Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) Correspondent’s Report
The Central Government has launched another attack on the consumers by making a significant change in the prevailing electricity tariff system by amending the Electricity (Consumer Rights) Rules, 2020. Now Time of Day (TOD) tariff system will be implemented in which the electricity rate will vary according to the time of the day.
Under the TOD tariff system, the tariff during solar hours (a period of eight hours in a day specified by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission) will be 10 to 20 per cent lower than the normal tariff, while the tariff during peak hours will be 10 to 20 per cent higher. Thus, the TOD tariff will have separate tariffs for peak hours, solar hours and normal hours.
TOD tariff system will be applicable immediately for smart metered consumers.
The government claims that consumers will be able to reduce electricity bills by managing their electricity consumption as per the tariff. Is this possible at all? How can consumers take advantage of the use of cheaper electricity during solar hours, i.e., during the day when most of the household is out? The TOD tariff regime would actually have the opposite effect. Electricity bills will increase instead of decreasing. Most electricity is consumed during peak hours when everyone is at home but the electricity rate will be up to 20 percent higher.
TOD tariff system is actually being implemented not for the benefit of consumers but in the interest of private power producers. This will increase their income and profits.
After the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 and the smart meter program, this is another attack on the workers and toilers of the country. Every such step is preceded by a claim that it is for the benefit of the people, but in reality, their aim is to increase the profits of the big monopoly capitalists. Monopoly capitalists themselves are behind such policies.
It is necessary that the employees of power and other sectors make people aware of the reality and mobilize them to face these attacks.