Residents of Karnataka will see an average 3.84% hike in their electricity bills as the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has revised the retail supply tariff by 30 paise per unit. The Electricity Supply Companies (ESCOMs) had sought an average increase of Rs 1.35 per unit accounting for 17.31% increase.
However, Bengaluru residents may see an additional increase of 10 paise per unit which will increase the fixed cost of electricity by Rs 10-20. The increase will not be liable for Bangalore Metro and Battery Charging Station for Electric Vehicles, the commission noted. The increase, the statement, said, is â€śto enable recovery of the revenue gap determined by the Commission.â€ť
The new tariff will be effective from April 1 meter reading. The arrears for months of April and May will be recovered in October-November, the KERC said, and added that no interest will be charged on the same. The tariff hike will be applicable to consumers of all ESCOMS and consumers of the Hukeri Rural Electricity Co-operative Society in the state for the year ending March 2022.
KERC said that it delayed implementing the increase in tariff in FY21 because of the financial situation in all sectors of the economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown. Of the 30 paise, 11.89 paise per unit will recover assets lost due to the pandemic and the remaining 12.64 paise is towards an overall increase in the operational costs of the ESCOMs. This increase includes the approved revenue deficit for FY 2020 as per the annual percentage rate, and also the increase in the cost of power purchase since energy was procured from new thermal stations and Renewable energy sources to meet the increased demand. The input costs towards operation and maintenance as well as borrowings for capital expenditure have increased, the commission noted.
The KERC to encourage consumption by lower and middle-class domestic consumers, the first slab viz Lifeline consumption which earlier was of 0-30 units has been increased to 0-50 units. Meanwhile, the Industrial users of BESCOM will be charged Rs.6.00 per unit (existing rate of Rs.5.90) for the first 500 units of monthly consumption and Rs.7.30 per unit (existing rate of Rs. 7.20) for consumption above 500 units. The industries in other ESCOMsâ€™ limits will be charged Rs 5.70 per unit for the first 500 units and Rs 6.95 thereafter.