Punjab Reduces Retail Residential Power Tariffs in the Wake of Covid-19

The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) has issued the tariff order for the financial year (FY) 2021-22. The new tariffs will be applicable from June 1, 2021, and will be valid until March 31, 2022.

Keeping in view the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission decided to reduce the tariffs for residential consumers with load up to 2 kW and consumption slabs of 0 to 100 units and 101 units to 300 units by ₹1 (~$0.014)/kWh and ₹0.50 (~$0.007)/kWh, respectively. The tariffs for both the categories have been set as ₹3.49 (~$0.048)/kWh and ₹5.84 (~$0.081)/kWh, which was earlier ₹4.49 (~$0.062)/kWh and ₹6.34 (~$0.087)/kWh, respectively.

For residential consumers with a load between 2 kW and 7 kW and for consumption slabs of 0 to 100 units and from 101 to 300 units, the tariffs have been reduced by ₹0.75 (~$0.01)/kWh and ₹0.50 (~$0.07)/kWh, respectively. The tariffs for both the categories for the FY 2021-22 are ₹3.74 (~$0.052)/kWh and ₹5.84 (~$0.081)/kWh, in that order.

The slashed charges are expected to result in financial relief to the tune of ₹6.82 billion (~$93.97 million).

For the FY 2021-22, the Commission has determined the aggregate revenue requirement of Punjab State Power Corporation as ₹329.82 billion (~$4.54 billion) and ₹13.32 billion (~$183.54 million) for the Punjab State Transmission Corporation.

The new order has not burdened the small and medium industrial consumers with hiked tariffs. The tariff of the agricultural pump set category has been increased by ₹0.09 (~$0.001)/kWh, and the cross-subsidy surcharge for the category has been reduced from 14.41% to 12.05%.

The cross-subsidy surcharge for large supply consumers has been set as ₹0.65 (~$0.008)/kWh, and for non-residential supply, it is ₹1.28 (~$0.016)/kWh. The cross-subsidy surcharge has been set as ₹1.27 (~$0.017)/kWh for bulk supply.

The hike in tariff for large industrial consumers has been kept at less than 2%.

Also, according to the order, the Commission has decided to continue with its policy of encouraging the industry in promoting the use of surplus power by offering a lower energy rate of ₹4.86 (~$0.067)/kVAh for consumption of power exceeding the threshold limit. Further, the voltage rebate will be in addition to the capped energy charges of ₹4.86 (~$0.067)/kVAh.

The Commission has continued with the special night tariff with 50% set charges and energy charges of ₹4.86 (~$0.067)/kVAh for industrial consumers using power between 10 PM, and 6 AM the next day.

Keeping in mind the demands of the industry, the facility for the night category consumers to use electricity during the extended period of four hours from 6 AM to 10 AM at normal tariff has been extended for the whole year.

Recently, the Ministry of Power issued a notification directing the state electricity regulatory commissions to issue tariff orders for the FY 2020-21 at the earliest. The Ministry has asked the state commissions to strictly comply with the directions of the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity and issue tariff orders, adhering to the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003.

Earlier, PSERC set additional surcharge payable by consumers availing power through open access sources in the state. For open access consumers (partial and full) availing power beyond the contract demand maintained with the distribution licensee, the additional surcharge has been set as ₹1.16 (~$0.016)/kWh. Partial open access consumers availing power up to the contract demand need to pay ₹0.83 (~$0.011)/kWh as the additional surcharge.

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