With the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections less than a year away, the Uttar Pradesh power consumers have received a poll bonanza with the energy watchdog keeping the power tariffs unchanged for the financial year 2023-24.
In fact, the UP power tariffs remain unaltered for the fourth year running, thus giving a major respite to consumers in the current spell of inflation.
In its order dated May 25, UP Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) announced the existing power tariffs hold true for the current year. The decision was taken after considering the annual revenue requirement (ARR) documents filed by the state discoms and reviewing the recommendations and suggestions thereon by different stakeholders including consumers.
Interestingly, the discoms had proposed a steep hike of 18-23 percent in tariffs for the different categories of consumers, and pegged their revenue requirement at more than Rs 92,560 crore for 2023-24.
However, the UPERC approved an ARR of only Rs 86,579 crore, while also clearing power purchase of 133.45 billion units in the current year against the proposal of 140.96 billion units.
Besides, the regulator approved the line losses of 10.30 percent only against the proposal of 14.90 percent by the discoms to protect consumers from additional financial burden on account of inefficiency, power theft etc.
Meanwhile, the urban domestic power consumers will continue to pay the tariff of Rs 5.5 per unit for the first 100 units. Between 101-150 units, 151-300 units and 300 units upwards, the power tariffs will be Rs 5.5 per unit, Rs 6 per unit and Rs 6.5 per unit respectively.
For the domestic below poverty line (BPL) consumers, the power tariff will be Rs 3 per unit for the first 100 units.
For the rural domestic consumers, the state has announced slab-wise subsidy ranging from Rs 3.5 per unit to a maximum of Rs 3.5 per unit. The tariffs in this category are as follows: Rs 3.35 per unit for consumption bracket of 0-100 units; for 101-150 units, 151-300 units and 300 units upwards, the tariffs will be Rs 3.85 per unit, Rs 5 per unit and Rs 5.5 per unit respectively.
The rural domestic BPL consumers will pay Rs 3 per unit for the first 100 units of power consumption. The unmetered rural domestic consumer will pay Rs 500 per month per kilowatt (kw) connection.
Meanwhile, UP power consumer forum president Avadhesh Kumar Verma said the state discoms have a massive outstanding of more than Rs 25,000 crore which they ought to pay consumers, as such any upward revision in tariff cannot be effected for at least 10 years to come.