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Meghalaya hikes power tariff by 7%

Shillong, May 8: Consumers will now have to pay more for their electricity bills as the Meghalaya State Electricity Regulatory Commission (MSERC) has approved a seven per cent hike in power tariff.

“We have approved a hike of seven per cent in power tariff for 2013-14. The new tariff has come into effect from April 1, 2013 and will remain till March 31, 2014,” an official of the commission said today.

Although the increase was only seven per cent, the Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Limited (MePDCL), in its petition to the commission, had sought a hike of 40 per cent in the power tariff to meet its annual revenue requirements of Rs 1,086.72 crore.

However, after holding consultations with stakeholders, the commission decided to hike the tariff by seven per cent only.

According to the revised power tariff, for domestic consumers, the fixed charge per kW per month is Rs 35, which is up by Rs 5 from 2012-13.

For commercial consumers, the fixed charge is Rs 70 per KW per month, an increase of Rs 10 from the last fiscal year.

“We are not satisfied with the hike as approved by the commission as we will not be able to meet our annual revenue requirements,” an official from the MePDCL said.

From the proposed annual revenue requirements of Rs 1,086.72 crore, the commission had approved only Rs 744 crore, the official added.

The components of the Rs 1,086.72 crore will include Rs 756.42 crore for cost of power purchase, Rs 64.80 crore for inter-state transmission charge, Rs 75.35 crore for Meghalaya Power Transmission Corporation Limited (MePTCL) transmission charge and Rs 114.28 crore for employee costs.

The total revenue at current tariff, prior to the revision, was around Rs 760.37 crore.

Moreover, according to the petition submitted by the MePDCL, the number of domestic consumers in 2013-14 is expected to be around 2,39,714 while the energy/sale demand to and from this segment is anticipated at 333.82 mega unit.

Similarly, the number of commercial consumers is likely to be around 19, 329 with an estimated power requirement of 71.16 mega units, while there will be 849 industrial consumers which are expected to require 8.72 mega units of power.

In the petition, the MePDCL had pointed out that at present there is considerable number of unmetered consumers in the domestic category, particularly in the rural areas while there are many high-tension (HT) feeders that do not have meters.

The MePDCL further stated in its petition that the consumption by unmetered consumers was being assessed, and thus there was a possibility of higher actual consumption that could result in lower distribution loss.

“The distribution loss for 2013-14 is estimated to be 26.28 per cent,” the petition said.