Karnataka’s free power scheme to cost Rs 13,000 crore annually

The government will pay Gruha Jyothi subsidy amount, and FPPAC amounts to all ESCOMs in advance to implement the scheme.

Bengaluru: The Gruha Jyothi scheme for free electricity, up to 200 units, to over 2.14 crore consumers in Karnataka, is set to be implemented from July and registration of households will start from June 15, it was announced on Wednesday.

The scheme will cost the public exchequer Rs 13,000 crore annually.

There are 2.16 crore domestic consumers in the state. Of them 2.14 crore consumers are using less than 200 units and their annual consumption is approximately 13,575 MU.

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Addressing a press conference at the BESCOM corporate office, Energy Minister K.J. George explained in detail the notification issued on Tuesday regarding the implementation of Gruha Jyothi.

“The average monthly consumption of these consumers is 53 units. 2 Lakh consumers consume above 200 units. The registration process will start from the 15th of this month and consumers can register at Bangalore One, Karnataka One centers. A separate section to register for the Gruha Jyoti scheme will also be opened in Seva Sindhu Portal. Consumers can complete the registration process by logging through website or mobile by providing appropriate information,” he said.

He said that an average calculation process of one year has been done for the estimation of monthly electricity consumption of 2.14 crore household consumers. Considering the average consumption for the 2022-2023 financial year, monthly usage will be calculated for each consumer by giving an additional 10 per cent on their average usage. However, the maximum free electricity usage cap is restricted to 200 units.

If the fixed average unit of electricity consumed per household is less than 200 units, the household consumer need not pay any fee. If the units used are more than the average, only the extra units will be charged. However, if more than 200 units are used, the full fee will have to be paid, George said.

“If the consumption of units is used within their average monthly consumption ratio, consumers will get zero bills, they need not to pay the bill,” he added.

If consumers use more than average consumption limits, bills will be generated to only difference of units excluding fixed energy charges and Fuel and Power Purchase Cost Adjustment Charges (FPPAC). If the consumers’ monthly average usage exceeds 200 units they have to pay the full amount of the bill. If consumers fail to pay their arrears within three months, their connections will be disconnected.

All the house owners, tenants, and authorised users can be the beneficiaries of the Gruha Jyothi scheme. To avail the scheme, the consumers must link their Aadhaar numbers with the Customer ID/RR number or Account ID mentioned in the bill and submit the application through Seva Sindhu portal.

Even if the Aadhaar address is different, one can complete the registration process by providing other relevant proof that he is a consumer at a particular address, George said.

“Our focus is on inclusivity and empowerment of people. The scheme is being implemented to help the middle class who are affected by the price hike and the scheme will not be a burden on the government. This will prove beneficial in the long run. The saved money can be better utilised for education which leads to more employment opportunities. Through this initiative, the economy of the state will also progress,” he clarified.

The scheme will not be applicable to commercial consumers.

For proper implementation of the scheme, separate guidelines will be issued soon, George said.

The government will pay Gruha Jyothi subsidy amount, and FPPAC amounts to all ESCOMs in advance to implement the scheme.

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