Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: In a major relief for lakhs of electricity consumers across the State, Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) on Tuesday announced that there would be no hike in power tariff for the financial year 2016-17.

The power tariffs of the previous year (2015-16) will continue across all the categories, including domestic, agriculture and commercial, an OERC official stated. Meter charges will also remain unchanged.

“Since domestic coal production has increased substantially, we hope the power producing firms will not use imported coal to generate power from the ensuing financial year. Thus tariff of the power generated from these plants will be less as compared to previous years. So tariff has been kept unchanged for the next financial year,” P Patnaik, Director, Regulatory Affairs (OERC) said.

Besides, the State regulatory body has also kept the transmission charges, which was 25 paise per unit the previous year, intact for the financial year 2016-17.

To put curb on power pilferage and theft, for the first time, power trading company Gridco has been given Rs 100 crore for audit. Officials believe this will help the company save more power. Odisha State Electricity Consumers’ Federation has also welcomed the initiative.

“Earlier the companies were producing their self-audited report before the government, which we have been opposing. But this audit system will be fair and there is no scope of manipulation by the discoms,” Odisha State Electricity Consumers’ Federation president Panchanan Kanungo said.

This apart, the State government has granted Gridco Rs 30 crore to purchase renewable energy. The power trading company has also been sanctioned Rs 42 crore to compensate the loss in case of rise in coal prices in the coming days.

The average tariff for domestic consumption of 50 units, 100 units, 200 units, 300 units, 400 units, 500 units and 600 units is Rs 2.50/ kwh, Rs 3.35/kwh, Rs 3.78/kwh, Rs 4.25/kwh, Rs 4.49/kwh and Rs 4.71/kwh and Rs 4.86/ kwh respectively, the official maintained.

In March last year, OERC had announced a hike in power tariff in the State. The tariff for domestic category consumers was raised by 20 paise per unit while that for agriculture sector was raised by 40 paise per unit.