Monday Sep 20, 2021
ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Vice-chairman Rafique Ahmad Shaikh Monday said that the authority has sought a report from the K-Electric related to the overbilling matter.
The vice-chairman made the statement at the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Power, which was chaired by MNA Chaudhry Salik Hussain.
During the meeting, Agha Rafiullah, member of the standing committee, said NEPRA is a “white elephant” and overbilling is costing the consumers billions of rupees.
He said that the state should pay for the overbilling wherever it has been done. "Why should the common citizens pay the cost", he asked.
Rafiullah demanded that the NEPRA should look into the overbilling matter. At this, the NEPRA vice-chairman apprised the meeting that they have told the KE to submit a report on the matter.
Meanwhile, the power division officials said that the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) partially overbilled the consumers due to Eid and Ashura holidays.
Additional Power Division Secretary Waseem Mukhtar briefed the Standing Committee meeting that the electricity prices have increased by Rs4.72 per unit of electricity since July 2018.
He said that the average price of electricity per unit in August 2018 was Rs11.72 while currently, it is Rs16.44.
Earlier this month, the federal minister for power took notice of electricity consumers being billed for more than 31 days in a single month by the DISCOs, following an investigation by Geo.tv last month.
According to bills reviewed by Geo.tv, Karachi’s K-Electric (KE), Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO), Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), Multan Electric Power Company (MEPCO), Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO) and the Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO) have billed their customers for more than the allowed 31 days in one month on more than one occasion since January 2021.
Some of these companies went as far as to issue bills for 35 and 37 days of electricity usage to their customers in a single month, the investigation found.
This is a gross violation of a key condition set by NEPRA in its agreement with each of these power distribution companies, which states that all tariffs for the residential customers are applicable only on a maximum billing period of 31 days.