Discos seek approval for additional Rs3.4 per unit charge

Israr Khan
Friday, Jun 21, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Ex-Wapda Distribution Companies (XWDiscos) have requested approval from the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to allow them to collect an additional charge of Rs3.4133 per unit from power consumers in July 2024 bills.

This petition, filed by the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) on behalf of XWDiscos, is based on the monthly fuel charges adjustment (FCA) for May 2024. Nepra has accepted the petition and scheduled a public hearing for June 28, 2024, to finalize the decision.

The CPPA will justify its demand, and after that, the power regulator will make the final decision. If Nepra allows the additional charges, it will apply to all consumer categories except for electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) and lifeline consumers of all DISCOs.

According to the data furnished with the regulatory authority, the CPPA’s report indicates that a total of 12,617GWh of electricity was generated in May 2024, with an associated cost of Rs110.32 billion (equivalent to Rs8.744 per unit). Moreover, 12,267GWh, originally priced at Rs111.904 billion was delivered to distribution companies (Discos), while transmission losses stood at 2.56 per cent. However, the petitioner has also claimed Rs2.74 billion as previous adjustments from consumers. After this, the total amount comes to Rs111.9 billion (or 9.1223 per unit).

Power generation in May 2024 increased by 2.7 per cent from the same month of the previous year (12,283.7GWh) and increased by 46 per cent from April 2024 (8,639GWh).

The generation cost in May 2024 decreased by 10.04 per cent to Rs8.744 per unit against Rs9.72 per unit in May 2023. Compared to the April 2024 cost of Rs9.2086 per unit, in May 2024, the cost was reduced by 5.04 per cent.

Power generation figures reveal a 55.7 per cent increase to 1,372 gigawatt-hours (GWh) from local coal while the generation from imported coal was 383GWh compared to 21GWh in April 2024.

The petition outlines that in May, the consumers were charged a reference fuel cost of Rs5.709 per unit, while the actual fuel cost incurred was Rs9.1223 per unit. The CPPA argues that the additional cost burden of Rs3.4133 per unit should be transferred to consumers.

In May 2024, hydropower generation increased by 17.9 per cent, while coal (local and imported)-based generation declined by over 14.8 per cent. Natural gas-based power generation fell by 12.67 per cent, RLNG-based generation down by 8.03 per cent, while nuclear power saw an increase of 53 per cent over the same month of last year. No electricity was generated from the high-speed diesel.

Interestingly, in May 2024, hydel generation increased by 88.7 per cent, local coal generation by 55.7 per cent, and imported coal generation up by over 17 times over April 2024. Similarly, RLNG-based generation rose by 27.4 per cent, natural gas-based power by 13.8 per cent, and nuclear power increased by 15.5 per cent compared to April 2024.