Kathmandu, February 11
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has submitted the revised electricity tariff to Nepal Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for approval.
After the NEA board approved the new tariff rate last week, the power utility forwarded the proposed electricity tariff rate to the commission on January 29, as per Prabal Adhikari, spokesperson for the authority.
In a bid to increase electricity consumption, NEA had prepared a draft ‘consumer tariff rate’ on January 28 to reduce the power tariff levied on all types of customers.
This is the first time the power utility has proposed a tariff rate aimed at encouraging electricity consumption in contrast to its earlier policy targeting to minimise the use of electricity.
NEA has categorised various types of customers, including general customers, other customers, time of day (TOD) users and community users and proposed different electricity tariff for each category.
Dilli Bahadur Singh, chairman of NERC, said they had received the new electricity tariff rate submitted by NEA. “We have started assessing whether the proposed tariff rate is suitable or not in the present context as the country is going to have surplus energy from the upcoming fiscal year.”
Singh further said it will take a few months to finalise the proposal as discussions will have to be held with a wide range of concerned stakeholders for the final approval.
As per the existing tariff rate, general consumers pay five rupees per unit for consuming up to 20 units. The rate shoots up to Rs 13 per unit for consumers of above 400 units. The proposed draft has hiked the rate for minimum consumption of up to 20 units to Rs 11.5 per unit, but the rate drops to three rupees per unit for consumption of over 400 units.
Adhikari informed that NEA has also proposed not to impose service charge for consumption of less than 10 units per month. NEA charges three rupees per unit as service fee.
For the first time, NEA has proposed the tariff rate for charging electric vehicles in charging stations. The power utility has proposed Rs 11.20 per unit for peak hours (5:00pm to 11:00pm), Rs 4.45 per unit for off-peak hours (11:00pm to 5:00am) and Rs 10.10 per unit for normal hours (5:00am to 5:00pm) during the wet season. Similarly, Rs 11.20 per unit for peak hours (5:00pm to 11:00pm) and Rs 10.10 per unit from 11:00pm to 5:00pm will be levied during the dry season.
Earlier, Minister of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barsha Man Pun, had announced that the government was preparing to remove the subsidy provided to consumers of liquefied petroleum gas and transfer that amount to provide subsidy on electricity from the next fiscal. In this regard, the government is preparing to provide 10 units of electricity free per month for those who only consume up to 20 units a month.
A version of this article appears in print on February 12, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.