In bad news for Kerala residents, electricity rates in the state have been raised by 11.4% for households, which means that users will have to pay 20-40 paise more per unit.
The hike, fixed by the Electricity Regulatory Commission, came into effect yesterday (July 8). For up to 50 units a month, the rate has been increased from ₹2.90 to ₹3.15. For 51-100 units, it has been raised from ₹3.40 to ₹3.70.
Effectively, users will have to pay ₹18 more for using 50 units a month and ₹250 more for using 500 units. Depending on the usage, the fixed charges will vary from ₹5 to ₹145.
However, families below the poverty line have been excluded. Users below the poverty line, with a connected load of up to 1,000 watts and using up to 40 units per month will be excluded from the new tariff. For them, electricity will be charged at ₹1.50 per unit.
Families below the poverty line with disabled or cancer patients can use up to 100 units per month for ₹1.50 per unit whereas Endosulfan victims can use up to 150 units per month at ₹1.50 per unit.
For industrial users, the tariff has been increased by 5.7% for low tension category, 6.1% for high tension category and 3.3% for commercial category.
The average rate of hike across categories is by 6.8%. Even though the hike was announced in March this year, the implementation was postponed by the government ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections.
With this hike, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) is set to earn an additional ₹900 crore annually. The electricity commission said it will review additional revenue and the efficiency of KSEB in November and revise rates, if necessary.
The last time power tariff was hiked was in 2017, by an average 5%.