Andhra Pradesh power discoms have sought to raise an additional Rs 1,373 crore by increasing tariffs on a few categories, including government related services, while leaving domestic, commercial, industrial and agriculture consumers largely untouched during the year 2020-21.
The two discoms - Southern Power Distribution Company (SPDCL) and the Eastern Power Distribution Corporation(EPDCL) made this proposal in their mandatory annual revenue requirement (ARR) filings submitted to the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) on Wednesday.
Despite this tariff increase, these ARR proposals would leave a much bigger revenue gap of Rs 13,067 crore as the discoms expect to receive only Rs 31,772 crore in revenues as against the actual requirement of Rs 44,840 crore on a sale of 67,713 million units (mu) of energy during the year 2020-21.
However, the power utilities have kept the provision for power purchases at Rs 12,439.33 crore, an increase of 9.1 per cent over the approved power purchase costs of Rs 11,402 crore for the current year. This would be a positive news for the renewable energy companies going forward, in the light of the ongoing stand-off between these companies and the state government over the issue of renewable energy purchases and the tariff.
Obviously, the rise in revenue gap, which is 45 per cent higher compared to the Rs 8,963-crore revenue gap shown in the current year's ARR, is going to be a problem which requires to be met by a higher subsidy support from the state government.
Despite a higher anticipated revenue gap, the discoms have proposed only a 4.5 per cent hike in retail tariff and a marginal 3.34 per cent increase in energy supply compared to the current year. According to the power utilities, the average cost of supply would be about Rs 1 higher at Rs 7.09 per unit as compared to Rs 6.02 in the current year.
The discoms have chosen the categories such as street lights, public water supply, railway traction apart from community centres, hatcheries for the tariff revision. Moreover, domestic users who consume more than 500 units per month will have to pay an additional 90 paise per unit.
The discoms have also proposed a nominal tariff corporate agriculture. While corporate agriculture is being charged at a concessional rate of Rs 2.50 per unit, they would be charged only at the rate of Rs 200 per horse power (HP) per month from next year.
Coming to the tariff revision, discoms have proposed to almost double the energy charges for railway traction to Rs 6.50 per unit from the present Rs 3.50. Tariff proposals include a Rs 2.15 hike per unit for protected water supply schemes, a flat Rs 7 per unit for local bodies that are currently being charged in the range of Rs 4-Rs 7 per unit, a Rs 0.50-Rs 0.60 per unit increase for HT commercial consumers.