OERC increases electricity tariff

Bhubaneswar: Power consumption is going to cost more in the State from now onwards after the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has decided to increase the tariffs.

OERC officials said tariffs will be increased by 20 paisa per unit for domestic consumers. Similarly, after a gap of 15 years, the electricity tariff for the agriculture sector has been increased by 40 paise.

Moreover, the consumers covered under Kutir Jyoti Yojana will also have to pay more as the monthly tariff has been increased from Rs 65 to Rs 80.

With this increase, electricity will now be dearer by 4.64 percent as compared to the 2014-15 financial year. However, the monthly minimum charges and meter rent has been kept unchanged. OERC officials said, this hike in power tariffs has been made as per the directive of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and keeping in mind the increase in coal prices.

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, which is around 49 per cent, 31 per cent, 23 per cent, 13 per cent, 8 per cent, 4 per cent and 1 per cent less than the average cost of supply of Rs 4.88 approved by the commission.

A consumer is required to pay an average tariff of Rs 4.96 for the consumption of 700 units, which is 1.6 per cent higher than the average cost of supply, an OERC release said.

Reacting to hike, Energy minister Pranab Prakash said the hike amount is so less that it would not affect the common people.

While opposition Congress and BJP have criticised the power tariff hike, Energy Minister P P Das said an increase by 20 paise on domestic use will hardly hit the consumers.

Besides, there was no power tariff hike in 2014-15, he said.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress said “The hike in the power tariff on farming sector proved that government’s lack of interest in the development of farmers.”

BJP leader and MLA Pradip Purohit demanded immediate roll back of the power tariff as it would hit both consumers and the farmers.