XWDiscos consumers likely to pay add’l Rs40b as Rs3.53/unit hike on the cards

ISLAMABAD-The consumers of ex-Wapda Discos (XWDiscos) are likely to pay an additional Rs 40 billion in their electricity bills, as National Electric Power Regulatory Authority has hinted at hike of Rs3.53 per unit in tariff on account of monthly fuel charges adjustments.
Nepra conducted a public hearing on the CPPA-G petition for the increase of Rs 3.53/unit in tariff on account of monthly FCA for October 2023. The hearing was headed by Chairman Nepra, Waseem Mukhtar, in the presence of authority’s members including Mathar Niaz Rana (member Balochistan), Eng Maqsood Anwar Khan (KP), Amina Ahmed (Punjab), and Rafique Ahmad Shaikh (Sindh). In a petition submitted to Nepra, on behalf Discos, the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) had pleaded that for the month of October, the reference fuel charges from the consumers were Rs7.8938/unit, while the actual fuel cost along with previous adjustments was Rs11.4277/unit. Therefore, it should be allowed to pass the increase of Rs3.5338/unit to consumers on account of FCA for October. The CPPA-G sought a transfer of Rs 2.9592/unit (Rs 28.325 billion) on account of previous adjustments, while Re0.5746/unit on account of fuel component for the month of October.
Out of total claimed previous adjustments of Rs28.325 billion, China Power claimed Rs 3.205 billion on account of the fuel cost component difference for the period of August 2019 to October 2023, while Thar Coal Block-1 Power claimed Rs 25.654 billion on account of difference in FCC for February to July 2023. For actualization of August 2023, the CPPA-G claimed Rs 533.433 million. If the CPPA-G petition was accepted entirely, the consumers would be burdened with additional Rs 40 billion (previous adjustments+FCA+GST). The increased tariff will jack up the electricity bills of the protected consumers using 200 units by up to Rs 650-700 per month.
It was informed that there was a total financial impact of Rs 103.7 million due to system constraints as the NTDC was unable to transmit electricity from power plants. The intervenors criticised Nepra to burden the consumers with previous adjustments in fuel charges. They called for giving any logical opinion for burdening consumers with previous adjustments. During hearing, the NTDC management said that the power regulator had not allowed some adjustments amounting to Rs 42 billion that resulted in financial implications for the company. They said that they had only Rs 3 billion and that amount was taken away by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).They said that they did not have any money to pay pensions and salary of the employees.
The CPPA, in its application, has submitted that the total electricity generated with various sources in the month of October 2023 was recorded at 9,572 GWh. The generation cost in October was Rs79.066 billion (Rs8.26/unit). According the petition, 9,253 GWh at Rs105,737 billion (or Rs 11.4277/unit) had been delivered to Discos with 2.93pc as transmission losses. According to the data, hydropower accounted for the largest share, constituting 32.54% of the total generation. The total generation stood at 3114 GWh. Local coal followed at 13.94% at an average cost of Rs12.10 per kWh, along with imported coal at 3.51% with a cost of Rs 13.26. 
Gas-based generation made up 7.35% of the total, priced at an average of Rs. 13.6059 per kWh, while RLNG (liquefied natural gas) generation represented a substantial 20.25% with an average cost of Rs. 23.6987 per kWh. The nuclear power sector contributed significantly, comprising 19.08% of the total generation, but with a remarkably low average cost of just Rs. 1.2272 per kWh. The share of the electricity imported from Iran was 0.24%, with an average cost of Rs. 23.1678 per kWh. Wind, bagasse, and solar power collectively accounted for around 3.09% of the generation.

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