Bengaluru: Electricity consumers across the State will have to shell out at least Re. 1 per unit more for 2018-19 if the electricity supply companies (Escoms) have their way. The new tariffs will come into effect in April 2018, at the time of Assembly elections.
Sources, however, said that the government may not implement the new tariffs if the election dates fall in May as it might anger the voters. It will be up to the new government to implement a hike.
The Escoms, which have to approach the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) annually for a revision of tariffs, have sought hikes ranging between Rs. 1.08 and Rs. 1.65 per unit of power this year, said KERC Chairman M.K. Shankaralingegowda.
While BESCOM (Bengaluru) has sought a hike of Rs. 1.45 per unit, CESC (Mysuru) has sought Rs. 1.36 per unit, MESCOM (Mangaluru) has sought an increase of Rs. 1.08 per unit and HESCOM (Hubballi) has asked for a hike of Rs. 1.23 per unit. GESCOM (Gulbarga) has sought Rs. 1.65 per unit, the highest in the list. Interestingly, this year, in a significant departure from tradition, all Escoms have asked for different tariff revisions. The KERC will start the process of public hearings to elicit opinions from the consumers at all Escoms. Once the public opinion is collected, the tariffs will be announced.
Sources in KERC revealed that the companies were seeking higher tariffs owing to an increase in power purchase costs as well as system augmentation and upgradation.
Last year, the KERC had approved a hike of 48 paise per unit on an average as against the Rs. 1.48 increase per unit hike sought by all Escoms.