NEPRA allows Rs2.84/unit extra power tariff raise

ISLAMABAD    -   National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has once again allowed ex-WAPDA distribution companies (Discos) to charge an additional Rs2.84 per unit from the consumers in their next bills, which will prompt the remaining customers to switch over to net-metering/solarization. The Authority, after incorporating the aforementioned adjustments, has reviewed and assessed a National Average Uniform increase of Rs2.8372 per unit in the applicable tariff for XWDISCOs on account of variations in the fuel charges adjustments for the month of March 2024, said the National Electric Power Authority (Nepra) in a decision issued here.

The NEPRA endorsement of the Discos demand will burden the consumers with an additional Rs 26 billion (including GST) in their May bills. In a petition submitted to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority, on behalf of Ex-Wapda Discos (XWDiscos), the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) had said that the reference fuel charged from the consumers during March was Rs 6.4417 per unit, while the cost of the energy delivered to Discos was Rs 9.3819 per unit. Thus, it requested an increase of Rs 2.9402 per unit over the reference charges on account of FCA for the month of March 2024. The increase also includes the previous adjustments of Rs 7.615 billion or Re 0.9492 per unit.

NEPRA conducted public hearing on the petition and reserved the judgement which was released Wednesday. The decision said that that there was negative growth of 7.5% in generation in March as compared generation assumed in reference tariff.  According the decision, during hearing, the Authority, further, inquired the reason for running of RLNG plants to which CPPA-G responded that the reason was due to the orders which were already placed for RLNG due to expected increase in demand and to ensure system stability.

The Authority also inquired the reasons for under-utilization of Thar coal-based power plants, dependable capacity of thermal based power plants and their utilization ratio, reasons for reduction in sales, reason for Partial Loading charges and ways to reduce the same, quantum of energy supplied by Net-Metering during March 2024) and financial impact of operating Guddu 747 on open cycle.

In response, CPPA-G submitted that over consumption reduced by 7.5%, including reduction in consumption of residential by 11.3%, commercial by 2.8%, industrial by 4.5% and bulk by 34.5%. Regarding reduction in part load charges, CPPA-G submitted that a proper study needs to carried-out in this regard. On the issue of low utilization of Thai coal power plants, it was apprised that overall utilization of these plats remained around 48 % during March 2024, keeping in view the system stability and demand pattern. Regarding the matter of curtailment of Thai based plants during the month, NTDC responded that this was due to lack of demand and load management.

Regarding the financial impact of operation of Guddu 747 on open cycle, CPPA-G stated that rate difference between open cycle and combined cycle Fuel Cost Component is around Rs.3.6/kWh, which resulted in additional cost of Rs. 580 million.

Regarding energy supplied by net-metering, CPPA-G submitted that 54.68 GWh energy was supplied through net metering during March 2024.  

CPPA-G also requested net positive amount of Rs.7,615 million as previous adjustments. CPPA-G claimed an amount of Rs.3.5 billion on account of previous adjustment for energy supplied by Tavanir Iran for the period from March to September 2023. The same is being allowed strictly on provisional basis subject to adjustment. Regarding previous adjustment of GENCO-Il of Rs. 2.6 billion for the period from January2022 to April 2023, the Authority noted that same is on account of revision in wellhead gas prices by OGRA from effective from 9th February 2016 to 31st December 2022 for Man Petroleum Company Ltd which is gas supplier of CPGCL-Guddu. The same being in line with the Authority’s allowed Fuel cost components has been included in the instant FCA.

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