Power tariff may go up

Power tariff may go up beginning next fiscal. This is not for any hike in fuel prices, but to ensure that generation utilities can recover costs in the face of weak demand for electricity leading to idling of capacities.

While West Bengal has already issued tariff guidelines in this regard, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) recently discussed the possibility with all stakeholders, including generation and distribution utilities.

According to R. N. Sen, Chairman of Kolkata-based Damodar Valley Corporation, in view of the excess capacities, the electricity tariff structure is to be remodelled in line with the developed countries (where capacity utilisation is often as low as 40 per cent). The emerging regulation, which is still in the discussion stage, therefore envisages reduction in mandatory plant availability factor from the existing 85 per cent. This will help generation utilities identify capacities which will be operational for part of the day (may be a shift or two) to meet the peak demand, without taking a hit in the bottomline.

Sen was addressing an energy conclave organised by CII in the city on Wednesday.

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