Demos against fuel surcharge

Posted on December 15, 2011. Filed under: NEPRA, Tariff, Wapda / KESC |

LAHORE, Dec 13: Protests against imposition and recovery of fuel adjustment surcharge through electricity bills were reported from Multan Road and Defence areas on Tuesday with no loss of property or life.

Consumers in both the areas gathered at the local offices of the Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) and wanted getting the surcharge deducted from their bills.

However, the Lesco employees refused to oblige them this time, triggering protests by those who had gathered there.

`Problem with the people is that they think that court`s stay order in their favour has been extended which was basically for industrial consumers and not for domesticones who are trying to avoid payment,` says a Lesco official.

He said they (Lesco officials) also had this confusion and they temporarily deducted the surcharges last month.

This month, the government had told the company to recover the surcharge, and the company had included the surcharge in the bills, he added.`What is hurting the people more and makes the fuel adjustment surcharge look exceptionally inflated is the fact that the actual bill is very low in the winter,` says another Lesco employee.

`Now, the bills make a horrendous reading: a bill of say Rs1,000 carries Rs2,000 fuel adjustment surcharge. These charges belong to the months of June and July when consumption of electricity units touches its peak. The bill-fuel charges equation is lopsided and hurting people more than anything else,` he said.

`This is sheer dishonesty on the part of the government; it has divided electricity tariff in many parts regular tariff, government duties and fuel adjustment surcharge,` said a man who participated in the protest in Defence.

`When the government talks about tariff, it only talks about regular head of tariff, which is a partial part of total charges. Taxes and fuel adjustment surcharge are exorbitant but not part of the tariff. It is what hurts consumers and hurts beyond tolerance, he said.


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Wapda seeks 120pc hike in power tariff

Posted on June 23, 2011. Filed under: Pakistan, Tariff, Wapda / KESC |

ISLAMABAD, June 22: The Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has sought an increase of 120 per cent in its tariff for hydel power from less than Rs6 per unit at present to Rs13 from July 1 this year.

The unusually high tariff increase has been sought mainly because of induction of a small power plant — 72MW Khan Khwar Hydropower Project (KKHP) — into the system but this would have its effect on the overall cost of about 6,500MW hydropower generation by Wapda.

In its tariff petition filed before the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), Wapda had solicited an increase of Rs7.10 per unit in variable energy cost from existing Rs5.90 per unit to Rs13 per unit.

It has sought a raise in fixed charges from Rs414 per kilowatt per month to Rs939 per kilowatt per month, up by 127 per cent.

Wapda Hydroelectric is currently operating 13 hydropower stations having installed capacity of 6,444MW. With the commissioning of 72MW KKHP in December 2010, the installed capacity has increased to 6,516MW.

On the basis of audited financial accounts for financial year 2009-10 and projected change in revenue requirement for fiscal year 2011-12, the regulator asset base of Wapda has increased from Rs143 billion to Rs214 billion due to additional capital investments on the ongoing projects.

The Wapda’s operation and maintenance cost has also increased from Rs4 billion to Rs10.63 billion, up by 166 per cent, because of repeated increases in pay and allowances and higher maintenance costs. In addition, the overall weighted average cost of capital has also increased from 13.7 per cent to 15.1 per cent owing to increase in the cost of debt.

On top of that, the depreciation cost of operating assets also increased from Rs5.4 billion to Rs6.9 billion due to addition in operating assets. The water use charges of Wapda have also increased slightly form Rs720 million in 2009-10 to Rs836 million on account of higher generation at Mangla power station.

On the other hand, income from other activities like fisheries and boating etc has dropped from Rs2.1 billion two years ago to Rs825 million.

Wapda said that its revenue gap stood at about Rs12 billion in 2009-10 and Rs12.35 billion in 2010-11 whose determination and notification was delayed.

The proposed tariff increase has been estimated on the basis of net electricity output of 30,783 Gwh that accounts for about one-fourth of the entire annual power output, including generation from all other sources.


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Power riots spread after consumers receive ‘inflated’ bills

Posted on June 22, 2011. Filed under: Energy crisis, Pakistan, Tariff, Wapda / KESC |

KARACHI, June 21: While many city areas continued to remain without electricity for most part of the day, residents and traders staged demonstrations to protest against the Karachi Electric Supply Company after they received “inflated” bills on Tuesday.

