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CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government has issued an order (GO) waiving peak-hour electricity consumption charges for the MSME sector until installation of meters. The GO also reduces network charges for rooftop solar connections by 50%. However, the Federation of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Electricity Consumers is not happy with the waiver and will continue its protest against the tariff hike.

The GO from the MSME department said that non-collection of peak hour charges till installation of the smart meters and reduction of network charges of rooftop solar connections by 50% to LT III-B category of consumers, largely comprising MSME units, was announced in the assembly by the minister concerned on October 10.

Tangedco has calculated the loss due to reduction in charges to the tune of Rs 196.10 crore – Rs 188.79 crore for non-collection of peak hour charges and Rs 7.31 crore for reduction in network charges. The same will be compensated by way of a subsidy.

The energy department would issue a policy directive to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) to compensate the loss to Tangedco, said the GO.

The Federation of the Tamil Nadu Industrial Electricity Consumers has said that the proposals they rejected in the second round of meetings with government officials have been issued as a government order. “We want the peak hour charges completely waived for the MSME sector. Also, we made the investment to install rooftop solar on our property to reduce the burden on Tangedco. Instead of encouraging us, levying Rs 1.43 per unit as network charges is not acceptable. Reducing it by 50% will not help. Also, 430% hike in the fixed charges should be withdrawn. Till then, our protest will continue,” said the federation.

Peak hour charges were introduced for the first time in the MSME sector last year on a par with high-tension consumers. After several representations, it was reduced to 15%. However, industries went on a token strike after which the state government decided to do away with the peak charges until installation of smart meters.

  • Published On Nov 11, 2023 at 05:23 PM IST

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