Regulator Allows Recovery of Differential Amount from Short-Term Open Access Consumers

The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has allowed Haryana Vidyut Prasar Nigam Limited (HVPNL) to recover the differential amount of ₹331.6 million (~$4.51 million) from consumers who had availed short-term open access from financial year (FY) 2017-18 to 2019-20.

Background

 The Commission passes orders annually to determine transmission tariff, state load dispatch center (SLDC) charges, and short-term open access charges. It determines the charges in line with the multi-year tariff regulations. Accordingly, it has passed an order determining tariffs applicable from FY 2017-18 to 2019-20.

Haryana Vidyut Prasar Nigam holds the business license for power transmission and bulk supply of power in Haryana. It has now sought condonation of a delay of 990 days in filing review petitions. Condonation of delay is usually applied for the delay in filing suits or applications. It also stated that the determination of short-term open access charges was pending adjudication before the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL).


In March 2016, the Commission passed the tariff order. However, Haryana Vidyut Prasar Nigam submitted that the Commission did not consider certain aspects while reconciling the aggregate revenue requirement of the transmission business and state load dispatch center for FY 2014-15. The Commission also missed reconciling annual (mid-year) performance review for FY 2015-16 and determination of transmission tariff for FY 2016-17.

On September 8, 2016, the Commission partly allowed the review petition. The petition was to determine short-term open access charges based on the power wheeled by the transmission licensee instead of energy sales by distribution companies (DISCOMs).

Subsequently, Haryana Vidyut Prasar Nigam challenged the order before the APTEL, contending that short-term access charges were not determined correctly.

While the appeal was pending before APTEL, the transmission licensee filed a petition with the Commission for FY 2015-16, annual performance review for FY 2016-17, and transmission tariff and SLDC charges for FY 2017-18. It proposed short-term open access charges for FY 2017-18 based on DISCOMs’ energy sales.

Haryana Vidyut Prasar Nigam said the Commission must follow a methodology to determine short-term open access charges as prescribed in the MYT Regulations. However, the Commission had disallowed short-term open access charges based on its proposal and not followed the MYT Regulations.

As per the MYT Regulations, short-term open access consumers have to pay transmission charges for the scheduled energy drawn at per kWh rate calculated by dividing annual transmission charges by DISCOMs’ energy sales volume during the previous year.

On September 11, 2020, the Commission passed an interim order asking Haryana Vidyut Prasar Nigam about the number of consumers affected if the relief is granted. It also directed the transmission licensee to collect the total amount from different short-term open access consumers.

The relief tariff of ₹110 (~$1.50)/ MWh for FY 2017-18 was proposed for 268 short-term open access consumers to the tune of ₹110.06 million (~$1.5 million). The financial impact for 64 consumers would be ₹81.25 million (~$1.11 million) as per the proposed relief tariff of ₹140 (~$1.91)/MWh for FY 2018-19. For FY 2019-20, with a proposed relief tariff of ₹100 (~$1.36)/MWh, the financial impact for 129 consumers would be ₹150.3 million (~$2.04 million).

Commission’s analysis

The Commission accepted the request of Haryana Vidyut Prasar Nigam for condonation of delay in filing the review petitions.

It noted that the basis of determining short-term open access charges was as per its methodology mentioned in its order dated March 31, 2016.

However, the Commission observed that HVPNL filed a review petition before APTEL, which rejected the basis for calculating short-term open access based on energy drawn through transmission system instead of DISCOMs’ power sales for FY 2016-17.

In line with APTEL’s judgment, the Commission revised the short-term open access charges based on DISCOMs’ energy sales as prescribed in the MYT Regulations for FY 2017-18 to 2019-20.

The Commission clarified that the short-term open access charges would be calculated based on the prevailing multi-year tariff regulations in the future.

Haryana Vidyut Prasar Nigam had quantified the year-wise financial impact, and the differential amount could be collected from the identified short-term open access consumers.

Earlier, the state Commission had ruled that there would be no net metering facility for open access consumers in the state.

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