ISLAMABAD (Eshfak Mughal): The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved an increase of Rs.5.40 per unit in power tariff on account of quarterly adjustment for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022-23.
The ex-Wapda distribution companies (XWDISCOs) had filed their requests for adjustments on account of capacity charges, transmission charges, and market operator fee, the impact of incremental units, the impact of T&D losses on FCA and variable operation & maintenance charges for the fourth quarter of FY23 i.e. April to June 2023 on which NEPRA held a hearing on Wednesday.
The approval means that power consumers will pay an additional Rs.146 billion to distribution companies in three months from Sept to Nov 2023. The DISCOs claimed Rs.124 billion on account of capacity charges. It means that the consumers have to pay the cost of the electricity which they did not utilized but the govt didn’t purchased the electricity which could be produced but they didn’t due to low demand. They also claimed Rs.7.54 billion on account of Operating and maintenance charges, and Rs.14 billion on account of Use of System Charge (UoSC) and Market Operator Fee (MOF). However, this revised tariff won’t apply to Lifeline and K-Electric consumers.
The representative of the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) suggested the authority to collected the proposed additional amount in six months instead of three months. He explained the situation that the consumer will not pay their bills if the authority increase this huge increase. The consumer will pay additional Rs2.31 per unit additional amount if the authority decides to collected this amount in six months.
The Authority was apprised that the electricity demand was reduced during the last quarter of the last fiscal year due to de industrialization and climate change. The representatives of the TESCO told the authority that its demand was reduced due to de industrialization in its jurisdiction and average temperature during the quarter.
The authority expressed concerns on reduction of electricity demand during April to June 2023. The member from Sindh, Rafique Ahmed Shaikh said that he is not satisfied on this briefing. “This is alarming for the country if the industrial unites reduced”, he said.
The Chairman and members of the NEPRA raised their concerns on capacity charges. The Technical Member of the NEPRA questioned on the pending cases of electricity connections. The authority was apprised that the 350 thousand applications are pending.
Shaikh Rafique expressed his concern on backlog of pending cases of electricity connections. He said that the capacity charges would have come down if these pending cases not persist.
The NEPRA also raised questions on the future of the Power system of the country and said that the policy of as usual business regarding power sector would not sustain. He explained his arguments and said that the Lahore Electric Supply Company has 6.1 million consumers and there are many countries in the globe which are less from the population of the LESCO. He said that Hyderabad and Quetta Electric Supply Companies have vast area of jurisdiction. How Dadu Region can be control from Hyderabad, Sindh.
The increase will be collected from consumers in the bills for the months of September, October, and November. The authority will issue its detailed decision in the coming days and it may consider the request of Power Division to collect the increase in six months instead of three as consumers are already facing massive bills.