Nepra allows Discos to raise extra Rs69bn

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Monday notified Rs4.34 per unit additional fuel cost adjustment (FCA) for ex-Wapda Distribution Companies (Discos) for electricity consumed in July to provide Rs69 billion additional funds to cash-starved entities in September’s bills.

The regulator “has reviewed and assessed an increase of Rs4.34 per kWh in the applicable tariff for Discos on account of variation in the fuel charges for July,” reads a notification issued by Nepra on Monday.

The notification said the additional FCA shall apply to all the consumer categories except Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS) and lifeline consumers of all the Discos and shall be shown separately in the consumers’ bills based on units billed to the consumers in July and reflect them in the current month’s bill.

The regulator worked out an increase of Rs4.34 per unit in FCA for all Discos (other than K-Electric) instead of Rs4.69 per unit demanded by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) to generate supplementary revenue on account of the higher cost of electricity consumed in July.

Consumers to pay Rs4.34 per unit more for July usage in September’s bills

The additional FCA is almost 53pc lower than that of a record Rs9.90 per unit in June because of a substantial increase in the base tariff, the improved share of cheaper domestic fuels, particularly priceless hydropower generation and inexpensive nuclear power.

The biggest contribution to the overall power grid came from hydropower. Its share showed a significant increase to 35pc in July compared to 24pc in June and May. The lower availability of expensive imported RLNG also came as a blessing in disguise to consumers.

The CPPA claimed that the consumers were charged a reference fuel cost of Rs6.29 per unit in July, but the actual cost turned out to be Rs10.98 per unit, hence an additional charge of about Rs4.69 per unit to consumers.

The revised electricity rates would be charged to all consumers except to those using less than 50 units.

Data showed that the 64pc share of domestic fuel sources in overall power generation in July was significantly higher compared to 51.58pc in June which was slightly lower than 54pc in May. The share of domestic fuel-based power generation stood at 50pc in April and 45pc in March.

After hydropower, the second biggest 15pc contribution to the overall power supply came from imported RLNG-based power plants in July which was significantly lower than 24.43pc in June and 23pc in May. With the revival of the 1,100MW K-2 Nuclear power plant after a month-long closure for refueling, the share of nuclear power also increased to 14.2pc in July from 9pc in June. Nuclear power contributed 13pc share in May and 17.37pc in April.

The share of coal-based power plants was slightly lower at 12.74pc in July compared to 13.6pc in June and May. The coal-based generation has come down from 16.74pc in April and 25pc in March because of low coal stocks amid financial limitations of power producers and higher global prices.

The share of domestic gas in power generation stood almost unchanged at 10.36pc in July against 11pc in June and 10pc in May and April. The residual fuel oil-based generation stood at 6.2pc in July, significantly lower than 10.48pc in June because of improved production from nuclear and hydropower.

The cost of power generation from domestic gas increased to Rs9.96 per unit in July when compared to Rs8.9 per unit in June but was still lower than Rs10.12 per unit in May. Gas-based power cost was Rs8.4 per unit in April and Rs7.75 per unit in March.

Three renewable energy sources — wind, bagasse and solar — together contributed about 4.45pc power supply in July compared to 7pc in June and 6.5pc in May. Wind and solar have no fuel cost, while that of bagasse has been calculated at Rs5.98 per unit — unchanged.

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