Pradeep Pattanayak

With the Power Ministry coming up with the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Amendment Rules 2023, electricity consumers will be charged differently at different times of the day. 

While the electricity consumers are seeing the new system, termed as ‘time of the day’ tariffs, as going to add to their woes, different consumer associations are skeptical about its success in the state due to a lack of infrastructure. 

Once implemented, the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commissions will divide the day into three parts - Solar Hour, Peak Hour and Normal Hour. The Solar Hour will be based on the duration of the solar light. Similarly, Peak Hour will be fixed as per the consumption of electricity. But the duration of the Peak Hour can’t be more than the duration of the Solar Hour. 

As per the proposed rules, in Peak Hour, the commercial and industrial customers will have to pay 20 percent more than the normal charges. Similarly, for the use of electricity in Peak Hour, domestic consumers will pay 10 percent more than the normal charges. 

On the other hand, all types of customers will pay 20 percent less than the normal charges for using electricity during the Solar Hour. 
“The availability of solar power is increasing day by day. Solar power is cheap. During the night, there is no availability of solar power. The tariff will be high during peak periods. It may be in the night or in the morning. For commercial and industrial customers, the charges during the peak period will increase by 20 percent and the same during solar period will decrease by 20 percent. I can’t make out how they would be benefited. But the domestic consumers will pay 10 percent less,” said Laxmidhar Mahapatra, an energy expert. 

However, the new system has put the consumers in a fix. They alleged there is possibility of domestic consumers ending up paying more in peak hours. 

“General people use electricity more during night hours than a day. If they are said to pay less during the day hours and more during night hours, it will be a burden on them,” said Soubhagya Deo, an electricity consumer. 

When asked, State Electricity Consumers Confederation’s president, Ramesh Satpathy said “It is a good initiative. But, without smart meters, it can’t be implemented. A smart meter can say how much electricity during which hours has been used. If a consumer uses electricity by keeping the peak hour, solar hour and normal hour in mind, they will be benefitted.”

From April 1, 2024, Time of Day tariff will be implemented for industrial and commercial customers who use more than 10 KW.  Similarly, the system will be implemented for all excluding farmers from April 1, 2025.

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