NEPRA Hints At Tariff Hike

On Wednesday, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) suggested that there may be an increase of RS0.50 per unit in power tariffs for the 2nd quarterly adjustment of the fiscal year 2022-23. A public hearing was conducted by Nepra to consider this increase, with Chairman Engineer Taseef H. Farooqui and Nepra members present. DISCOs had filed a petition to recover Rs 17.391 billion from consumers for the quarterly adjustment, with petitions filed to recover multibillion rupees from consumers for capacity charges, transmission charges, MOF, variable O&M charges, and the impact of T&D losses on FCA for the 2nd quarter.

Out of the total amount, independent power producers (IPPs) would receive Rs 1.19b from consumers of Fesco, Rs 3.9b from Gepco, and Rs 2.06b from Lesco consumers as capacity charges. However, Iesco, Mepco, Pesco bill, and Sepco showed negative Rs 14b in capacity payments, suggesting that these Discos resorted to forced load-shedding and did not provide the required electricity to consumers to control their losses.

Chairman NEPRA expressed concern over Pesco’s capacity charges being in the negative, as consumers had also complained about forced load shedding. He said that the government paid for the installed capacity, and not utilizing the available electricity was a shared waste. Nepra sought a detailed report from Pesco and other Discos on the non-utilization of electricity to full capacity.

Earlier, consumers were charged an average of Rs 3.08 per unit for the 1st quarter adjustment of FY2022-23, applicable till March 2023. The increase in tariff will be recovered from power consumers in April, May, and June 2023, although the Power Division requested an immediate pass-on of the increase. The power regulator expressed displeasure at the performance of electricity distribution companies (Discos), and the difference in transmission charges adjustment for this quarter was higher. Nepra said it would issue a detailed decision after further scrutiny of the data.

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