Tuesday August 16, 2022

Power consumers will pay additional Rs4.85 per unit in April bills

April 16, 2022
Photo: The News/File
Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: The government has allowed the power distribution companies (DISCOs) to collect an additional Rs4.853 per unit charges from the power consumers in the next month's electricity bills.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to this effect issued a notification on Friday, allowing DISCOs to collect Rs4.68 per unit from consumers in their April 2022 bills, as they paid less than the actual cost of power generation in February 2022.

It is to be noted that the Authority had conducted a public hearing on a petition filed by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) on behalf of Discos on March 31, 2022. And this is not a tariff but an additional collection for one month due to a fuel price hike.

This adjustment will not apply to K-Electric and lifeline consumers. This privatized entity is dealt with separately. In its latest decision for the utility, Nepra has allowed the collection of an additional Rs3.278/unit from its customers in their electricity bills for April 2022. This fuel charge adjustment for the KE was calculated on the data for January 2022.

Vice-Chairman of NEPRA Rafique Ahmed Shaikh in his dissenting note included in the decision said, "The short supply of RLNG during the month resulted in a financial impact of Rs1.374 billion as the RLNG is an imported fuel and its availability can be ensured through better supply chain management, accordingly, such mismanagement of the availability of required RLNG cannot be passed on to consumers."

He also pinpointed and expressed his displeasure, saying, “The operation of less efficient plants like KAPCO on RFO against the most efficient RLNG power plants (QATPL, Bheki) has adversely affected the cost of fuel.”

“I have also reservations on the purchase of electricity from all those IPPs, whose PPAs [Power Purchase Agreement] were amended/extended without the approval of the Authority,” Shaikh said.

It is to be noted that the CPPA had pleaded that it had charged the consumers a reference tariff of Rs4.2516 per unit in February 2022 while the actual fuel cost was Rs9.1957/unit. Hence it should be allowed to increase the rate by Rs4.94 per unit.

According to the data provided to Nepra, the most expensive energy generation sources, including High-Speed Diesel (HSD) and Residual Fuel Oil (RFO), were consumed more than usual in previous months, which also jacked up the total cost of generation. In contrast, the least expensive (renewable) share reduced drastically during the month. Interestingly, the share of the RLNG-based power also declined.

According to the petition, the total energy generated in February was 8,087GWh. The hydel generation share was 18.22 percent of all energy sources’ generated power pie in February. It contributed 1473.76GWh of electricity to the national grid. Coal-based power share was 31.70 percent (2563.87 GWh) with a per-unit cost of Rs13.0944/unit.

Furnace oil-based power plants generated 6.51pc (or 526.73 GWh) with Rs21.4564/unit cost. No electricity was generated from High-Speed Diesel (HSD) during February.

The RLNG-based power generation stood at 15.16 percent (or 1226.01 GWh), and its per-unit cost was Rs14.3229. The local gas share was 11.36 percent (918.40GWh). Its generation cost was Rs8.1826/unit. Nuclear fuel contributed 12.53pc (1013.26 GWh) at Rs1.132/unit, wind power 2.02 percent (165.07 GWh), and bagasse 1.22 percent (98.67 GWh) at Rs5.982/unit. Electricity imported from Iran contributed 0.42pc (33.82 GWh) at Rs15.6885/unit. The share of solar power was 0.72pc (58.12 GWh).