Karnataka High Court Stays KERC Order to Increase Wheeling Charges for Open Access

The stay follows writ petitions filed by Avaada Energy, Prestige and Embassy Group


A vacation bench of the Karnataka High Court has imposed an indefinite stay on the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (KERC) recent order that levied 25 percent of the normal transmission charges as wheeling charges for open access consumers in the state.

The order was passed by the bench in response to writ petitions filed by domestic renewable energy project developers, namely, Avaada Energy, Prestige Group, and Embassy Group.

When contacted, Mercom’s source working with one of the petitioners, Avaada Energy, confirmed the stay imposed by the Karnataka High Court.

The source added, “So far, the Karnataka High Court has not fixed the next hearing date. As it was a vacation bench that heard our writ petition, the case will be again heard by a bench when the court resumes after vacation.”

Justice A S Bopanna passed the stay order, the source further informed.

When asked about the order passed by the court, a KERC official told Mercom, “We have not yet received any communication from the Karnataka High Court or the petitioners. We will respond accordingly when we are communicated to by the High Court.”

The current wheeling charges being levied in Karnataka are five times more than the charges imposed in the state earlier. According to the KERC order passed in 2014, just five percent of the transmission charges were levied as wheeling charges in the state of Karnataka.

This decision to increase the wheeling charges in the state comes at a time when various states in the country are either reducing or nullifying it.

KERC’s move follows a similar announcement made in December by regulators in Madhya Pradesh. In December 2017, the Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) had announced that wheeling charges, a cross subsidy surcharge, and an additional surcharge on the wheeling charges as decided by MPERC would be applicable to renewable energy generation from time to time.