Power tariff hike of Rs 6.1 per unit is likely for April bills

 Power consumers will likely to bear the burden of  Rs 60 billion as power generation costs continues to rise 

The Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) has once again approached the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to allow the companies collect Rs6.10/unit additional from the power consumers in their electricity bills of April 2022, as they paid less than an actual cost of power generation in the month of January 2022. The costly imported fuel is pushing the government to pass on its full impact to the power consumers.

The CPPA has asked the authority for the monthly fuel cost adjustment (FCA) as it said that the fuel cost, oil and RLNG were much higher than what was charged from consumers. The total impact of the increase will be translated into additional collection of around Rs60 billion.

The power tariff hike would not be applicable to lifeline consumers or the customers of K-Electric.

The most expensive electricity was generated from high-speed diesel (HSD) during the month of January 2022. The cost of the electricity produced using HSD registered at Rs25.98 per unit.

Nepra, in a public hearing notice about the FCA for the month of January, has invited all the interested parties to raise written as well as oral objections as permissible under the law.

Under Section 31(7) of the Nepra Act (XL of 1997) and the mechanism for monthly fuel price adjustment prescribed by the authority in the tariff determinations of ex-WAPDA distribution companies, the authority may on monthly basis make adjustments in the approved tariff on account of any variations in the fuel charges and policy guidelines as the federal government may issue and notify the tariff so adjusted in the official gazette.

Consumers are already going to pay a higher rate of electricity tariff in this month’s bills -- an increase of Rs3.10 per unit -- on account of expensive use of fuel in power plants in December last year.

According to the petition, the total energy generated in January was 8,797 GWh at a total price of Rs107.5 billion, which is Rs12.2199 per unit. Of the total, the net electricity delivered to Discos was 8420.73 GWh with transmission losses of 330.85 GWh.

According to the data provided to Nepra, the most expensive sources of energy generation including high speed diesel (HSD) and residual fuel oil (RFO) were consumed more than previous months, which also jacked up the total cost of generation, while the least expensive (renewable) share reduced drastically during the month. Interestingly, the share of RLNG-based power also reduced sizably.

The highest share of energy source in the total pie was of coal. Power generated from coal was 2,916.7 GWh (or 33.15pc) with a cost of Rs14.1049/unit. Its cost was also much higher due to price-hike in international market. It was followed by local natural gas and nuclear sources with 14.37 per cent (1264 GWh) each, while the gas charges were Rs7.747/unit and nuclear was Rs1.075/unit.

Furnace-based electricity was generated of around 1238.11 GWh (14.07pc) with a unit cost of Rs22.807. The energy generated from imported RLNG was 626 GWhs or 7.12 per cent of total generation with cost of Rs16.703/unit. HSD-based energy was generated of 592 GWh costing Rs25.98/unit. Interestingly, due to normal water shortage in dams in winter, the share of hydropower generation was only 512.94 GWhs or 5.83 per cent in January.

                                                                      Business correspondent

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