Over 2.7 crore power consumers will feel the pinch of hiked power tariff as the revised rates will come into force from Thursday.
On September 3, the UP Electricity Regularity Commission (UPERC) announced the new tariff order for 2019-20 with an average hike of 12 per cent to 15 per cent with rural unmetered consumers having to pay 25 per cent more.
The tariff hike in agriculture sector is around 14 per cent while urban domestic consumers will have to shell out 12-15 per cent more.
The last tariff hike was announced on November 30, 2017, a day after the conclusion of local bodies polls in UP.
This is the second hike in power tariff in less than two years by the Yogi Adityanath government, which will be completing its half term in office on September 19.
Major opposition parties have criticised the Yogi government for the hike and the Congress has even staged demonstrations against the government decision to go for power tariff hike, terming it as “anti-people” and “back-breaking” for the masses.
In its annual revenue requirement filed before the UPERC, the UPPCL had shown a revenue gap of Rs 8,837 crore. The UPERC, however, approved a gap of only Rs 3,593, leading to the hike in power tariff.
The power regulator was forced to hike the tariff as the state government defaulted in payment of subsidy of Rs 15,089 crore to the UPPCL in 2017-18, adding to the revenue gap. Moreover, government departments owe over Rs 11,000 crore to UPPCL.
In the annual requirement filed with the UPERC, the UPPCL had sought an average hike of 25 per cent in tariff to cover for its huge cash losses.
The tariff for rural unmetered consumer has been hiked by 25 per cent or Rs 500 from to Rs 400 per month on load of I kW. For unmetered private tubewell, the tariff has been hiked by 14 per cent, from Rs 150 per HP to Rs 170 per HP.
The UPERC has defended the tariff hike citing several reasons. It said that the number of bulk consumers like railways, lift irrigation had decreased as they were purchasing electricity directly from power generator under provision of `open access regime’ as per Indian Electricity Act, 2003.
The sale of energy by UPPCL to urban consumers has also gone down due to roof top solar power plants. The fixed cost paid by the UPPCL as per PPA signed with power generators has also increased. The low plant load factor of 85 per cent of PSU power plants has also led to hike in cost for UPPCL.