No Tariff Hike – Only Rationalization of Sanctioned Load Based on Actual Usage: PDD

Just a calibrated rationalization of the sanctioned load based on actual usage and connected load, no tariff hike: PDD

SRINAGAR, 23 JUNE – The Power Development Department released a statement in response to Altaf Bukhari’s tweet about the high electricity rates that are being hiked in both rural and urban areas. The department’s point-by-point response is provided below, along with relevant data and numbers.

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC), an independent organization, determines the rates for J&K’s electricity tariffs. To make sure that customers are charged fairly, these rates are carefully calculated to account for expenditures including power acquisition, actual transmission expenses, staffing, and maintenance. The fact that J&K has one of the lowest electricity tariffs in the nation is worth mentioning, according to them.

The percentage of residential customers who have meters is extremely low, especially in the Kashmir area where just 32% (318605 no.) of residential consumers have meters and are paid based on their actual consumption out of a total of 982125 residential consumers.The flat-rate (fixed costs) paid to the remaining 68% of residential customers (663520 no.) frequently do not match their actual connected load or usage. This disparity creates a large accounting gap for energy, which costs DISCOMs a lot of money, especially during times of high demand. Consumers have been known to disclose significantly lower connected loads than their real usage, which exacerbates these losses, according to recent surveys and enforcement drives.

The Government of India’s RDSS initiative, which aims to reinforce supply infrastructure and improve power supply quality and reliability, is actively being participated in by DISCOMs in J&K. Under this program, financial aid is given conditionally, subject to the achievement of certain goals aimed at reducing aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses and closing the average cost of supply (ACS) gap with average revenue realized (ARR). Achieving 100% smart metering and LT-AB cabling are two of the scheme’s primary goals, which are meant to increase financial sustainability and qualify for government funds. Intense enforcement actions are also necessary to stop the theft of power.

Discoms are therefore stepping up enforcement actions in all locations to check for pilferage and book the defaulters under the electricity standards /Electricity Act-2003, in addition to technical interventions like smart metering and AB cabling. Positive outcomes have come from these initiatives; in 2023–24, AT&C losses decreased from 63% in 2021–22 to 44% in 2023–24. There has been comparable success in closing the gap between ACS and ARR. The actions listed below have been implemented in order to further minimize losses in unmetered (Flat Rate) areas:

Load rationalization that is adjusted based on connected load and real electricity usage in accordance with the Electricity Supply Code requirements, guaranteeing that no customer will get an excessive or inflated bill.

In order to encourage customers to choose metered billing and more precisely reflect real consumption, the JERC developed flat-rate rates.

If customers feel that flat-rate fees are excessive for their usage, they are also advised and urged to choose metered billing.

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