ISLAMABAD: Giving another shock to the already burdened power consumers, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has approved an increase in the price of electricity per unit by Rs 3 28 per unit as part of the quarterly adjustment
According to the notification issued by NEPRA, a rate of Rs 3.28 per kilowatt hour (kWh) shall be recovered from different consumers categories of power distribution companies (DISCOs) and K-Electric in a period of six (06) months i-e October 2023 to March 2024.
While effecting the Decision, the concerned entities including Central Power Purchasing Agency and K-Electric shall keep in view and strictly comply with the orders of the courts notwithstanding this decision, said NEPRA in a notification in the matter of request field by DISCOs for periodic adjustment in tariff for the 4th quarter of FY 2023.
NEPRA had sent the decision of hike in the electricity prices to the government for intimation and to be published in the gazette of Pakistan.
This adjustment falls under the quarterly tariff adjustment (QTA) and is aimed at covering the additional expenses resulting from currency devaluation, interest rate hikes, and related factors.
The recent tariff increase is attributed to various factors, including capacity charges, Variable O&M, additional recovery on incremental sales, use of system charges, Market Operator Fee, and the FCA impact on T&D losses for the fourth quarter of FY2022-23.
Earlier, consumers were paying an extra Rs1.25 per unit due to ongoing quarterly adjustments, with these adjustments set to conclude in September. Now, the new Rs1.25 per unit charge will persist, with an additional Rs2.03 per unit added for the next six months.
Originally, the Power Division had requested an increase of Rs 6.20 per unit for the fourth quarter of the 2022-23 fiscal year for ex-Wapda distribution companies (DISCOs) to address Rs 146 billion financing gap within three months. However, due to fear of public outcry against the steep tariff hike, they later sought Rs 3.55 per unit increase over six months.
NEPRA has now granted permission for positive quarterly adjustments of Rs135.5 billion, applicable to the fourth quarter of FY 2022-23. These charges will be recovered from consumers of ex-WAPDA Distribution Companies between October 2023 and March 2024.
The power regulator also recommended that the government consider maintaining a uniform consumer-end tariff for K-Electric (KE) and state-owned distribution companies, even after privatization, potentially through direct or indirect subsidies. Consequently, KE consumers will be billed at a rate of Rs3.2814 per kWh, with recovery taking place over the same six-month period from October 2023 to March 2024.