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Kerala is primarily a consumer state. But we are pretty self-sufficient when it comes to the production of electricity. From hydroelectric power projects to thermal power plants, we have a good set of infrastructure in place.

But we also know that there are many bottlenecks when we rely on the conventional sources of electricity supply in Kerala. From power cuts to voltage problems, there are numerous issues that plague the power distribution system in our state.

Most of us try to circumvent it by using devices like UPS and step-up transformers. But in the end, we are still relying on the conventional power supply system and the price associated with it.

In Kerala, the price of electricity per unit has undergone revision many times. It could be the lack of rain, or an increase in the petroleum products causing thermal plants to take an extra financial load. Or simply because it is a policy decision.

Hike in Tariff

If you are already affected by an increase in the prices of commodities, what follows might not be good news.

The Electricity Regulatory Commission has been organising public hearings related to electricity tariff increases for the next five years. The first hearing was in Ernakulam on April 1st.

How much will it cost?

The suggested increase in price is from 25 paise to 80 paise per unit for domestic customers. KSEB has also requested an equivalent increase in tariff for commercial customers as well. One unit is technically 1 kWh.

Public Hearings

The Electricity Regulatory Commission normally holds public hearings before implementing any tariff changes. The first public hearing was organised in Ernakulam Town Hall. The second public hearing was organised in Trivandrum at Jimmy George Indoor Stadium yesterday. The third hearing is organised in Kozhikode at Nalanda Auditorium on 11 th April and the fourth one will be in Palakkad at EMS Memorial Hall on 13 th April.

What will be the outcome?

It is expected that the tariff increase requested by KSEB will be accepted and will be passed on to the customers. The people of Kerala do have a chance to influence this decision. But if the electricity regulatory commission decides otherwise, the new tariff is expected to come into effect on 1st May 2022.

How hard will it be?

Considering that almost all houses in Kerala are electrified and rely on a single provider, the increase in price will reflect on everyone’s budget. Based on how much electricity is consumed, the bill could go up by a few hundred rupees or more.

We are already facing tariff hikes in bus charge, auto-taxi charge, for petrol and diesel, water rent etc, this new increase in tariff is definitely going to be hard on people who are on a tight home budget.

Electricity is not something that we can avoid these days. It is a part of our daily life and we consume it without care. Therefore, it will have some accountable impact on the financial balancing act of a middle-class family.

How can I skip it?

To be honest, no, you can’t. There is only one provider in the domestic sector in Kerala and the new tariff will be applicable to all.

Alternatives

If interested, there are alternatives like solar power which can completely eliminate the need for buying electricity from KSEB. Approach the renowned solar service provider in the town, and make yourself avail of such an alternative. The government itself promotes such options and gives a sizable subsidy for the same. You can even sell excess electricity after your use back to KSEB in return for money.