Relief to SMEs in Tamil Nadu As State Raises Low-Tension Category Limit to 150 kW

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) has issued a notice specifying amendments to the state’s electricity supply and distribution code, according to which the limit of electricity demand has been increased to 150 kW from the previous limit of 112 kW.

Now, the industrial and other consumers in the low tension category (LT) can avail supply in the LT category for up to 150 kW. According to the new amendments, the consumers with the earlier limit of 112 kW will continue with the previous tariff and terms and conditions.

The consumers with demand above 112 kW can now avail LT supply up to 150 kW provided they offer space for the erection of a distribution transformer in their premises and pay current consumption and tariff charges as that of high tension (HT) tariff. While the distribution licensee will bear the cost of the distribution transformer and accessories, the cost of the HT and LT lines and cables to be erected in the consumer’s premises must be borne by the applicant.

The excess demand charges for the consumers with demand between 112 kW and 150 kW will remain the same. If the demand exceeds the 150 kW limit for the third time or more, a notice will be issued to the consumer to convert their low-tension service to HT service.

Previously, the consumers could avail power in the LT category only up to 112 kW and were liable to pay penalty charges when the demand exceeded this capacity. Now, the LT consumers can avail power up to 150 kW capacity and avoid penalty.

Further, installing a distribution transformer at the load end reduces the technical loss to a great extent and improves voltage profile and system stability. The reduced LT line length improves the HT/LT line ratio and minimizes supply interruption to the consumers.

In July this year, in a letter to the Union Power Minister, R.K. Singh, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edapaddi K Palaniswamy, underlined several concerns relating to the proposed amendment to the Electricity Act, seeking center’s intervention.  In April, the Ministry of Power issued a draft proposal for the amendment of the Electricity Act 2003 to address contract enforcement, renewable purchase obligations, among other vital issues.