ISLAMABAD - The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Thursday approved a reduction of Rs2.60 per unit in electricity rates of all distribution companies, except K-Electric, on account of monthly fuel price adjustment for the month of August 2015.

This decision will provide Rs. 22 billion relief to consumers using more than 300 units per month and the reduction will be reflected in the bills of November.

During the hearing Central Power Purchase Agency (CPPA) said that during the month of August 10,220.89 Kwh energy was delivered to Discos, worth Rs 41,419.90 million.

On the basis of above data, the company calculated per unit cost at Rs. 4.0525.

The public hearing was headed by member Haroon Rashid, as Chairman Tariq Sadozai is abroad.

Nepra’s approved reference fuel charges are Rs. 6.45 per kwh. The cost incurred to produce one unit of electricity was thus Rs. 2.60 less than the allowed charges.

The agency stated that during the said month 41.6 percent electricity was generated by hydel, whereas HSD, RFO and gas contributed 2.65, 26.31 and 25.52 respectively. During the hearing the authority noticed that some of the most efficient plants were under utilised by the ministry of water and power. CPPA official replied that they could switch off any power plant under forced outages for even a year.

Nepra member Khawja Naeem rep-remanded the officials for stating such a statement, as Nepra has issued schedule of all outages and according to rules all the plants are bound to obey it.

The authority directed the CPPA and Ministry of water and Power officials to submit the three year data of scheduled and forced outages of most efficient Kapco Power plant, which remained under utilised during the month of August.

Members also told the agency not do mistake of showing previous adjustments, after Rs. 2 billion of Engro were found wrongly posted in August data.

When audience asked about the list of all the power plants which remained closed or partially closed the CPPA representatives pleaded that the official team who had to represent the agency in hearing could not reach Islamabad as their car broke on highway, however, they will submit data soon.

When asked that despite the record hydel generation why there were long hours of blackouts similar to peak summer, neither authority nor the agency bothered to probe that. Neither CPPA provided the day wise data to authority that how many plants actually generated energy, nor Nepra officials worked out those details while deciding the tariff, which will affect a major chunk of country’s population.

The authority in fifteen minutes summed up the proceeding and announced that the decrease will be applicable in November bills.