PSERC Imposes Additional Surcharges on Open Access Consumers to Address Stranded Generation Capacity

Posted On - 22 November, 2023 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

Additional surcharges are enforced by the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) for open access customers under the control of the Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL).[1] The following levies are intended to mitigate the financial impact that PSPCL incurs as a result of consuming power from sources other than PSPCL.

Surcharges Overview:

Type of Consumer Surcharge Applicable Period
Full Open Access and Partial Open Access Consumers Beyond Contract Demand ₹1.29 ($0.015)/kWh April 1, 2023, to September 30, 2023
Partial Open Access Consumers Up to Contract Demand [A1] [UB2] [UB3] 0.92 ($0.011)/kWh April 1, 2023, to September 30, 2023


In order to ascertain the appropriate additional premium for the period of April 1, 2023, to September 30, 2023, PSPCL had filed a petition. The main target audience for this application was open access customers who got their electricity from sources other than PSPCL. The petition’s statistics demonstrated PSPCL’s sufficient generating capacity to meet the demand for power within the allotted time.

However, some of PSPCL’s generating capacity is left unutilized when open access consumers obtain power from other sources, creating a stranded scenario. The extra price is intended to make up for this stranded generation capacity and ensure PSPCL’s financial stability. It is in accordance with Tariff Policy and Regulation 27 of the PSERC (Terms and Conditions for Intra-State Open Access) Regulations, 2011.

Rationale for Additional Surcharges:

The weight of fixed costs, which adversely affects PSPCL’s financial interests, was highlighted. Unresolved, this burden reduces PSPCL customers’ purchasing power. The PSERC determined that the increased levies were necessary in order to lessen this impact.

Provisional Continuation:

The Commission approved the temporary continuation of the additional surcharge, as previously decided, for the period from October 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, as a result of the petition’s delayed filing. Until the final order was issued, this provisional continuation was in force.

Differentiated Rates:

Understanding that different consumer categories would have distinct fixed surcharge scenarios, the Commission made the decision to differentiate the additional surcharge rates. Depending on their payment state, different surcharge rates were applied to full and partial open access clients who were recognised as not paying any fixed charges and who took advantage of open access above their contract demand.

Surcharge Rates:

Open Access Consumers Within Contract Demand: ₹0.92 (~$0.011)/kWh

Full Open Access Consumers Without Contract Demand and Partial Open Access Over Contract Demand: ₹1.29 (~$0.015)/kWh

Regulatory Amendments:

In an effort to promote open access installations throughout the state, the Commission updated its intra-state open access rules in June to better match the Green Energy Open Access Rules of the centre.[2]

Putting these additional charges into place is a critical step in establishing a sustainable energy ecology and safeguarding PSPCL’s financial stability.



[A1]Please recheck all numerical data mentioned.