New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) In what will be a big relief for the national capital’s struggling industry and traders, electricity regulator DERC has asked discoms to slash their fixed charges for non-domestic “eligible consumers” by half for April and May. However, this is for the unutilized capacity during that period.
This comes in the wake of the Delhi traders arguing that even when their businesses were shut due to the nationwide lockdown, they have been slapped with huge fixed charges.
“The Commission observed that during lockdown period till 30/05/2020, majority of Non-Domestic (Commercial etc.) and Industrial Consumers did not use their system to the contracted capacity. However, the Fixed Charges at the applicable rate have been billed to them based on the billing demand, as per DERC (Supply Code and Performance Standards) Regulations, 2017,” the DERC order read.
The electricity regulator stated that it is of the view that in order to avoid hardships to such consumers, the Fixed Charges for the unutilized capacity during April and May this year for eligible Industrial and Commercial consumers “may be billed at reduced rate against existing rate of Rs 250/kVA/month”.
Furthermore, the DERC articulated that the billing demand for computation of Fixed Charges for eligible consumers will be split into two parts. In the first part, the Fixed Charges for the billing demand up to maximum demand will be billed as per the existing rate of Rs 250/kVA/month. In the second part, Fixed Charges for the remaining billing demand are directed to be billed at 50% of the existing rate.
While giving the order, it said, “In view of above, the Fixed Charges for the unutilized capacity for April 2020 and May 2020 (Contract Demand/Sanctioned Load – MDI) for eligible Industrial and Non-domestic (Commercial etc.) consumers shall be billed at reduced rate of Rs 125/kVA/month as against existing rate of Rs 250/kVA/month. The Distribution Licensees are directed to adjust the Fixed Charges of April 2020 and May 2020 for such consumers in subsequent two billing cycles from the issuance of this order”
This is a breather for the national capital’s struggling industrial and commercial units which have been battling months of shutdown due to the raging pandemic. The regulator made it clear that the decision was taken “considering prevalent grim situation due to outbreak of COVID-19” to address the “hardships being faced by the stakeholders including electricity consumers of Delhi.”
Earlier, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal received representations from Delhi traders associations, demanding relief on fixed charges during the lockdown.