It is noteworthy, that the last electricity price hike in the state was done three years back and as per the Electricity Act, tariff hikes happen once every five years. However, there is a provision for a mid-term hike as well.
The average hike that MERC has approved comes to 2.9 percent for 2023-24 and 5.6 percent for 2024-25.
A closer look shows that for the residential category there has been a six percent hike announced for 2023-24 and 2024-25.
For industry (HT category), the hike is a percent for 2023-24 and four percent hike for 2024-25.
For the agriculture sector, the hike is a steep one. For the next two years, a nine percent hike has been announced.
But this is just the average hike. The hikes differ from distributor to distributor.
The four distribution companies of Maharashtra, MSEDCL, BEST, Tata Power and Adani Electricity had sought this tariff hike citing coal price increase in their petitions as the main reason for the demand. The companies also mentioned the losses they had to bear during COVID and the shortfall in the availability of renewable power as the reason for the overall cost of power purchases shooting up. The discoms reasoned that in order to adjust the revenue gap after the increased power purchase cost a mid-term tariff hike was needed.
As per the procedure, once the distribution companies filed their petition, MERC conducted multiple meetings with all the stakeholders and then issued an order allowing an electricity tariff hike in Maharashtra. The new rates will be applicable from 01st April 2023.