To discourage gas consumption: Flat tariff of Rs12.66 per unit on incremental power use for winters

With a view to discourage use of gas in winters on account of dwindling local gas production, costly import of LNG and to cope with the gas crisis, the government has approved a four-month incentive package on incremental consumption for electricity consumers that includes domestic, commercial and general services to encourage the maximum use of electric power for heating purposes.

Under the incentive package, the government will charge consumers just Rs12.66 per unit on the incremental use of electricity. The electricity consumers will also enjoy the package from November 1, 2021 up to February 28, 2022. All the domestic consumers having non-ToU (Time of Use) and ToU meters will enjoy the incentives.

Earlier, the Power Division had submitted a summary asking for the incentives package to all DISCOs but it didn’t include the consumers of K-Electric. The Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) directed the relevant authorities to include KE consumers in the incentive package. On Friday after inclusion of KE consumers, the CCOE approved the new package.

The Petroleum Division, in a bid to discourage gas utilisation in winter season, had proposed a massive increase in gas tariff for third slab consumers (who use 200 cubic meters gas in a month) from Rs553 per MMBTU to Rs683 per MMBTU and this is how their monthly bill will increase from Rs3,733 to Rs4,295.

The PD has in its summary had proposed the increase in tariff up to Rs1,000 per MMBTU from Rs738 per MMBTU for consumers of the fourth slab using 300 cubic meters of gas in a month. They will now receive a monthly bill of Rs10,272 per MMBTU against the existing bill of Rs8,018. It also proposed the hike in gas tariff for consumers of the fifth slab using 400 cubic meters gas at Rs1,500 per unit from Rs1,107 per MMBTU owing to which they will receive monthly gas bill of Rs19,495 against Rs14,400.

It also proposed an increase in the tariff for sixth slab consumers using more than 400 cubic meters gas at Rs2,000 per MMBTU against its prevalent tariff of Rs1,460 per MMBTU. They will now receive a monthly bill at Rs34,622 against Rs25,494. The first two slabs will have no increase in tariff. The CCOE considered the summary, but the prime minister will take the final decision on the proposed hike in gas tariff.

For electricity consumers, in the domestic sector, the incentives facility will also be made available to the consumers having ToU (Time of Use meter.) The government charges the consumers having ToU meters two kinds of tariffs — non-peak hour tariff and peak hour tariff. They pay Rs16.33 per unit as non-peak hours tariff and Rs22.65 per unit as peak hour tariff. The peak time starts from 5pm and ends at 11pm and the rest of the time is considered as non-peak hours. The government deems that consumers who use ToU are somewhat richer and they will increase the electricity consumption in winter if offered at 12.66 per unit on incremental consumption.

However, the same package will also be available to those who have no ToU meters. It will also be offered to commercial and general services consumers from November 1. The government has already extended the incentives package of Rs11.97 per unit on incremental use of electricity to the industrial sector in January, 2020 which is still continuing.

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