Punjab levies additional open access surcharge of Rs 1.13/kWh

In a move that may further discourage industries to procure electricity through open access, the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission levied additional open access surcharge for the period of April 2015 to September 2015.

While the surcharge shall be levied retrospectively on the power procured during the said period, the move shows increasing financial burden on Punjab State Power Corporation Limited as large number of industries continue to procure electricity from the collective market. Open access consumers in the state should brace for regular surcharge like these as the Commission has directed PSPCL to stick to a set timeline for filing such petitions.

PSPCL is already working to file a petition asking to levy additional surcharge on open access transactions between 1 October 2016 and 31 March 2017.

PSCPL, in its current petition, claimed that 985.11 MUs electricity was scheduled through open access between April and September 2015; this left 224 MW of in-state power generation capacity idle, PSPCL claimed.

Move to encourage in-state power procurement

The Commission has taken several measures over the last few weeks to encourage industrial to procure power from PSPCL. Punjab has become a power surplus state and PSPCL now faces a substantial burden as several industrial units continue to procure power through collective market.

To encourage industries to source power from PSPCL the Commission reduced tariffs for small, medium as well as large industries while tariffs for domestic consumers were left unchanged. Starting 1 August 2016, small and medium industrial units will receive 6% tariff cut while large industrial units will receive around 2% cut.

The Commission has also withdrawn peak load restrictions and offered an additional Re 1/kWh rebate for power consumption between 10 pm to 6 am from October to March 2017.

And to further discourage open access transactions, transmission and wheeling charges have been increased to Rs 0.23/kWh and Rs 1.32/kWh, respectively.

The increased transmission and wheeling charges and the impending additional open access surcharge for the period 1 October 2016 to 31 March 2017, coupled with incentives announced for PSPCL power supply, may further reduce the power demand at power exchanges from Punjab. Only two entities from Punjab are active buyers from the bilateral power market, rest all acquire power from the collective market, mostly IEX.

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