No power meter will be installed in new houses sans securing energy efficiency certificate under poposed policy

The proposed energy efficiency policy is going to make it mandatory that no electricity meter will be installed in the new houses without securing an energy efficiency certificate along with the energy map.

“We are bringing new energy efficiency policy, making it mandatory to secure energy efficiency certificate along with energy map for building new houses,” Secretary Power Division told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Energy (Power Division). If someone builds a house without obtaining an energy efficiency certificate, he/she will not be allowed to get an electricity meter installed, Secretary Power added.

The NA committee on energy, which met under the chairmanship of Sardar Riaz Hussain Mazari, MNA, while discussing charging of taxes and TV fee in bills of mosques and places of worship of other religions has recommended to the government to only charge cost of electricity only and not the government taxes. Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali referred the matter of charging of income tax, sales tax and TV tax from mosques. People go to mosques for worship, what is the use of sales tax and income tax there, Maulana Chitrali remarked. 

Federal Minister for Power Khurram Dastagir has asked the committee to recommend the abolition of other taxes except GST in the electricity bill. General sales tax in mosques bill is FBR matter, the minister elaborated. In addition to sales tax, the policy of other taxes will be changed in the bills of mosques, he said. The recommendation of the committee will help us take up this policy in the cabinet and parliament, Khurram Dastagir further maintained. Chairman of the Committee asked: “Is it possible that the electricity of mosques should be made free during prayer times”. There are many mosques in the country, there will be many difficulties in making electricity free, the Power Minister responded. Secretary Power told the committee that at present, the circular debt of power sector is Rs 2400b.He said that in summer, 8000 to 9000MW is the load of air-conditioners only, Secretary Power said and added that no country in the world installs 9,000 MW to cool the walls. Poor consumers also have to bear the cost of electricity due to air conditions.

The Secretary Power further informed that Thar Coal will generate 1900MW of additional electricity this year. The Standing Committee also recommended that the members of the committee be taken into confidence on the appointment of the board members of the electricity distribution companies (Discos). The Committee also discussed the issue of running telephone wires on electric poles in Karachi. The Standing Committee on Energy took notice of the matter and directed K-Electric to provide a detailed reply on the matter in the next meeting. K Electric has provided its own infrastructure for wires at Rs 10 per pole, member committee Saira Bano said. Telephone wires are a threat to human life, she added. Official of the Power Division said that K-Electric does not give this revenue to the government, adding that it is their own revenue.

Meanwhile, talking to media, Khurram Dastgir said that there is a crisis in five Discos of the country. The Discos in North, West and South are in crisis, Khurram Dastgir said. There are governance issues in five Discos and a plan has been submitted to solve the problems, he informed. “We are moving towards advanced metering, Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir said. “We are taking steps to stop theft and correct people’s bills,” Khurram Dastgir said. The minister said that in the next three years, we will install 10,000 MW of solar power plants. The bidding process of 600 MW solar plant will be completed in January. The next project will be 9400 MW and it will be easy, he maintained. All the legal requirements and paper work for the solar projects are ready and they are just waiting for Nepra’s nod, Khurram Dastagir said.

The standing committee on Energy (Power Division) has directed all the electric power distribution companies to complete the ongoing village electrification schemes without further delay for those funds had already been released by the federal government. The Committee took serious note of the delay in procurement of material despite available financial resources. The Committee after briefing by the Additional Secretary Cabinet Division on electrification schemes under SDGS was of the view that necessary funds need to be reallocated for ensuring completion of the ongoing schemes. The Committee therefore decided to approach Steering Committee on SDGS to allow reappropriating funds to those schemes on which more than 50 percent of the work had been completed. The additional Secretary Cabinet apprised the Committee about the procedure for approval of schemes and allocation of funds. He informed that Rs.8.1 billion had been released by the Cabinet Division for electrification schemes to Power Division. The Committee also formed a sub-committee under the convenership of Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah to discuss and submit recommendations for measures to increase use of solar energy, proposed amendments in NEPRA Net metering rules impeding conversion to solar power, and issues of electrification in areas under K-Electric and SEPCO.

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