NEA moves to lower premium tariff for commercial users

Published On: November 4, 2019 08:11 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Proposes a 30% premium on power supplied through dedicated feeders, trunk lines

KATHMANDU, Nov 4: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has stepped up to slash the premium tariff of electricity supplied to industrial enterprises through dedicated feeders and trunk lines.

According to officials of the state-owned utility, the authority has come up with the decision to relieve commercial users of high tariff citing increased supply of electricity lately. 

“The board meeting of the NEA held on Saturday has decided to forward a proposal for reducing additional tariff by 35 percentage points to Electricity Regulatory Commission for final approval,” an official of the NEA said on condition of anonymity.

The NEA so far has been charging up to 65% of electricity tariff as premium for using electricity through dedicated feeders and trunk lines. If the proposal is approved by Electricity Regulatory Commission, industries need to pay only 30% extra on top of the normal electricity bills.

Under dedicated feeders facility, a factory that needs high voltage lines is permitted to receive direct electricity from a nearby substation, while those using trunk lines can receive regular electricity through two substations. 

Currently, 231 production businesses have been receiving electricity from dedicated feeders, while another 67 companies are benefited from trunk line facility. 

In June 2015, a board meeting of the NEA had set premium charges for factories using electricity through dedicated feeders from August that year. Citing power outage problem at that time, the NEA had decided to impose additional fee on industries that consume high amount of energy.

Industrialists have been expressing their disagreement over the decision stating that it was not appropriate for the NEA to take levy additional fee as load-shedding has already become a thing of past. The power utility had announced end of scheduled power cuts in the Kathmandu Valley from the day of Laxmi Pooja, the festival of lights, in 2016. The entire country was gradually freed from the problem thereafter.

A panel formed in April last year under the NEA board member Bhakta Bahadur Pun had reported that 185 out of 298 commercial users were paying high premium charge. Remaining 50 were related to hospital, drinking water supply and irrigation services that were not required to pay extra.

Despite proposing to revise premium tariff, the NEA had said that it was firm on collecting outstanding dues from industries which total around Rs 10 billion. “The board meeting has decided to recover the dues from the industries,” the official added.

However, commercial users have been refusing to clear the dues of special facilities that they had been using for years.

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