Recently the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission published an order related to the additional surcharge payable by Open Access consumers. According to the calculations specified in the order, the amount of Additional Surcharge of Rs. NIL/kWh will be applicable to the consumers of MGVCL, UGVCL, PGVCL & DGVCL under Open Access. The rates are applicable from April 2019 to September 2019.
The decision to revise the Additional Surcharge every six months was announced when a petition was filed by GUVNL in 2013 and an order was announced in early 2014. The petition was regarding,
- Non-achievement of state discoms obligation & extra burden of fixed costs
- Maintaining the viability & sustainability in the operations of DISCOMs
- Hence, charge Additional Surcharge to the Open Access consumers
According to the Electricity Act 2003, & Tariff Policy as well the Additional Surcharge can be collected to meet the fixed cost of discoms arising out of its obligation to supply & such obligation causing an unavoidable situation & incidence to bear fixed costs.
Clause 5.8.3 of the National Electricity Policy reads as under:
An additional surcharge may also be levied under sub-section (4) of Section 42 for meeting the fixed cost of the distribution licensee arising out of his obligation to supply in cases where consumers are allowed open access.
Clause 8.5.4 of the Tariff Policy reads as under: “8.5.4 The additional surcharge for obligation to supply as per section 42(4) of the Act should become applicable only if it is conclusively demonstrated that the obligation of a licensee, in terms of existing power purchase commitments, has been and continues to be stranded, or there are an unavoidable obligation and incidence to bear fixed costs consequent to such a contract. The fixed costs related to network assets would be recovered through wheeling charges.”
Hence, the commission in the order decided that the Discoms can levy an additional surcharge on the Open Access consumers as specified in the Electricity Act and National Tariff Policy. The rates of the charges are furnished by the commission every six months, taking into consideration hourly data of the surplus capacity along with the scheduled capacity for the Open Access consumers.
Given below is the trend of Additional Surcharge in the state of Gujarat in the past years.