Higher cross subsidy surcharge helping MSEDCL retain industrial users

MSEDCL’s move to increase cross subsidy surcharge (CSS) on open access industries has yielded results for the discom with industries coming back to its fold. Discom officials also claim that improved consumer service to industries is also contributing to the change. However, industries switching to solar rooftop is emerging as a new problem for the MSEDCL.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has been continuously increasing industrial power tariff. It is one of the highest in the country. Fed up with this, many industries had switched over to open access, which means buying power from independent power producers directly. Such industries had to pay CSS. Earlier, this surcharge was low but when too many industries switched over to open access, MSEDCL increased it substantially with the consent of Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).

This trend is evident from industrial power consumption data of the discom. The figure went down sharply after 2013-14 as compared to 2012-13. It fluctuated till 2016-17 and then increased in 2017-18. The figure for 2012-13 was 31,025 million units (MU). After a gap of several years, it increased to 33,415 MU in 2017-18.

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