The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Wednesday increased power tariff by Rs1.53 per unit on account of monthly fuel charges adjustment (FCA) for December 2020.

The increase will be applicable to consumers of all power distribution companies, except for K-Electric. The power distribution companies would collect the amount from consumers in the bills for February 2021.

The regulator allowed the increase as the power distribution companies charged less than the actual cost of electricity generated from different fuels in December.

 The Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guarantee (CPPA-G), on behalf of the distribution companies, had requested for charging the consumers Rs1.8085 per unit. The regulator held a public hearing on January 27 to determine the actual cost.

On Wednesday, Nepra notified its final decision and allowed the distribution companies to collect Rs1.5359 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from all consumer categories, except for lifeline consumers (consuming up to 50 units per month), of ex-Wapda distribution companies.

 The adjustment will be shown separately in consumer bills on the basis of units billed in December 2020 by the ex-Wapda distribution companies.

The distribution companies will show the FCA in respect of December 2020 in the billing month of February 2021.

In its decision, the regulator said that on perusal of information provided by the CPPA-G, the actual fuel cost for December 2020 came in at Rs6.2687 per unit against the reference fuel cost of Rs4.4602 per unit.

The CPPA-G also claimed Rs10.477 billion on account of previous adjustments and supplemental charges for December 2020. However, the authority verified the same as Rs9.086 billion, which was included in the monthly FCA for December 2020.

The authority, during the hearing, observed that prima facie certain efficient power plants were not fully utilised and instead energy was generated from costlier residual fuel oil (RFO)based power plants to the tune of over Rs3.609 billion during December 2020.

The authority has repeatedly directed the National Power Construction Corporation (NPCC)/ National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) and CPPA-G to provide complete justification to the satisfaction of the authority and submit complete details of deviation from the economic merit order, showing hourly generation along with financial impact of the deviation, if any, and the reasons, thereof.

NTDC reported the transmission and distribution losses at 280.88 gigawatt-hours (GWh) ie 3.23% based on energy delivered to the NTDC system during December 2020. The same was, however, verified as 3.21%, therefore, for December FCA, the transmission and distribution losses of 279.07GWh were considered.