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Impact of Contracted Load on Fixed Charges in Electricity Bills

By on August 17, 2020 with 410 Comments  

Electricity bill and it’s components are considered as one of the most difficult to understand and most people make the payment without understanding the same. So to help people understand electricity bills in India we are writing a series of articles and creating calculators to help people understand their electricity bills properly.

This is the first article in the series and in this we will try to explain the concept of contracted load and how it impacts fixed charges on your electricity bill.  Many people these days are quite tech savvy and most have internet connection at their homes. We all understand the concept of bandwidth and download limit. Bandwidth is maximum speed at which you can get your connection irrespective of number of computer you have at home. If you have more computers, you will need more bandwidth. Contracted load for electricity is similar to bandwidth and is the maximum amount of wattage that is allocated to a house.  If you have more appliances, sum of whose wattage is more than the contracted load, then the system will come down crashing. The contracted load is also mentioned as sanctioned load or just load  (or भार in hindi) on electricity bills.

How is contracted load calculated

So how is the contracted load calculated because you never opted for it when you took a connection? Well it is done by engineers from the utility from which you take a connection. When you fill up a form to take a connection, you have to mention the list of appliances at your home. Utilities also do something called a “Load Survey” to profile specific areas in the cities to figure out the lifestyle of people living in the area. Based on inputs provided by you on the form and the profiling, they decide on the contracted load for your house. The contracted load is also periodically adjusted based on the usage (it does not decrease but only increase if your usage pattern is on higher side).

Impact of Contracted Load on electricity bills

So how does it impact your electricity bills? In most states the fixed cost component in electricity bill is dependent on the load. As the load increases fixed cost increases. At the end of this article we have given a table that explains how fixed cost is impacted in various states in India. Load also impacts monthly minimum charges in some states. Monthly minimum charge is the lowest limit on your energy charges amount. Which means even if you do not run any appliance in your house, you will get that much bill. In some states load also varies the per unit electricity charge on your bill. Please check our tariff article that lists tariffs in various states to see how it impacts you.

Another factor that gets impacted by contracted load is the phase of connection. A single-phase connection provides 220 Volts whereas a three-phase connection provides 440 Volts. If you have higher contracted load, you need a three-phase connection to suffice the needs. Three-phase connections have higher fixed costs and meter rents (yes in some states you have to pay rent on the meters installed in your location).

How electricity saving measures help

So how does Bijli Bachao (or save electricity) helps you reduce your contracted load or fixed charges? The use of energy efficient appliances reduces the total wattage of your house, and in turn reduces electricity load for your connection. As the load reduces your fixed costs come down and you save on your electricity bills.  In case you have started using efficient appliances and you do not see any reduction in your contracted load and you feel that you have a higher contracted load assigned and reducing the same will reduce your electricity bill (based on the calculations below), then you should approach your utility (or electricity provider) to ask them to recalculate the load and assign a new lower contracted load (or even single phase if required) based on your consumption.

How contracted load impacts bills in different states

Please see the table below to see how contracted load impacts bills in your state (the data is collected from tariff orders from various state electricity regulatory commissions and is only for LT (Low Transmission) domestic connections in urban areas):