Power riots spread to Jodia Bazaar, Old Golimar, Gadap, North Karachi, Korangi, Landhi, Lyari and other localities, where people blocked roads by setting tyres on fire. Contingents of police and Rangers were called in to control the crowds at some places. Street protests against frequent power breakdowns have also been planned for Friday.

Amid the demonstrations, many influential segments of society have started appealing to the people not to pay their monthly power utility bills and to resist the power utility if it launched a disconnection drive.

Several protesters complained that they had been suffering up to 14 hours of loadshedding daily and yet they received bills with power dues twice the amount they had paid last month.

Some of them said the KESC sent inflated bills without meter reading and that the management should stop blaming workers for its poor service.

People staged a protest demonstration against power outages in Jodia Bazaar and shouted slogans against the KESC management. They lit a bonfire and smashed everything inside it with great ferocity. Traders and residents of the Bolton Market and Napier Road areas also staged protests. Residents of Old Golimar and adjoining areas were equally enraged. They blocked traffic by setting fire to old tyres.

A resident of North Karachi’s Sector 7D3 was among the thousands of KESC consumers who had received inflated electricity bills on June 20. He claimed that electricity charges for one month to be paid by June 25 were three times that of the pre vious bill. “The June 2011 bill, with normal charging mode status, carrying a meter reading of 28952 as of June 1 requires me to pay Rs5,700 for consuming 557 units,” he said. In fact, the meter reading on June 21 was 28771, he added.

A visit to the recently relocated billing office of KESC North Karachi Zone on Tuesday was not productive. Half of the staff was standing outside and the rest was showing least interest in helping the consumers who had gathered there to get their bills corrected.

No senior official was sitting at the office and some officials were discouraging the visitors, saying that bill correction was not possible. The officials were quoted as saying that people should better pay the bills as Nepra had allowed 79 paisa fuel adjustment for the months of April and May and its impact would be shown in the next bill.

Online bills While the power crisis deepened with prolonged outages and unattended faults blamed by the KESC management on workers’ protest, monthly bills remained undelivered in many areas.

In this situation, the KESC management advised people who had not received monthly electricity bills around their usual time to use alternative online arrangements for payment of bills.

The KESC spokesperson said that it had introduced five easy methods for the convenience of customers besides the normal way of using printed bills. First, people could visit the utility’s official website and enter the 13-digit account number to retrieve duplicate copies of the current electricity bills, which could be printed and presented at all banks for making payment. Secondly, people could go to the offices of Nadra, NIB Bank branches, Easy Paisa outlets, UBL Omni Banking and 1Link ATMs, and present the 13-digit account number. These outlets would retrieve bill details and provide a payment receipt of the bill to the customer. Thirdly, the customers who did not receive their monthly bills, could phone the KESC call centre 118 and follow the automated system to retrieve a duplicate copy of the bill. Fourthly, people could email 13-digit account number to receive an online copy of their bill, which could be used for payment. Fifthly, people familiar with online payment could use their existing online banking services as most banks provided the facility for payment of utility bills.

Workers The protesting labour union of the KESC rejected the alternative ‘facility’ for bills payment and said the management did not assure people of enhanced power supply. The labour union asked the government and the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority to take notice of the KESC management’s high-handedness and complete apathy towards people’s problems and needs.

A few consumers whom Dawn spoke to were furious at the management’s measures saying that their major concern was resumption of normal power supply.

They said the KESC had not been recording the actual meter reading while with this move the power utility had attempted to absolve itself of delivering the bills on time.

Protest call The Jamaat-i-Islami Karachi chapter has announced that June 24 would be observed as a protest day against the increasing hours of power loadshedding and tariff hike.

A party’s handout said that power outages had affected the commercial and industrial businesses. The demonstrations would be staged on roads and at roundabouts. The main protest would be staged at Lasbela Chowk, the handout stated.

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NEPRA: Hearing on fuel charges adjustment – May 11

Posted on June 22, 2011. Filed under: DISCOs, Pakistan, Tariff, Wapda / KESC |

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NEPRA: Notice of hearing

Posted on June 17, 2011. Filed under: DISCOs, Tariff |

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