Power consumers to face another price hike

ISLAMABAD: After a huge hiked electricity rates by Rs 1.95 per unit, now, another shock is on the cards for the consumers as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), on Tuesday, conducted a public hearing in this regard. However, the regulator reserved its judgement on burdening the consumers with around Rs 96.50 billion on accounts of monthly and quarterly adjustments.

Chaired by NEPRA Chairman Tauseef H Farooqi, the regulator conducted separate hearings on the demand from ex-Water and Power Development Authority (ex-Wapda) distribution companies to transfer the burden of Rs 91.367 billion to the power consumers on account of adjustments for the first two quarters (July-September 2020 and October-December 2020) of the current fiscal year and Rs 5 billion under the fuel cost adjustment for February 2021.

The demand for two quarterly adjustments, if approved, will have an impact of Rs 0.91 per unit on the consumers.

The ex-Wapda distribution companies, in their petition submitted to NEPRA, demanded Rs 44.709 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020-21 and Rs 46.658 billion for the second quarter under quarterly adjustments on account of variation in the power purchase price (PPP).

The ex-Wapda distribution companies also demanded Rs 9.287 billion on account of monthly fuel cost adjustment for February 2021. Consumers may face a tariff hike of up to Rs 0.65 per unit under this head.

Under quarterly adjustments for the first two quarters of FY21, Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) demanded the highest adjustment of Rs 21.113 billion, followed by Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) Rs 15.334 billion, Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) Rs 13.952 billion, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco) Rs 8.397 billion, Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco) Rs 7.741 billion, Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) Rs 7.409 billion, Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) Rs 6.834 billion, Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco) Rs 5.981 billion and Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) Rs 5.921 billion.

Tribal Areas Electric Supply Company (Tesco) has, however, shown savings of Rs 1.316 billion in its account.

For the first quarter on account of capacity purchase price, the distribution companies demanded Rs 33.392 billion, for variable operations and maintenance Rs 2.527 billion, UoSC Rs 2.801 billion and MoF Rs 5.989 billion as an impact of transmission and distribution losses on the monthly fuel price adjustments.

For the first quarter, Lesco demanded the highest adjustment of Rs 11.299 billion, followed by Pesco Rs 7.824 billion, Mepco Rs 7.092 billion, Gepco Rs 4.185 billion, Hesco Rs 3.818 billion, Iesco Rs 3.414 billion, Sepco Rs 3.046 billion, Qesco Rs 2.358 billion and Fesco Rs 2.351 billion. Tesco showed savings of Rs 680 million in its account.

Similarly, NERPA conducted a hearing on the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) petition for an increase of Rs0.6573 per unit in power tariff under the fuel cost adjustment for February 2021 for ex-Wapda distribution companies.

In its petition, the CPPA said it had charged consumers a reference fuel price of Rs 4.1414 per unit in February while the actual fuel cost turned out to be higher. Hence, it should be allowed to charge Rs 0.6573 per unit additional cost from the consumers. The petition for tariff increase was filed by the CPPA on behalf of ex-Wapda distribution companies.