KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Shamim Ahmed Firpo has urged K-Electric to avoid charging peak-hour tariff for the entire day and apply the time-of-use (ToU) concept across the board.
“It will substantially reduce the electricity bills of industrial, commercial and domestic consumers,” Firpo said in a statement on Monday.
He pointed out that under the ToU system high charges were imposed for just four hours a day whereas electricity consumption during the remaining 20 hours was supposed to be billed at the off-peak tariff.
The charging of peak-hour rate throughout the day would not only enhance the cost of doing business for industries but would also put more burden on the common man, he said.
According to the ToU concept, peak hours in Karachi are from 6pm to 10pm and the remaining 20 hours are considered off-peak.
The KCCI chief pointed out that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) had been notifying peak and off-peak tariffs since 2006 for industrial consumers and from 2009 onwards for commercial and residential consumers, which could also be seen on Nepra’s website. According to Nepra, electricity consumption by residential and commercial consumers during peak and off-peak hours is charged Rs18 and Rs12 per kilowatt-hour respectively.
For industrial consumers, the peak and off-peak rates are Rs18 and Rs12.29 per kilowatt-hour respectively. The latter comes down to Rs12 depending on the load.
“K-Electric provides relief under the ToU facility on the basis of demand,” Firpo said, adding K-Electric was of the opinion that the facility could immediately be extended only to those consumers who had digital meters in their premises. He also emphasised that it should be one of the top priorities for the company to install digital meters across the board so that the common man, commercial and industrial consumers could avail themselves of the facility.
Talking to The Express Tribune, K-Electric Chief Marketing and Communication Officer Syed Fakhar Ahmed said K-Electric had kick-started the process of segregating the peak-hour and off-peak hour tariffs for the industries.
“Those industries which have qualified for the ToU system are being charged accordingly. Others will be treated in the same manner when they qualify for it,” he said. He insisted that the company was engaged with Nepra, the regulator, to determine the same ToU system for other power consumers, including commercial and residential consumers. (with additional reporting from our karachi correspondent)
Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2016.