Tariff increase in Oct: Nepra refuses to endorse PBS claim

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has refused to endorse the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) claim that electricity tariffs rose by 89.59 percent in October 2022 while calculating the Consumer Price Index for October 2022.

We believe that PBS has done something wrong in its calculations due to which it showed an increase of 89.59 per cent which is unreasonable,” said one of the officials of Nepra on condition of anonymity.

The PBS quoted higher charges of electricity in its Consumer Price Index (CPI) of October 2022 against September 2022 tariff.

The As per the CPI data for October 2022 released by PBS, electricity charges increased by 89.59 per cent in October 2022 due to its weighted average of 101.93 as compared to September 2022 when no increase was shown in electricity charges.

The PBS officials argue that the increase in FCA of Rs 4.3435 per unit for the month of July 2022, due in September 2022 was deferred by the Government of Pakistan (GoP) till October and was included in the October bill, in addition to Rs 0.1918 per unit determined for October 2022, adding that this is the reason for about 90 per cent increase in base tariff.

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Background interviews with power sector experts indicate that PBS electricity tariff calculation methodology which is based on the tariff of July 2019 is out-dated and needs to be revised in accordance with the current situation.

According to experts, government was already charging FCA from non-ToU consumers, however, FCA recovery from protected domestic consumers using up to 200 units monthly and non-protected domestic consumers using upto 300 units monthly was deferred due to flash floods and massive bills due to FCA of Rs 9.90 per unit in June to be recovered in the month of August 2022.

Some insiders maintain that there was no notification from Power Division about deferment of FCA for domestic non-ToU consumers using 300 units per month nor was there any notification to start recovery from October 2022.

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