HYDERABAD: To keep a massive consumer like the South Central Railway (SCR) away from opting the open access system, the TS Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) has reduced tariff from Rs 7.10 per unit to Rs 4.05. For Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR), the tariff has been reduced from Rs 7 to Rs 3.95.
DISCOMs had requested the ERC to approve Rs 4.70 per unit for the SCR, considering that the Railways was a public utility. For HMR, it suggested a tariff at the average cost of service. Both SCR and HMR had applied to the state government for permission to purchase power in open auction, where they can purchase electricity from any supplier of their choice. This would have caused a loss to the state power utilities.
SCR told the government that the Indian Railways was purchasing power through open access in several states from Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private limited.
The ERC has directed the DISCOMs to submit the annual revenue requirement (ARR) and tariff proposals by November 30 to make the tariff order effective from April 1 next year.
It told the DISCOMs to make realistic projections for power sales for 2017-18 as the figures stated by them seemed unrealistic. The overall growth rate for 2017-18 has been projected as 9.42 per cent by the southern DISCOM and 12.05 per cent by the northern DISCOM. The growth rate for HT category has been projected at 14 per cent and and 26.16 per cent respectively.
The growth rate for low tension agriculture connections has been projected as 6.5 per cent by both DISCOMs. The ERC pointed out that the DISCOMs had previously projected higher agriculture consumption in the past.
The ERC said DISCOMs should replace 10 per cent of existing agricultural pump sets with energy efficient pump sets as stipulated in the UDAY memorandum of understanding. It sought a quarterly progress report on the same.
ERC said new agricultural connections should be given only if the farmer uses a five-star rated pump, complies with the demand side management measures and instals meters. The ERC has directed the state government to increase subsidy for agricultural power consumption because of the increase in duration of power supply.