Rs35bn relief for power consumers

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 31: A relief of Rs35 billion was approved on Thursday for electricity consumers by the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), but it will be spread over eleven months. The average per unit benefit to consumers will be around 35 paisa in the shape of reduction in power tariff. The relief was announced by the power regulator after revisiting the previous determinations from July 2012 to May 2013. Nepra held a public hearing and informed stakeholders that Rs35 billion in excess had been collected from consumers during the 11-month period from July 2012 to May 2013, when a higher reference price was allowed to power generation companies.

However, the government recently lowered the reference price of fuel during the period and, as a result, Nepra calculated the difference between the previous fuel price and the government-approved fuel price.

Nepra officials revealed that increase in tariff in July 2012 was 62 paisa per unit, in August, it was 38 paisa, Oct, 50 paisa; Nov, 65 paisa; Dec, 28 paisa; Jan 2013, 62 paisa; Feb, 21 paisa; March, Rs1.06; April, Rs1.7; and May, 93 paisa.

The average reduction of 35 paisa in electricity bills will be reflected over the next 11 months.

Nepra has decided that relief to consumers will be extended for the same period during which the extra amount was collected so that cash flow of distribution companies is not affected.

Nepra’s decision will not be applicable to Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) since it did not collect the higher fuel adjustment cost because of a stay order it obtained from the Peshawar High Court. Pesco has to recover around Rs54 billion from consumers in terms of fuel-adjustment charges.