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Electricity bomb on KE customers

Due to the monthly fuel charge adjustment in June 2023, the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has approved a rate increase for K-Electric (KE) customers of Rs2.31 per unit. This is a little less than KE’s desired increase of Rs. 2.34 per unit. Lifeline customers and electric vehicle charging stations are not included in the new pricing, which goes into effect in August. This may hit like an electricity bomb on KE customers.

The KE plan to handle higher fuel prices for energy generation in June was reviewed during a public hearing on July 26, 2023. Internally produced electricity by KE cost Rs24.90 per unit, compared to Rs11.56 for government-supplied electricity during that time. In contrast to KE’s suggested increase, Nepra’s analysis led to an increase of Rs2.31 per unit for June.

In contrast, Nepra increased the power pricing for ex-Wapda distribution companies (DISCOs) by Rs1.81 per unit in June’s fuel charges adjustment, which was marginally less than the increase for KE customers. On behalf of DISCOs, the Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guarantee (CPPA-G) sought a Rs. 1.88 per unit tariff hike.

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Except for lifeline consumers and electric car charging stations, this rate change, which became effective in August, is applicable to all DISCOs’ customers. It comes after a public hearing that Nepra held on July 26. Prior to May 2023’s fuel price change, DISCOs customers paid Rs 1.90 per unit; the new rate is Rs 0.09 per unit less.

Rafique Ahmed Shaikh, a member of Nepra, voiced concern with KE’s sluggish adoption of renewable energy. Initiatives for renewable energy have been hampered due to the RFPs’ delayed approval.

The need to incorporate renewable energy into the country’s energy mix is highlighted by the Ministry of Energy’s attempt to increase the base tariff for the upcoming fiscal year, which might result in record-high prices.



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