ISLAMABAD:

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has notified an increase of Rs2.31 per unit in the tariff for K-Electric (KE) consumers on account of monthly fuel charges adjustment (FCA) for June 2023.

The tariff revision is slightly lower than the hike of Rs2.34 per unit requested by KE. According to a notification, the tariff increase will be applicable only to the consumer bills of August.

It would be recovered from all KE customers, except for lifeline consumers and electric vehicle charging stations, Nepra said.

The power-sector regulator held a public hearing on July 26, 2023 to consider KE’s petition for the increase in tariff owing to higher fuel costs for electricity generation in June.

KE generated electricity at Rs24.90 per unit from its own resources while the cost of electricity received from the federal government came in at Rs11.56 per unit during the period under review.

KE had requested for an increase of Rs2.34 per unit, however, after the analysis of data, Nepra notified an upward revision of Rs2.31 per unit for June.

However, for the same month, the regulator raised the power tariff by Rs1.81 per unit for ex-Wapda distribution companies (DISCOs) on account of FCA, which was Rs0.50 lower than the hike announced for KE consumers.

The Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guarantee (CPPA-G), on behalf of DISCOs, had requested the regulator for a tariff increase of Rs1.88 per unit.

It would be applicable only to the consumer bills of August 2023, Nepra said, adding that the authority held a public hearing on July 26, 2023.

 

Earlier, it pointed out, the consumers of DISCOs were charged Rs1.90 per unit under the FCA for May 2023. Now, they “will pay Rs0.09 per unit less than the month of May.”

The tariff hike will be recovered from all customers of DISCOs, except for lifeline consumers and electric vehicle charging stations.

Nepra officials attributed the increase in electricity prices to higher fuel costs in June 2023.

While the tariff hike sparked concerns among consumers, it also shed light on the delay in approving scores of renewable energy projects.

During the hearing of KE’s petition, Rehan Javed, an industrial consumer from Karachi, voiced concerns about the pending Requests for Proposals (RFPs) with Nepra.

The RFPs, if approved, could fast-track the production of cheap and affordable electricity through renewable energy projects, leading to lower power tariff for businesses and other commercial entities in Karachi, he emphasised.

Nepra member from Sindh Rafique Ahmed Shaikh also expressed disappointment over the slow progress on increasing the share of renewable energy in KE’s operations.

He pointed out that the approval of RFPs was awaited, which caused the delay in renewable energy projects.

With the Ministry of Energy’s petition to raise the base tariff for new fiscal year, which will take prices to record highs, the integration of renewable energy into the country’s energy mix has become more urgent than ever.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2023.

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