Minimum Period Reduction of Supply Agreement
- Reduction from two years to one year
- Relief to consumers
HYDERABAD: In a significant development that is expected to benefit the HT consumers in a big way, particularly industrial consumers, the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission has decided to reduce the minimum period of agreement from two years to one year to both low tension and high tension consumers by proceedings dated May 5 to provide a reasonable relief to the consumers.
Justice Bhavani Prasad, chairman of APERC, stated that during the public hearings held by the commission to fix the tariff for retail sale of electricity during FY 2015-16, a number of high tension consumers and consumer organizations requested for the reduction of the minimum period of their agreement with distribution companies under General Terms and Conditions of Supply of Distribution and Retail Supply License in Andhra Pradesh from two years to one year.
It was represented that, otherwise, the consumers are burdened with huge sums of liability even for small failures or defaults. The consumers said that at the time of agreement, they were generally unaware of their actual requirement of demand or the actual demand for their products in the market etc., and hence, they were sustaining huge losses, as they cannot reduce their Contracted Maximum Demand for two years or cancel the subsequent phased demand.
Hence, they requested for reduction of the minimum HT agreement period from two years to one year. Both the distribution companies in the State agreed for consideration of the request in view of the difficulties of the consumers.
The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission considered the issue in depth and noted that the consumers are paying service-line charges and development charges etc., i.e., the entire network cost and any change in the agreement period causes no loss to the distribution companies, whereas, the consumers have no escape from the heavy liability for two years, even if they were justified in seeking a change even before.
Therefore, the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission amended the General Terms and Conditions of Supply, reducing the minimum period of agreement from two years to one year to both low tension and high tension consumers by proceedings dated May 5 to provide a reasonable relief to the consumers.
Relief to SC/ST Consumers
The electricity consumers belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes living in SC/ST households/colonies are now paying 600 rupees towards developmental charges for a contracted load up to 500W.
It was brought to the notice of the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission that earlier such consumers were exempted from payment of development charges with a contracted load upto 240 W under RGGVY programme. During the public hearings for fixing the tariff for retail sale of electricity during FY 2015-16, many consumers and consumer organizations have represented that such SC/ST consumers may be exempted from such development charges by giving appropriate directions under Regulation No.4 of 2013, as amended by Regulation No.5 of 2014.
Both the distribution companies in the state have positively responded with a view to encourage consumers belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The commission, hence, decided to accept the request and issued a direction under proceedings Secy/07/2015 dated May 5 exempting SC/ST consumers living in SC/ST households/colonies with a contracted load upto 500 W from payment of Development Charges for obtaining any new electricity connection. (NSS)