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HERC Orders Extra Surcharge Of Rs. 0.78/kWh For Open Access Users

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The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC) has authorized Rs. 0.78/kWh as an additional surcharge for open-access consumers who obtain power from sources other than the state’s distribution corporations (DISCOMs).

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The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) and the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran (DHBVN) had petitioned HERC to determine an extra surcharge for the first half of the fiscal year 2023.

The DISCOMs’ appeal recommended charging open access users an extra cost of Rs. 0.83/kWh computed on the basis of slot-wise open access power and slot-wise surrendered power.

To recuperate the fixed cost of the surrendered electricity, DISCOMs set an extra surcharge on open-access customers. Haryana has fixed an extra fee of Rs. 1.08/kWh for the preceding six-month period (October-March FY 2022).

Later, the Commission published a public notice encouraging stakeholders to submit recommendations and concerns.

According to IEX, the power exchange, DISCOM users pay demand charges even when using open access to electricity. These demand charges provide for the recovery of a portion of the DISCOMs’ fixed costs and should be incorporated when calculating the power purchase fixed cost obligation for open-access consumers.

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Furthermore, IEX stated that the National Tariff Policy, 2016, stressed that an additional surcharge obligation should be acceptable if it could be conclusively demonstrated that power purchase commitments remained stranded as a result of open access and no other reason could be assigned for the same.

In their remarks, Cleanmax Enviro said that the attribution of power back down from producing units to the state’s (C&I) consumers sourcing electricity under open access was not persuasive. As a result, no extra surcharge should be imposed on these consumers.

The Commission stated that while determining the fixed cost for estimating the extra surcharge, the DISOCMs used the Commission’s authorized average fixed cost. However, the fixed cost of Rs. 1.11/kWh agreed for FY 2022-23 was important in determining the extra surcharge for the first half of FY 2022-23 and thereafter.

Only functioning units were considered for assessing stranded power costs and arriving at the extra surcharge, the regulator noted.

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As a result, the Commission authorized the extra surcharge of Rs. 0.78/kWh, which would be effective as of the date of the decision.

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