Sunday May 19, 2024

Energy minister announces reduction in April's electricity bills

Awais Leghari attributes reduction in power tariff to PM Shehbaz Sharif’s directives for relief to masses

By Business Desk
April 11, 2024
A representational image of a transmission tower, also known as an electricity pylon. — AFP/File
A representational image of a transmission tower, also known as an electricity pylon. — AFP/File

Federal Energy Minister Awais Leghari announced on Thursday that the government provided relief to inflation-stricken nationals by reducing the electricity prices for April’s power bills.

“The per unit price of electricity fell by Rs3.83 in the month of April. The overall reduction is due to the quarterly and fuel price adjustments in dollar terms,” the minister stated in a statement on Thursday.

He said the fuel price adjustment has been reduced to Rs4.92 from Rs7.6 for the current month of April and the quarterly adjustment has come down to Rs2.75 from Rs4.43.

“Electricity bills have witnessed a decline of Rs1.68,” Leghari said adding that the per unit price of electricity will be reduced as compared to the last month.

Explaining the method to calculate the cost of electricity prices, the energy minister said fuel price adjustment calculates the cost incurred on generating power in a month.

“The price of electricity is reduced for consumers when fuel price becomes lower compared to a price fixed by Nepra,” he explained.

He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif issued directives to provide maximum relief to the nation.

The minister detailed that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) would fix “reference tariff” for 12 months at the beginning of every year, and set fuel price adjustment on a monthly basis.

In case of an increase in fuel expenditures for electricity generation, the national exchequer would suffer losses if the additional amount is not charged from the consumers, Leghari said.

Earlier this week, the Nepra allowed ex-Wapda power distribution companies (XWDISCOs) to make a whopping Rs4.921 per unit additional collection from consumers in their April 2024 bills, according to The News.

In February, they paid less than what was cost of power generation, especially from costly imported fuel. Notably, on March 28, Nepra held a public hearing on a petition of the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA-G) on behalf of XWDISCOs. It had requested Rs4.99/unit positive fuel charges adjustments (FCA) for February 2024.

In its decision released on Monday, Nepra said the increase in the power price would apply to all consumer categories except for electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) and lifeline consumers of all DISCOs. The said adjustment would be shown separately in bills based on units billed in the month of February.