Nepra reserves judgment on proposed upto Rs18.57/unit power tariff hike for Karachiites 

Consumers will be burdened with additional up to Rs 30.494 billion

ISLAMABAD   -   The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) reserved a judgment regarding proposed increase in K-Electric’s electricity rates, up to Rs 18.57 per unit, on account of fuel adjustments for nine months. In a public hearing conducted by NEPRA, it was informed that the consumers will be burdened with an additional up to Rs 30.494 billion (25.843b+ 4.651b at 18pc GST).

KE had filed an application for increase in electricity rates up to Rs 18.57 per unit from July 2023 to March 2024.

For the provisional FCA, K-Electric had proposed to National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) three different scenarios, while calculating a hike of Rs 12.94 per unit, Rs 18.57 per unit and Rs 16.90 per unit respectively under scenario-I-II and III. K-Electric submitted provisional FCA based on three scenarios, seeking NEPRA’s approval for any of them.

Under scenario-I, the consumers will pay an additional burden of Rs 23.929 billion (inclusive of 18pc GST), in scenario-II of Rs 25.513 billion (inclusive of 18pc GST), while in scenario-III, the consumers will pay an additional Rs 30.494 billion (inclusive of 18pc GST).

The proposed FCA could potentially impact customers by Rs 1.6 to Rs 2 per unit per month for nine months. However, NEPRA will ultimately decide on the amount and duration of the provisional FCA.

NEPRA will establish guidelines for the unit cost and recovery period of these FCAs and subsequently issue a notification detailing the chosen method and its implications on customer bills.

During the public hearing, consumers both in person and online posed inquiries about various aspects of the provisional FCA.

Responding to questions about integrating more cost-effective generation sources, the CEO of K-Electric outlined plans to incorporate 640MW of affordable wind and solar power, aiming to fast-track these projects for commissioning within the next two years. Additionally, he told that efforts were underway to introduce cheaper indigenous fuel sources to further lower overall costs.

Regarding the power supply to matric examination centers in Karachi, a spokesperson from the power utility, when contacted, further confirmed the areas where exemption was possible for centers, shared by the Sindh education department, have been exempted from loadshedding during the examination period.

Jamaat-e-Islami representative from Karachi, Imran Shahid has rejected the increase in tariff. He alleged that K-Electric is totally dependent on IPPs and NTDC and added that citizens of Karachi are bearing loadshedding from 3 to 18 hours. People of Karachi should not be punished for the inefficiency of the power sector,” JI’s representative added.

Tanveer Bari, representative of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, said that K Electric has taken stay order against the refund of money to the consumers of Karachi. He requested the regulator not to approve the fuel price adjustment, until the citizens of Karachi get relief.

Loadshedding should not be done on the basis of feeder losses in Karachi, he added. Representatives of the Korangi Association said that the industrial units were being shut down due to higher electricity cost. The consumers are being forced to switch their load, they said and added that they are not in a position to pay cross-subsidy charges. He said that there were 4000 units in the Karachi which were facing higher cost of electricity due to cross subsidy.

They further said that incentive of incremental revenue was not passed on to the consumers despite a scheme announced by the federal government. They asked NEPRA to pass on increase in phases spreading on nine months to ease burden on the industry.

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