Residents of Karachi are set to see an increase in their electricity bills, as the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has recently decided to raise the power tariff by Rs4.45 per unit for consumers of K-Electric (KE).  

The decision to elevate electricity rates, as outlined in a notification from the Power Division, was made during the initial quarterly adjustment of the preceding fiscal year. 

Moreover, additional charges from KE consumers will be applied to their October and November 2023 bills, as specified in the notification. 

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Simultaneously, in response to a request from KE, Nepra has granted approval for the inclusion of actual or prudent expenses associated with the temporary operation of Unit-3 of Bin Qasim Power Station (BQPS-I) from May 1 to August 15, 2021, in the cost calculations. 

Consequently, prior determinations made by the Authority on September 15, 2021, and May 12, 2022, concerning this matter have been adjusted to accommodate this modification. 

“In view of the foregoing, the Authority hereby decides to accede to the request of KEL [K-Electric Limited] and allows the actual/prudent cost relating to the interim operation of Unit-3 of BQPS-I (from May 1, 2021, to August 15, 2021). Accordingly, the earlier decisions of the Authority (dated September 15, 2021, and May 12, 2022) in this regard stand modified to this extent,” stated the power regulator. 

However, a member of the authority, Mathar Niaz Rana, expressed in an additional note that under the Multi-Year Tariff (MYT) plan, KE was obligated to have both phases of BQPS-III operational by December 2019, a deadline they failed to meet. 

Consequently, they resorted to utilising Unit 3 of BQPS-I, resulting in additional fuel expenses. The cost stemming from this inefficiency should not be passed on to consumers. 

Nepra conducted a public hearing on January 25, 2023, during which KE was given an opportunity to present its case. 

According to The News, in the hearing, the utility company asserted that they chose to temporarily utilise Unit-3 of BQPS-1 to meet Karachi’s peak summer demand instead of resorting to more costly power generation methods or implementing power outages, all in the best interest of consumers, as per Nepra Act Sections 31(2) and 32(3).