Hyderabad: The power tariff in Andhra Pradesh has been hiked by 90 paise per unit. However, this tariff is applicable only if the power consumption exceeds 500 units per month. Of the 1.45 crore total domestic consumers, the hike will apply to only 1.35 lakh consumers who consume more than 500 units per month. They will have to pay Rs.9.95 per unit instead of the existing tariff of Rs. 9.05 per unit.

Both the distribution licensees, APSPDCL and APEPDCL, have projected a deficit of Rs. 14,349.07 crore at current tariffs and a deficit of Rs 12,954.11 crore with the new proposed hike. The AP Electricity Regulatory Commission, after due diligence, has determined a net deficit of Rs. 10,060.63 crore for both the licensees, thus avoiding the possible burden of a further Rs. 2,893.48 crore on the consumers or the state government. There is no tariff hike for 1,43,65,000 domestic consumers in the state. The general purpose category which includes non-profit organizations, government hospitals, and government educational institutions are exempt from the ToD peak charges. These consumers are presently billed under the commercial category. Dhobi ghats will also continue to avail free power supply as per the government orders for 2020-21. Railway traction tariff is kept at a reasonable level of Rs. 5.50 per unit against the tariff of Rs. 6.50 per unit proposed by the licensees. To promote the usage of environment-friendly electric vehicles for transport, the Commission has kept the tariff for electric vehicles at Rs. 6.70 per unit against Rs.12.25 per unit proposed by the licensees. The industries will continue to avail of the benefit of load factor incentive which was introduced by the Commission during 2019-20. The licensees’ proposal to withdraw the same in 2020-21 was rejected by the Commission.

The state government has agreed to bear the subsidy for Rs. 8,353.58 crore, 18 per cent more than the previous year, in respect of agricultural consumers, like non-corporate farmers, sugarcane crushing, and rural horticulture nurseries, who are eligible for free supply of power for the period 2020-21. The subsidy was Rs. 7,064.27 crore for fiscal 2019-20. As a result, this category of consumers will continue to avail free power supply for 2020-21.

The state, for the first time after the formation of the new state of Andhra Pradesh, has also agreed to bear a subsidy of Rs. 1,707.07 crore arising due to the concessional tariff extended to domestic consumers. As a result, the entire gap of Rs. 10,060.63 crore is made good by the state government.

The AP Electricity Regulatory Commission has accepted domestic grouping based on current month’s consumption, dispensing with the earlier grouping based on previous year’s consumption, as proposed by the licensees, providing relief to domestic consumers.
Energy-intensive industry will continue to avail the benefit of concessional tariff during 2020-21 without any condition for minimum consumption of 85 per cent. The licensees’ proposal to impose such condition for 2020-21 was rejected by the Commission. Rice mills and pulverisers are given the benefit of billing under LT tariffs up to a connected load of 150 HP against the present limit of 100 HP, with certain conditions.

The industry has also been extended the benefit of limiting the penalties only to the extent of excess demand over contracted demand, by suitably modifying the penalty condition. Interests of small consumers are protected by reducing the capacitor surcharge from 25 per cent to 10 per cent. The licensees have been directed to obtain the permission of the Commission for their investment proposals as per the Commission’s investment guidelines. The Commission is contemplating undertaking the task of sensitizing district magistrates (Collectors) to take prompt action regarding claims of compensation to farmers on whose land the transmission lines have been laid.

The licensees have been directed to prepare a roadmap for the implementation of energy conservation and energy-efficiency measures. They have been directed to print small booklets in regional languages containing tariff schedules and other relevant aspects useful for consumers. The booklets are to be made available in all their offices for sale to consumers at a reasonable price. They have also been told to inform consumers about the availability of the same. The Commission is examining the revision of standards of performance and its strict implementation to ensure better services to consumers. The licensees have been directed to indicate the details of the cost of service, cross-subsidy and government subsidy on electricity bills to the subsidized consumers. The proposal of the licensees to procure power from private power plants who do not have binding agreements was rejected in view of the surplus power for 2020-21 after taking into account the energy available from wind and solar sources.

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