NEPRA approves Rs 3.83 per unit cut in electricity prices
Electricity being produced at twice the cost through the use of inefficient power plants
It was a tough day for the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) increased the consumers’ refund under the fuel charges adjustment from the proposed Rs 2.64 to Rs 3.84 per unit and then asked the agency to submit details as to why the more efficient power plants were not being run on optimal basis.
The monthly fuel charges adjustment hearing for December 2015 was chaired by NEPRA Chairman Tariq Saddozai. The hearing was informed that the tariffs for Nandipur power plant and Guddu Power Plant had already been approved by NEPRA so the refund to the consumers for the month of December was Rs 3.84 per unit.
The NEPRA chairman noted with surprise that the data provided by CPPA showed that the more efficient power plants on gas and furnace oil were not being utilised at the optimal level and expensive diesel based plants were being used at full capacity. The diesel based plants produced electricity at Rs 11.60 per unit while the furnace oil ones were cheaper with Rs 5.26 per unit cost.
“Who is responsible for this massive burdening of the consumers,” he asked. The CPPA authorities preferred to remain silent. Nobody from the Ministry of Water and Power and National Transmission and Despatch Company attended the hearing.
Chairman NEPRA directed CPPA to submit details within a week on the merit order of running power plants, reasons for operating expensive diesel based power plants instead of efficient furnace oil or gas based ones and justification for maintaining load shedding when surplus power was available in the system.
It was also pointed out during the hearing that NEPRA was not provided the live link of the National Power Control Center that provides live data on the power generation and supply at different locations. NEPRA directed the NPCC authorities to provide a live link at the earliest, as monitoring of power system was a mandate of the regulatory body.
NEPRA also directed CPPA to avoid delays in submission of its monthly fuel price adjustment petitions due to cash flow issues. The petition should be sent in time so that it could be settled within a month. The refund to the consumers will be passed on in February bills.