Delhiites have already got their electric ‘shock of their life’ this year. The electricity rates have been revised, effective July 1. The hike includes a levy of 8% surcharge and increase in fixed charges.
While the steepest hike in recent years is being pegged at 26%, the real story lies in numbers.
Let’s first look at the old and new slabs.
Old Slab: 0 to 200 units – Rs 3.00 per unit; 201 to 400 – Rs 4.80; 401 and above – Rs 5.70
New Slab: 0 to 200 units – Rs 3.70 per unit; 0 to 400* – Rs 4.80; 401 and above – Rs 6.40
(In the new slab, if your monthly consumption goes above 200 units you would be charged Rs 4.80 per unit for the entire consumption as against previous practice of different rates for first 200 units and the next 200.)
For a moment, let’s take the surcharge and fixed charges out of the equation. For a household consuming 200 units a month, the hike turns out to be Rs 140 or 23.33%.
The equation: (200X3.70 =) 740 – (200X3 =) 600 = 140 [New slab charges – Old slab charges = Hike]
However, for a household consuming 201 units a month, the hike turns out to be Rs 360 or 59.52%.
The equation: (201X4.80 =) 964.80 – (200X3 + 1X4.80 =) 604.80 = 360
So, for consuming just one unit extra you would be paying an additional bill of Rs 360!
For a household consuming 300 units a month, the hike turns out to be Rs 360 or 33.33%.
The equation: (300X4.80 =) 1440 – (200X3 + 100X4.80 =) 1080 = 360
And for a household consuming 400 units a month, the hike turns out to be Rs 360 or 23.07%.
The equation: (400X4.80 =) 1920 – (200X3 + 200X4.80 =) 1560 = 360
As stated earlier, the real story (actual maximum hike) lies in numbers. And the middle class has been hit the hardest with this power tariff hike, as any normal household in Delhi consumes anywhere between 200 to 400 units monthly.
Those consuming more power have clearly been spared the maximum hike, while those restricting their usage have been made to pay the maximum.
In a city where people have to use motor pumps and submersible motor pumps to fetch water for daily needs, use air conditioners/ water coolers to stay cool in this scorching summer, etc, it is next to impossible to restrict monthly consumption below 200 units to be charged under the lowest slab.
The DERC, apart from effecting the hike, has also allowed private discoms to add quarterly power purchase adjustment (PPA) cost in the bill, doing away with the current quarterly fuel adjustment cost (FAC). Experts say the PPA cost would turn out to be greater than that of FAC, thereby adding to the burden. The PPA, however, like FAC, will require a final nod from the regulator.
Add to your electricity bills, the money you spend on buying inverters and batteries, and even diesel generators to survive daily power cuts.
The big question is: should we, the consumers, be fleeced like this? Should we be paying for the inefficiency of power discoms? I believe, no! What say...