Islamabad - The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has noted that distribution companies (DISCOs) and K Electric caused around Rs49 billion and Rs83 billion loss respectively to the national exchequer in the year 2015-16 due to transmission and distribution (T&D) losses and poor recoveries.

“The figures provided by DISCOs and K Electric regarding load-shedding in the range of 1 to 4 hours was also contrary to the ground realities and was, therefore, rejected by the NEPRA,” said the performance evaluation report titled “XWAPDA DISCOs and K-Electric 2015-16 in comparison with 2011-12-13-14-15,” released by the regulatory body here on Tuesday.

“For instance, the Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO) submitted only one-hour load-shedding in its territory in 2015-16 on a daily basis. Similarly, K-Electric reported that it carried out averagely 1.33 hours load-shedding on a daily basis in Karachi, which is far away from the factual position. NEPRA team, during the visit of different distribution companies, observed load-shedding of 8 to 10 hours in urban and 10 to 12 hours in rural areas on certain feeders. Further, the load-shedding criteria as announced by National Power Control Centre (NPCC) — 6 hours in urban and 8 hours in rural areas — is also not matched with the data submitted by the distribution companies. The data submitted by DISCOs and K Electric was not based on reality and was, therefore, rejected by the NEPRA,” the report said.

“The fiscal year 2015-16 did not witness any major improvement in the performance of distribution companies (XWAPDA DISCOs and K-Electric) under the Performance Standards (Distribution) Rules (PSDR) 2005,” the report said.

“In spite of persistent directives and monitoring by the regulator, DISCOs and K-Electric did not show any noticeable performance in 2015-16 and continued in the businesses as usual especially in the areas of System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) and System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), quality of supply (voltage and frequency), load-shedding and consumer service complaints,” the report said.

The data provided by DISCOs for the year 2015-16 shows that except for the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), all the DISCOs have breached the targets set by the NEPRA. The performance of SEPCO is worse in this regard along with PESCO, K-Electric, QESCO and HESCO. On the other hand, GEPCO and FESCO have shown improvement and slightly missed the targets set by the NEPRA.

In its report, the NEPRA considered only four parameters for the performance measurement — T&D losses, recovery, new connection and safety due to the issue of data authenticity. In this regard, equal weightage has been given to the aforesaid four parameters.

Due to the exceptional performance especially in T&D losses and new connections, the IESCO has secured the 1st position. Whereas, GEPCO and MEPCO both acquired same marks, but both have been segregated on the basis of a number of fatal accidents and awarded 2nd and 3rd position, respectively. FESCO has improved its rank and got the 4th position and LESCO has got the 5th position due to decline in the new connection and zero improvement in safety.

While K-Electric, PESCO, HESCO, QESCO and SEPCO have remained in the same position as in 2014-15 i.e. 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th respectively. Although QESCO has obtained more marks as compared to 2014-15 due to a drastic increase in recovery, it stands at the previous position. Unfortunately, SEPCO could not make a significant improvement, hence, it stands last, the report said.

The report said that T&D losses indicate that except for IESCO, none of the DISCOs could meet the regulator’s expectations. On the other hand, SEPCO has shown the worst performance among all DISCOs in this regard.

As far as recovery is concerned, FESCO has achieved 100 % target while IESCO, GEPCO, LESCO, and MEPCO have also reported more than 99% recoveries.

The NEPRA has expressed serious reservations over the authenticity of the data regarding load-shedding being carried out by DISCOs and K-Electric in their service territories. The data provided by DISCOs and K-Electric shows that they shed the load from 1 to 4 hours daily which is far away from ground realities. Further, it is a matter of concern that DISCOs and K-Electric are not following the order of load shedding according to different categories of consumers as provided in PSDR 2005.

Regarding consumers’ complaints, the NEPRA report said that the data submitted by DISCOs and K-Electric showed the contradictory situation as the reported figures of a number of complaints were not based on factual positions.

On safety, the NEPRA said that although the number of fatal accidents has reduced in 2015-16 as compared to 2014-15, the reported figure, 172 fatalities, was still an alarming figure and NEPRA took serious actions and initiated legal proceedings.

“Since T&D losses remain a major concern for NEPRA, therefore, this parameter has been given a high importance in performance ranking of distribution companies,” the report said. “All distribution companies except for IESCO have breached the targets of losses given by NEPRA in tariff determinations, therefore, an impact of such breach has been calculated in financial terms,” it said.

The national exchequer suffered a loss of more than Rs48 billion in 2015-16 due to the inefficiency of distribution companies. Although in terms of losses SEPCO made the highest losses followed by PESCO, K-Electric, QESCO, HESCO, LESCO, MEFCO, FESCO, and GEPCO. K-Electric top the list with 19.2 billion losses followed by PESCO Rs 10.7 billion losses, SEPCO Rs 4.9 billion etc.

FESCO has maintained its recovery position and achieved 100% target followed by IESCO, GEPCO, LESCO & MEPCO achieved almost 100% recoveries. Rest of the DISCOs, however, are lagging behind the target of 100%. Failing of Discos and K-Electric to meet the recovery target set by NEPRA caused the loss of Rs 83 billion.

Regarding the SAIFI, NEPRA said that the data reported related to SAIFI in 2015-16 was compared with the targets set by NEPRA based on their historical data of last five years. While comparing, it is observed that IESCO, PESCO, FESCO, LESCO, and K-Electric have shown achievement in this regard, whereas, the rest have not complied with the set targets. However, it was observed that the data submitted by the DISCOs was not based on reality, which was verified by the NEPRA team during visits of different DISCOs.  For example, the IESCO reported its SAIFI as 0.03, this means that an individual customer of IESCO experienced 0.03 interruption averagely during the year 2015-16 which was totally incorrect.

Regarding the SAIDI, the NEPRA said that except IESCO, PESCO, and FESCO, all other DISCOs have breached NEPRA’s targets. Notwithstanding that, the IESCO has submitted that the average duration of each interruption faced by its consumers was 0.82 minute (even less than 1) in 2015-16 which was far away from ground realities. Regarding submission of fudged data by the distribution companies, the NEPRA took serious actions and initiated legal proceedings in form of explanations and show cause notices against the DISCOs.

The percentage of eligible consumers who were not provided connections within the time as prescribed in Performance Standards (Distribution) Rules 2005. Keeping in view the rule requirement as mentioned in the column of the target, it is observed that IESCO and HESCO have provided 100% connections to eligible consumers. Further, PESCO, SEPCO, and K-Electric have also provided more than 95% of the applied connections in 2015 -16. However, QESCO’s performance was worse in this regard followed by FESCO, LESCO, and GEPCO.

The trend of recoveries from 2011-12 to 2015-16: The trend shows the inconsistent recovery rates for some of the DISCOs. The worst performance was shown by SEPCO in 2015-16 which consistently remained in the range of 50 to 60%. Apart from that, if the recoveries of 2015-16 were compared with 2014-15, it can be commented that all have improved except IESCO, SEPCO, HESCO and K-Electric.

The data regarding complaints about low voltage: The data seems unrealistic as the percentages of consumers who made complaints were very less as compared to the total consumers, the report said. The same was also verified by the NEPRA team during their visits in different DISCOs and found that voltages were not provided within prescribed limits resulting in damage to home appliances.