Thiruvananthapuram: Consumer bills issued by the Kerala State Electricity Board Ltd will soon reflect the surcharge for every unit power consumed. The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) has ordered to impose a surcharge of 10 paise per unit for a period of three months from Saturday (February 15) to recover the additional expenses incurred by the power utility.
This order is applicable to consumers in all categories, including distribution licensees. This amount would be marked separately in the electricity bill.
With the levy of surcharge, a house that uses 100 unit of power would see an increase of Rs 20 in their two-month electricity bill. Only those houses using 20 units (with a connected load of less than 500W) have been given exemption. However, only 20,000 people are in this category.
The state power utility had asked the regulator to the levy the surcharge to recover the Rs 72.25 crore additional expenses it bore over power purchase and generation during last April to June due owing to increased prices of petroleum fuel. (Though KSEB generates mainly hydroelectricity, it also runs two diesel power plants at Brahamapuram and Kozhikode.)
KSEB had demanded to impose a surcharge of 13 paise per unit . However, after checking the data, the Commission concluded that additional expenses came up only to Rs 62.26 crore.
The surcharge would be levied for the next three months or till this amount is recovered (whichever is first), as per the joint order issued by KSERC Chairman Preman Dinarai and member S Venugopal.
KSEB has also to update the Commission on the surcharge levied every month.
Further hike on the cards?
The rise in power tariff is unlikely to end with the imposition of a limited surcharge. KSEB has also requested the regulatory commission to impose 12 paise surcharge to recover its July-September liability and 11 paise surcharge for the October-December liability. An order on this would be issued later after a hearing.