Mumbai: Power distribution company (DISCOM) Tata Power has proposed a "rationalisation" of tariffs, which could see a sharp rise in power rates especially for lower-end consumers in Mumbai. The utility published an advertisement in newspapers on January 29, wherein it proposed to increase the rate per unit to Rs 7.37 per unit from the present Rs 3.74 paid by subscribers consuming up to 100 units per month, while the same for those for between 101-300 units is proposed to be increased to Rs 9.31 per unit from the present Rs 5.89.
When asked about the virtual doubling of charges for those consuming up to 100 units per month, a Tata Power official explained that the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission had stayed an earlier tariff structure in July and reverted to an older structure first introduced in 2020.
If not for the stay, a consumer would be paying Rs 6.53 per unit, the official said, pointing out that the degree of the increase being proposed would be lower then.
The official said that earlier, the difference between the lowest slab and the highest one (above 500 units) was over Rs 7 wherein the high-end consumers were subsidizing the lower-end ones, and hence, a rationalization is necessary.
There was also an attrition of high-end subscribers to rival Adani Electricity Mumbai, the official admitted. At present, Tata Power distribution serves 7.5 lakh customers in the financial capital, of which 5.5 lakh are residential ones who typically use under 300 units a month, the official said.
The "rationalisation" is being proposed from April 1 onwards, the official said, adding that stakeholders have 15 days to give feedback to the electricity watchdog and if necessary, the MERC can also schedule a hearing on the issue.