TNERC keeps additional surcharge unchanged at ₹0.70 per unit for open access consumers

In its petition, Tangedco had sought to fix the additional surcharge at ₹0.85 per unit

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) said that open access consumers (who buy power directly from third parties without depending on State utility) have to pay an additional surcharge of ₹0.70 per unit to Tangedco from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

The rate of additional surcharge is similar to what was determined for the earlier six month period from April 16, 2021 to September 30, 2021. In its petition, Tangedco had sought to fix the additional surcharge at ₹0.85 per unit.

The open access concept allows consumers like industrial users and commercial buildings to buy cheaper power directly from private generators. The move was aimed at increasing competitiveness and efficiency in the power sector and the loss of revenue suffered by Tangedco due to open access was compensated through the levy of a cross-subsidy surcharge.

The TNERC noted that the additional surcharge shall become applicable only if the obligation of the licensee in terms of power purchase commitments has been and continues to be stranded, or if there is an unavoidable obligation and incidence to bear the fixed costs consequent to such a contract.

Based on data furnished by Tangedco from October 2020 to March 2021, the TNERC arrived at the actual stranded capacity due to open access consumers as 597.11 MW. The fixed cost obligation on such stranded capacity is calculated as ₹406.47 crore, it said and allowed the levy of an additional surcharge of ₹0.70 per unit.

The TNERC said the additional surcharge is more competitive when compared to the additional surcharge determined by other State Electricity Regulatory Commissions and is lower than those of many States.

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