Simplify PF charges refund process: VIA

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Jan 2019 11:56:25


Business Bureau,

While expressing satisfaction over the recent order of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to continue incentive on power factor, the industrialists of the region on Friday urged the authorities to simply the process of getting refund of extra charges collected from the them.

Since the new power tariff was implemented from September 1, 2018, the consumers had been not getting the incentives. Besides, they were also paying additional charges in the form of penalty. However, on Wednesday, the MERC modified its previous order and gave relief to the consumers.

The regulator also directed the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) to fund the increased amount to the consumers in three installments. But, there is condition for the refund. It will be based on consumer’s power ultilisation and scale of power factor (PF). The consumers should maintain the PF between 0.95 and 1. Apart from this, there are other technical norms attached to it. But President of Vidarbha Industries Association (VIA) Atul Pande called these conditions very complicated and urged that the refund process should be made hassle free.

“As the authorities have already rolled back the recent changes, the consumers should get the refund as soon as possible. There should not be any condition for it,” he said adding that the expert team of VIA is analysing the conditions. Sources told The Hitavada that the VIA office-bearers are planning to raise the issue from a proper platform.

Meanwhile, Pande said that the continuation of the incentive would give much needed respite to all the industrial category consumers. “The consumers need such incentives as they are facing multiple challenges. It will also encourage in the industrialists and also bring them at par with their counterparts in adjoining states,” he said. Ever since the new tariff was announced, VIA had been demanding its roll back.

Earlier the state regulatory body had allowed the MSEDCL to discontinue incentive on power factor with effect from September 1, 2018. Apart form this, it also allowed the power utility to impose fine on industrial category consumers who failed to maintain power factor in their respective units.

It is important to note that the industrialist of the region had strongly opposed the revised power tariff saying that it had burnt a hole in their pocket. The industrialist had also pointed out that the consumers were forced to pay heavy penalties in the name of power factor. They had also alleged the power distribution company of giving them a ‘shock’ by way of revising power tariff.