Inflation-hit Karachiite to pay for higher electricity bills

Federal govt requests NEPRA to increase tariff by Rs6 per unit on account of FCA

March 28, 2023
An undated image of a K-Electric bill displayed on a mobile screen. — KE website

ISLAMABAD: The power tariff for K-Electric consumers is likely to be jacked up by Rs6 per unit as the federal government sought an increase from the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) in the context of two quarterly fuel cost adjustments (FCA).

The power regulator will conduct a hearing on April 3 following the submission of a request by the federal government.

It should be noted that if approved, the amount will be collected from the consumers from the period of April to June 2023.

However, an increase in power tariff will add to the woes of the millions of Pakistanis toiling to put food on the table amid a deepening cost of living crisis that has hit the country of 220 million people.

As the cash-strapped nation lurches from one crisis to another, citizens have continuously been taking to the streets to protest a dual economic and political meltdown with little precedent in the nation’s post-independence history.

Inflation is at a 48-year high. Foreign currency reserves cover less than a month of imports. The bill for billions in damage from last year’s devastating floods continues to sting, highlighting the financial consequences of a warming planet.

Moreover, the forecast for intense heatwaves has also left consumers worried about the availability of electricity as Pakistan faces a shortfall during the summer season which leads to prolonged load shedding across the country.

It should also be noted that earlier this month, the NEPRA allowed power distribution companies (Discos) and K-Electric to recover deferred fuel adjustment surcharges up to Rs14.24 per unit from consumers in eight months.

According to the NEPRA decision, discos will recover Rs10.34 per unit from domestic protected consumers using 0-200 units per month, Rs14.24 per unit from non-protected consumers using 0-200 units, Rs14.24 per unit from those consuming 201-300 units per month, and Rs9.90 per unit from private agricultural consumers.

The entire amount would be recovered from the electricity consumers in monthly instalments from March to October 2023.

The power companies will recover a staggered FCA amount from the consumers in eight months, from March to October 2023.

In its decision, the authority has also allowed K-Electric to recover the deferred fuel adjustment surcharge from the consumers up to Rs 13.87 per unit.

The K-Electric will recover Rs9.97/unit from domestic protected consumers using 0-200 units per month, Rs13.87 per unit from non-protected consumers using 0-200 units, Rs13.87 per unit from those consuming 201-300 units per month, and Rs9.90 per unit from private agricultural consumers. The private lender will also recover the amount during the months from March to October 2023.