Guwahati, Nov 25: Power consumers in Assam will have to pay more for electricity consumed as the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) has hiked the per unit rate of electricity for the next three months by 79 paisa from the existing 30 paisa per unit.
The new tariff, the APDCL maintained, has been levied to cover the cost of fuel and energy purchases, will come into effect from December 2022 and will be applicable till February 2023.
“’It is for the information of all electricity consumers that in terms of the Assam Electricity Regulatory Commission (Fuel and Power Purchase Price Adjustment) Regulations, 2010, fuel and power purchase price adjustment (FPPPA) at 79 paisa per unit (kWh) will be levied to all categories of consumers for next three months with effect from December 2022 (energy consumed during November 2022) to February 23 (energy consumed during January 23),” a notice issued on Friday by APDCL read.
The notice, issued by the general manager (tariff regulatory cell), further said that any adjustment regarding short/excess recovery due to seasonal variation of consumption within the stipulated period will be adjusted in subsequent periods or as may be directed by AERC.
“The adjustment will remain in force unless replaced by other order to that effect,” the APDCL notice read.
APDCL’s decision to increase the unit rate, even if it is for three months, has evoked sharp criticism on social media networks.
“It is nothing other than a revenue collection technique from the public. Government knows that during winter, electricity is consumed less, hence the government revenue decreases. So to increase the same, the government has applied this technique…. Shame…..”, a consumer tweeted on the micro-blogging site.
“State run electricity boards are not trustworthy, credible and customer centric. Since no easy alternative is available, consumers are forced to opt for electricity board services. However, solar and wind based power harvesting has great potential from a business and consumer standpoint,” another Twitter user reacted.
The increase in the unit rate comes just about two months after complaints were raised by consumers across Assam against “abnormally high” electricity bills even as the chief minister had blamed “faulty readings in some newly-installed smart meters” as the reason for such a situation.