ISLAMABAD - Power consumers would find a sigh of relief in next month bills as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved 32 paisas nominal cut in the rate of power under the head fuel price adjustment for the month of August.

Interestingly, the Nepra had earlier determined Rs7.07/unit a reference fuel cost in the month of July, 2013 while actual fuel cost during the month of August was recorded at Rs 6.76/unit. Due to the difference between actual and reference fuel cost, the CPPA sought reduction in per unit price of electricity. This time, the NEPRA has nominally decreased the electricity price for the outgoing month of August.

A public hearing over a petition of the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) was held here under voice chairman Khawaja Muhammad Naeem. The CPPA in its request had pleaded decrease in the per unit price of power for all power distributing companies (DISCOs) apart from the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC). The CPPA has told the regulatory authority (NEPRA) that power-distributing companies (Discos) had sold 9 billion, 50crore and 50-lac units of power at the cost of Rs 64 billion and 29crore. Voice chairman NEPRA has expressed grave concerns over the inclusion of that power price which the DISCOs purchased from small power producers. Khawaja Muhammad Naeem also made it clear to the DISCOs that they were bound to pay the power price directly to the small power producers under the policy. He pointed towards an irregularity by saying that National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) is an autonomous body under the memorandum of article while the NTDC has to include the amount in pool price.

He instructed the NTDC to end this practice or get amendments in the memorandum of article after the approval of NTDC board. This little decrease would not be applicable on lifeline domestic consumers use 50 units and the consumers of KESC.

Sources in NEPRA informed this scribe that Rs23crore worth electricity was wasted in the month of August under the head transmission losses. They also said that per unit cost of electricity production with high speed diesel (HSD) was registered at Rs21, furnace oil Rs15, gas Rs4, coal Rs3.16 andRs1.32/unit with nuclear power.