NEPRA asks DISCOs to compensate power consumers for excessive billing

ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has asked the power distribution companies (DISCOs) to compensate the power consumers in next month’s electricity bills for excessive billing beyond one month period.

Taking notice of the media reports/news regarding excessive billing by enhancing the billing period beyond one month, NEPRA on Thursday conducted a public hearing under the chair Tauseef H.Farooqi, NEPRA chairman.

Rafique Ahmed Sheikh, Vice Chairman, Rehmatullah Baloch, Member Balochistan, Engineer MKaqsood Anwar Khan, Member, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, officials of power division, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of power distributing companies (DISCOs), representatives from business community, civil society etc  were in attendance

Speaking on the occasion, CEO, Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO) said that MEPCO had issued bills for 37 days instead of 31 days of electricity usage to their customers in a single month. He said that excessive billing in the month of May 2021 was because of Eid ul Fitr and holidays while from 8th to 16th May 2021 meter reading was affected due to COVID-19.However, next month the MEPCO issued electricity bills to consumers for only 26 days to provide relief to its consumers, said MEPCO chief.

MEPCO officials informed that consumers of eight badges out of 20 badges were affected with excessive billing.

He added that a four member committee was constituted to probe the matter and a probe is underway.

CEO, LESCO said that working of LESCO was seriously affected in July 2021 due to official holidays and Ashura. He, however, refused to accept excessive billing to the consumers.

Perturbed over the refusal of LESCO chief regarding excessive billing to power consumers beyond one month, and bundle of complaint regarding MEPCO, NEPRA chairman said that there are large numbers of complaints against MEPCO and NEPRA would take serious action if same situation persists in the affairs of MEPCO while it is also quite strange that LESCO chief has refused to accept excessive billing to power consumers beyond one month period.

 NEPRA chairman also said that although DISCOs have been complaining about the holidays, working hours etc during the pandemic corona, however, these DISCOs have never approached NEPRA for the solutions of their problem. He also asked DISCOs to submit written complaints regarding the problems being faced by them and compensate the power consumers for excessive billing beyond one month period.

“The government has not asked to suspend necessary services during holidays,” said NEPRA chairman during the hearing.

On 8th September, 2021, NEPRA had taken notice of electricity consumers being billed for more than 31 days in a single month by Distribution Companies (DISCOs). And, asked customers to file complaints regarding overbilling so they can dissect the matter.

It is pertinent to mention that reportedly 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) have billed their customers for more than the allowed 31 days in one month on more than one occasion since January 2021.

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