All eyes now on new Tata Power tariffs

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 20 Februari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: With Reliance Energy announcing a tariff hike and BEST too keen on increasing tariff by 15-16% for residential users, all eyes are now on Tata Power Company (TPC). Sources said TPC may emerge as the cheapest power distributor.

TPC may file in its mid-term review petition on tariff hikes for 2015-16 in the next few days, while the 10.5 lakh BEST consumers in island city may have to wait till the first week of March.

A Reliance spokesperson on Thursday said the slab hike coule be 16-45%, according to the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) chart, but on calculating the telescopic slab benefits, the hike for consumers may reduce to 9-28%.

"There is a likelihood of TPC emerging as a cheaper alternative in the near future. But if consumers choose to migrate to TPC, they may have to bear some additional costs, such as wheeling charges, cross-subsidy surcharge and regulatory assets charges as fixed by the other power utility firm," said Ashok Pendse, a power expert.

He also suggested that TPC needs to improve infrastructure and the network rollout in some parts of the city. "Till this happens, consumers will have to depend on the existing robust network of Reliance to draw power from TPC," he said. "Unless there is a big impact due to TPC's new tariff revision, one cannot expect large-scale migration."

But sources in the energy department said consumers will soon opt for "competitive rates" and this could influence users to switch from one power utility firm to another.

In the past, over 2.6 lakh consumers had opted for TPC in the low-end residential segment. However, Reliance still boasts of having over 18 lakh consumers in the same category. "TPC will continue to supply power in south Mumbai where it has its own distribution network. Across the city, it has been successful in setting up 333km of HT network and 437 of LT network and has invested Rs 1,000 crore. Laying of network in a congested city like Mumbai is a great challenge for any utility. We will continue work towards expanding network in the entire licence area," said a TPC official. "A past survey had shown that those switching from R Infra to TPC saved up to 46% in monthly bills."

Former MP Sanjay Nirupam on Thursday tweeted a letter to CM Devendra Fadnavis demanding that he intervene and prevent a "huge hike" in Reliance Energy rates. He also threatened an agitation. "It will be a shock for those living in the suburbs. I have asked the CM to request to the MERC to avoid this hike," Nirupam said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=tariff hike,Reliance Energy,power distributor.,Best

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