumers who come under Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL)’s DISCOMs. These are: Madhya Gujarat Vij Company Limited (MGVCL), Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL), Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL) and Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited (DGVCL).
The GERC order was in response to data submitted by GUVNL for calculation of additional surcharge. GERC analyzed the data submitted by GUVNL and its DISCOMs for the period from October 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 and arrived at the additional surcharge for the current period.
When contacted, an official at GERC said, “For renewable energy sources, additional surcharge will apply if open access is being utilized to perform third party sale. If the open access is utilized for captive consumption, the additional surcharge will not apply.”
In the past, Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) had issued the terms and conditions of intra-state open access for 2018 under which the agency introduced a cross-subsidy surcharge for open access consumers.
Recently, the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) rejected the proposal made by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to approve the levy of additional surcharge (wheeling charges) for rooftop solar projects in the state.
Different state electricity regulatory commissions (SERCs) have varied views on open access and levy of surcharge on it. There’s a need for a uniform methodology for the determination of various charges such as open access charges, cross-subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge, across the country. This will help in growth of renewable energy generating sources too.