Nepra directs Discos to take action against officials involved in overbilling

ISLAMABAD  -  The National Electric Power Regulatory Au­thority (NEPRA) on Friday directed the power distribution companies (DISCOs) to take action against those officials involved in overbilling of millions of electricity consumers. 

These companies had failed to provide a sat­isfactory reply to the inquiry report it furnished after the widespread overbilling complaints in July-August 2023. The NEPRA issued directives to these companies including K-Electric (KE) to implement NEPRA’s inquiry report’s recom­mendation. In directive issued to DISCOs, the NEPRA said that distribution companies shall replace all defective metres immediately having age above two months. Data of such metres be retrieved and the consumers be charged actual reading instead of excessive/average billing.

It is worth to mention here that in its inqui­ry report on inflated bills, charged to the elec­tricity consumers in July and August 2023, the NEPRA had held the power distribution com­panies (DISCOs) and K-Electric (KE) respon­sible for charging excessive bills to millions of consumers by adopting illegal and unlawful practices and directed to correct the inflated bills within one billing cycle alongwith taking legal action against the responsible. It was ob­served that it is very unfortunate that DISCOs are deliberately carrying out such malpractic­es in order to hide their inefficiencies due to which thousands of consumers suffered with higher electricity bills. “Overall, it can be said that most of the DISCOs have failed to charge the electricity bills in accordance with the relevant clauses of CSM and terms and condi­tions of tariff approved by the authority. The DISCOs have also failed to carry out the mech­anism of percentage checking as provided in CSM,” it maintained. It was noted that more than 13.762 million consumers were charged by DISCOs for more than 30 days of billing cycle in the months of July and August 2023 which has resulted in inflated bills.

However, the Power Division had turned down this inquiry and claimed that only 0.2 million consumers were overcharged. But the regulator clings to its claims made in inquiry and after the proceedings, the NEPRA issued di­rectives to XWDiscos and K-Electric to address issues of consumers and take action against those involved in overbilling.

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