Consumers to pay Rs52bn to DISCOs after hike in electricity prices

ISLAMABAD: Electricity consumers would bear a burden of approximately Rs52.7 billion as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has increased power tariff by over Rs0.52 per unit on account of “quarterly adjustments and interim relief to the power distribution companies (DISCOs)”.

NEPRA has issued two decisions of quarterly/biannual adjustments in the matter of DISCOs and interim relief. The first decision pertains to the period from January 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019. The total impact of this increase is Rs33 billion, which is translated into Rs0.3325 per unit.

The power regulator determined a uniform rate of Rs0.3324/kWh for the allowed amount of quarterly adjustment of Rs33,750 million across each category of consumers of DISCOs, to be recovered in 12 months period, based on projected sales for the FY2017-18, after excluding lifeline consumers.

Since the power to impose surcharges by the federal government has been removed through an amendment in NEPRA Act, the federal government, while notifying the allowed uniform rate of Rs0.3324/kWh, shall not adjust the same upwards for any consumer category.

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The second decision issued by the power regulator allowed the power distribution companies a provisional increase of Rs19.7 billion. This provisional increase is on the already notified tariff and would be subjected to adjustment as per the final decision of the authority. The impact of this decision translates into Rs0.19 per unit.

NEPRA, however, keeping in view the fact that the distribution companies under single year tariff regime may require some time to file their tariff petitions in line with the amended act and at the same time being cognizant of the financial constraints of the power sector, has decided to allow an increase of Rs14 billion in the already notified tariff strictly on provisional/interim basis, subject to its adjustment once the tariff determinations of the DISCOs under Single Year Tariff Regime is finalised by the authority.

NEPRA has also decided to allow the increase of Rs5.772 billion in the already notified tariff of these distribution companies on interim/provisional basis, subject to its adjustment based on the required information, which is not available at this point in time.

It is pertinent to mention that the NEPRA, on the request of the Ministry of Energy had revised power tariff for DISCOs on account of annual adjustment /indexation of distribution margin.

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Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is an investigative journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]
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