Representative image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEB) sought permission from the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) to levy an additional surcharge of 40 paise per month from consumers.
Meanwhile, the KSERC conducted a public hearing on Wednesday in Thiruvananthapuram over a proposed modification in tariff regulations as per the Union Government's rule, which permits various power distribution companies (discoms, KSEB in Kerala) in the country to directly collect fuel surcharge from consumers.
As per the modifications, KSEB is allowed to levy a surcharge of up to 20 paise per month without prior permission from KSERC. However, KSEB requested KSERC to increase the amount to 40 paise per month from 20 paise it had fixed in their draft guidelines.
The board challenged KSERC's decision to set a maximum surcharge of 20 paise in the 'KSERC (Terms and Conditions for Determination of Tariff) (First Amendment) Regulations' drafted by the commission.
The board argued that the power plants in the country are planning to revise rates as per the changes made by the Union Government in Electricity (Amendment) Rules, 2022.
KSEB argued that the centre hadn't set a monthly cap over surcharges, and other power plants are planning to increase the per unit cost sold to discoms.
However, KSERC argued that it is not ideal to compare the situation in other states.
At present, KSEB files a petition to KSERC every three months to levy surcharges. KSERC conducts evidence-gathering sessions before taking a final decision. However, with the new changes, KSEB can increase surcharge without prior approval from KSERC.