Power consumers in Punjab may have to shell out more on consuming energy as state’s sector regulator PSERC is set to announce a hike in tariffs for the financial year 2013-14 on Wednesday.

“The new power tariff for 2013-14 will be announced on Wednesday,” a senior functionary in Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) said here today.

Though PSERC officials refused to divulge quantum of increase in power tariff, the hike is likely to be in the range of 10-13 per cent, which will be made effective from April 1, 2013.

The state government has also given its consent to foot the entire subsidy bill on account of free power, which is expected to reach Rs 5,785 crore for 2013-14.

Before the announcement of new power tariff, Punjab government had to give commitment to the power regulator for bearing the entire burden of free power being given to agriculture and other sectors.

The cash-strapped power utility Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) has sought a whopping 58.59 per cent hike in power tariff for 2013-14 to cover the projected “mounting” revenue gap from power regulator PSERC.

In its Aggregate Revenue Requirement (ARR) and tariff petition filed with PSERC, the power utility projected an accumulated revenue gap of Rs 12,053 crore for 2013-14 while urging the power regulator to determine the appropriate tariff increase to meet revenue gap in ARR.

In its petition, PSPCL has projected accumulated revenue gap of Rs 12,053.39 crore for 2013-14. It has projected total revenue of Rs 22,683.24 crore for the current fiscal, up from Rs 15,743.12 crore in 2010-11.

Power purchase and fuel account for about 60 per cent of the utility’s total projected expenditure as these expenses have been proposed at Rs 8,680 crore and 4,905 crore, respectively for 2013-14.

PSPCL has also proposed a rebate of 15 per cent to consumers for usage of power during non-peak hours.

Apart from it, the state power utility has proposed to introduce two-part tariff structure for 2013-14, wherein fixed charge as well as variable charge will be recovered.

Currently, consumers in Punjab are being billed on a single tariff structure whereby consumers pay bill on per unit of energy consumed.

(This article was published on April 8, 2013)
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