ISLAMABAD-National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Thursday approved an increase of Re0.20 per unit in power tariff for the ex-WAPDA Discos (XWDiscos) on account of FCA for August 2022.

During a public hearing, on monthly FCA for XWDiscos, National Power Construction Company (NPCC) and Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guaranteed(CPPA-G) were clueless about who is determining the merit order of the power plants. The public hearing was presided over by Chairman NEPRA Tauseef H Farooqi. 

During hearing, referring to merit order, NEPRA asked that who decides which plants to run and which not to run? Different institutions are in state of confusion, the regulator added. CPPA and NPCC were pointing towards each other for the decision.

CPPA, NPCC failed to respond to Nepra’s queries who decides regarding merit order to run power plants. “It is our tragedy that we do not know who makes the merit order, Member Sindh Nepra said.

Member Nepra Sindh, Rafiq Ahmad Shaikh said that NPCC says CPPA makes merit order whereas CPPA puts the responsibility of merit order on NPCC. “Now the regulator will tell whose job it is (about merit order) and who will do it. If you don’t know about the merit order, then why should the authority decide to increase the price of electricity today, Member Sindh said.

“Is CPPA committee more powerful than NEPRA?”, member Sindh NEPRA questioned.

Nepra had also expressed displeasure over shutting down the power plants based on locally produced gas in violation of merit order.

Nepra asked CPPA to remove gas-fired plants from merit order. Does it feel good to show zero output plants at the top of the list of merit order, Member Nepra Sindh questioned, adding why the CPPA wants it to implement the orders forcefully.

Nepra has sought a response from CPPA on this issue of merit order by next Tuesday. Chairman Nepra warned to teach a lesson this time to those institutions which do not follow orders of the power regulator. During a public hearing, Nepra approved increase in electricity rates by Re 0.1950/unit on account of fuel adjustment for August 2022.

Due to the increase, there will be an additional burden of more than Rs 2.6 billion on the Discos consumers. Nepra will issue a detailed decision later. The increase will not be applicable to lifeline, agricultural customers and K-Electric consumers. Electricity consumers will have to make additional payments in electricity bills of October.