ISLAMABAD - The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Wednesday allowed the Ex-Wapda power distribution companies (Discos) to increase the power tariff by Rs1.25 per unit for the month of May.

The decision was taken by Nepra in a public hearing on the petition filed by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) and will have a cumulative burden of around Rs15.7 billion on consumers.

The hearing was chaired by Nepra’s Member Punjab Saif Ullah Chatta Member KP Nepra, Himayat Ullah Khan also accompanied him.

The hearing was also attended by Senate’s Standing Committee on Power Chairman Fida Muhammad.

Member Nepra Himayat Ullah Khan said that due to the system’s technical and administrative losses, circular debt is ballooning and consumers have to bear maximum burden of system inefficiencies, technical and administrative losses.

He said that cheap gas was being provided to state-run Gencos which have low efficiency. “Had this gas is supplied to efficient Independent Power Producers (IPPs), more low cost electricity can be produced”.

The Nepra Member said that on one hand expensive gas was being purchased from Qatar at Rs13 per unit but on other hand, six rupees per unit was not being given to Balochistan for purchasing cheap gas.

On the petition of CPPA, the regulator noted that power generation cost was high during May 2018 while the consumers were charged with low rates.

The CPPA in its petition had proposed an increase of Rs1.32/unit on account of monthly fuel adjustment. The CPPA in its petition on behalf of Discos, seeking said it had charged consumers a reference tariff of Rs5.2908/unit in May against the actual fuel cost of Rs6.6123/unit, requesting an increase of Rs1.32/unit.

However the regulator allowed Discos to collect Rs1.25/unit from the consumers in the next electricity bills. The authority noted that consumers were undercharged in May 2018, while the power generation cost was high.

The decision was taken under Nepra’s monthly fuel adjustment formula.

This adjustment/increase in tariff will not be charged from lifeline consumers who consume up to 50 units, however, other consumers including industrial sector and the agriculture tube wells will have to pay back Rs1.25/unit to in their bills. This decision will not be applicable on the K-Electric consumers.

According the data submitted by NPCC total energy generation from all sources in May 2018 was recorded at 12117.67 Gwh at a total cost of Rs75.872 billion.

The share of hydel power generation in May was 2217.61 Gwh (or 18.30pc), Residual Fuel Oil (RFO)-based electricity generation share was 2338.23 GWh (or19.3pc) and its generation cost was Rs12.47 per unit.

Gas-based electricity share was 1971.34 GWh that accounting for 16.27 percent of total generation and its generation cost was Rs4.846 per unit.

Share of power generated from imported LNG was 2890.17 GWh (04 23.85pc) and its generation cost was Rs9.1022/unit. Power generated from coal was 1468.95 GWh which accounts for 12.12 percent of total generation and its cost was 5.761 per unit.

Nuclear energy contributed 656.17 GWh or 5.41 percent and its generation cost was Rs1.02 per unit. The electricity imported from Iran was 53.63 GWh at a price of Rs11.57 per unit and its total share in generation was 0.44 percent.

Baggasse based electricity contributed 113.45 GWh or 0.94 percent at cost of Rs6.208/unit. Similarly from wind 288.41 GWh or 2.38 percent of electricity was generated and solar was 62.62 GWh or 0.52 percent. The CPPA, in its petition said that it had not purchased any HSD based electricity during the May.