Power Thefts: RERC Asks Discoms To Recover Fuel Charges Too

Highlights :

  • The Discoms had moved the RERC seeking clarity on recovering fuel charges in such cases.
  • The Commission said fuel surcharges are part of the tariff that every power consumer needed to pay.
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The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC), in its latest order, directed the state discoms to recover fuel surcharges in addition to the recovery of electricity charges from power consumers indulged in unauthorized connections.

The order came to the fore after three discoms in Rajasthan–Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. (JVVNL), Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. (AVVNL) and Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. (JdVVNL). The discoms sought clarity from the state Commission on the imposition of quarterly fuel surcharge on the electricity bills from such unauthorized users.

Such issues, meanwhile, are dealt with in Rajasthan as per the RERC (Electricity Supply Code and Connected Matters) Regulations, 2021. These regulations are applicable to the discoms and power consumers in Rajasthan.

Petitioners also submitted that earlier, the Fuel Surcharge component was not being considered while preparing the assessment in case of unauthorized use and theft. However, JVVNL, vide its circular dated 10.02.2020, has started charging fuel surcharge in the assessment of VCR theft cases.

They told the RERC that the assessment period in such cases of unauthorized use of electricity and theft of electricity is specified as 12 months. In the existing scenario, Fuel Surcharge orders for all four quarters (as per the assessment period of 12 months) might not have been issued at the time of such assessment.

The RERC said that all power consumers needed to pay the electricity bill, and fuel surcharge was part of the tariff. “In view of the above, Commission observes that every consumer who uses electricity has to pay a fuel surcharge, which is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Act and RERC (Terms and Conditions for Determination of Tariff) Regulations, 2019 as amended from time to time. Regulation 88 of RERC (Terms and Conditions for Determination of Tariff) Regulations, 2019 also authorizes Discoms to recover fuel surcharge,” it said.

It also added, “Accordingly, the Commission deems it appropriate to consider allowing recovery of fuel surcharge as per the proposal of Discoms while assessing the case of unauthorized use and theft of electricity under Regulation 12.2, 12.3 and 12.4, 12.5 of RERC (Electricity Supply Code and Connected Matters) Regulations, 2021..”

The order said that it should be applicable prospectively for the assessment being made after the issue of this order. The cases where the assessment was already done would not be opened because of this order.

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