State Impact
Andhra Pradesh 1) Slab rates are different for contracted load less than 0.5 kW and more than 0.5 kW
2) Meter Rent is Rs 25 for single phase connection for contracted load less than 0.5 kW and is Rs 50 for contracted load more than 0.5 kW.
3) Meter Rent is Rs 150 for Three Phase Connection.
Arunachal Pradesh 1) Minimum Monthly Charge is Rs 32 per kW of contracted load for Single Phase Connection
2) Minimum Monthly Charge is Rs 53 per kW of contracted load for Three Phase Connection.
Assam 1) Fixed Charges are Rs 40 per kW of contracted load.
Bihar 1) For Single Phase connection with up to 7 kW of contracted load, fixed charges are Rs 40/kW.
2) For Three Phase connection with 5 kW to 20 kW contracted load, fixed charges are Rs 40/kW.
Chattisgarh 1) Single phase connection is for up to 2 kW load and monthly minimum charges are Rs 40.
2) Three phase connection is from 2 kW to 20 kW load and monthly minimum charges are Rs 120
Goa 1) Single Phase Rs 25/Con/Month & Three Phase Rs 60/Con/Month.
Gujarat 1) Fixed charges are Rs 15 if contracted load is less than 2 kW. Rs 25 if contracted load is between 2 to 4 kW. Rs 45 if contracted load is between 4 to 6 kW. And Rs 70 for load above 6kW.
Gujarat – Ahmedabad Fixed Charges are Rs 25 for single phase and Rs 60 for three phase connections.
Gujarat – Surat Fixed Charges are Rs 25 for single phase and Rs 60 for three phase connections.
Haryana Fixed Charges are Rs 125 per kW for 1st 2 kW and additional Rs 75 per kW after 2 kW.
Himachal Pradesh Fixed Charges is Rs 70 irrespective of contracted load.
Jammu and Kashmir Monthly Minimum Charges are Rs 15 for load between 0 and 0.25, Rs 25 for load between 0.25 and 0.5, Rs 40 for load between 0.5 and 1 and Rs 40 per kW for load above 1 kW.
Jharkhand Fixed Charges is Rs 75 irrespective of contracted load.
Karnataka Rs 60 for 1st kW and Rs 70 per kW for every additional kW of contracted load.
Kerala Fixed Charges of Rs 20 per month for single phase connection and Rs 60 per month for three phase connection.
Madhya Pradesh If monthly units consumption is between 101 and 300, fixed charges are Rs 75 for each 0.5 kW of contracted load. If monthly units consumption is between 301 and 500, fixed charges are Rs 80 for each 0.5 kW of contracted load. If monthly units consumption is above 500, fixed charges are Rs 85 for each 0.5 kW of contracted load.
Maharashtra Fixed charges of Rs 65 for single phase connection and Rs 185 for three phase connection.
Mumbai – Tata and Reliance For single phase connections: Rs 55 if consumption is less than 100 units. Rs 85 if consumption is between 101 and 500 units and Rs 110 for consumption over 500 units. For three phase connection Rs 110 per every 10 KW (rounded to 10 KW).
Mumbai – BEST For single phase connections: Rs 55 if consumption is less than 100 units. Rs 85 if consumption is between 101 and 500 units and Rs 110 for consumption over 500 units. For three phase connection Rs 110 per every 10 KW (rounded to 10 KW).
Manipur Fixed Charges of Rs 60 per kW of contracted load.
Meghalaya Fixed Charges of Rs 50 per kW of contracted load.
Mizoram Fixed Charges of Rs 50 per kW of contracted load.
Nagaland Fixed Charges of Rs 10 plus Rs 100 for every kW of contracted load.
New Delhi Rs 20/kW for contracted load of 0 to 2 kW.

Rs 50/kW for contracted load of 2 to 5 kW.

Rs 100/kW for contracted load of 5 to 15 kW.

Rs 200/kW for contracted load of 15 to 25 kW.

Rs 250/kW for contracted load greater than 25 kW.

Odisha Rs 20 for 1st kW of contracted load and additional Rs 20 for every additional kW.
Punjab Rs 35/kW for loads less than 2 kW.

Rs 45/kW for loads between 2 kW and 7 kW.

Rs 50/kW for loads between 7 kW and 50 kW.

Rajasthan Minimum Fixed charge of Rs 200 per month for consumption less than 150 units, Rs 220 per month for consumption between 150-300 units, Rs 265 per month for consumption between 300-500 units and Rs 285 per month for consumption above 500 units .
Sikkim No impact of contracted load.
Tamil Nadu No impact of contracted load. Fixed Charges based on units consumed.
Tripura Fixed Charges of Rs 60 per kW for Three phase supply (contracted load more than 3 kW)
Uttar Pradesh Fixed Charges of Rs 90 per kW of contracted load.
Uttarakhand Fixed Charges of Rs 55 per month if monthly consumption between 1 and 100 units.

Fixed Charges of Rs 85 per month if monthly consumption between 101 and 200 units.

Fixed Charges of Rs 145 per month if monthly consumption between 201 and 400 units.

Fixed Charges of Rs 230 per month if monthly consumption above 401 units.

West Bengal Fixed Charges of Rs 15 per kW of contracted load.
West Bengal – Kolkata – CESC Fixed Charges of Rs 15 per kW of contracted load.
Chandigarh Fixed Charges of Rs 10 per kW of contracted load.

Source: Latest Tariff Orders (for 2018) from various state electricity regulatory commisions’ websites

About the Author:
Abhishek Jain is an Alumnus of IIT Bombay with almost 10 years of experience in corporate before starting Bijli Bachao in 2012. His passion for solving problems moved him towards Energy Sector and he is keen to learn about customer behavior towards Energy and find ways to influence the same towards Sustainability. .

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