Tuesday September 28, 2021

Probe into overbilling of power consumers launched

September 11, 2021
Probe into overbilling of power consumers launched

ISLAMABAD: A probe has been launched into the overbilling of electricity consumers by various distribution companies across Pakistan, after the matter was highlighted via an investigative report by Geo TV.

The Power Information Technology Company (PITC), which falls under the government's Power Division, will be conducting an investigation into overbilling by distribution companies, including K Electric, for over the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority-mandated 31-day period.

Geo TV reviewed bills from Karachi’s K-Electric (KE), Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco), Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco), Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco), Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco, and the Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco).

The investigation revealed that a number of power companies had billed their customers for more than the allowed 31 days in one month on more than one occasion since January 2021. Following the report, Nepra, as well as Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar had taken notice of the matter.

Sources told Geo News on Friday that after taking notice, Azhar directed Secretary Power Division Ali Raza Bhutta to get to the bottom of it. The sources said that Bhutta then tasked the PITC to determine the facts behind the distribution companies' overbilling of consumers.

A high-ranking official of the PITC has confirmed that scrutiny of the billing data of various distribution companies has begun. Bhutta told Geo News that instructions have been issued to conduct a thorough probe on the directives of the energy minister.

He said that a report will be issued soon in this regard. On the question of whether the overbilling amount will be refunded to consumers, the secretary said he will refrain from commenting until a final report has been prepared.