NEPRA allows govt to modify definition of ‘lifeline consumer’

Move will considerably reduce electricity bills of consumers using up to 100 units per month


Our Correspondent September 24, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has allowed the government to modify the definition of lifeline consumer, enhancing the consumption up to 100 units from the current 50 units.

The move will considerably reduce the electricity bills of consumers using up to 100 units per month.

The authority issued determination in the matter of policy guidelines forwarded by the Ministry of Energy (MoE) under Section 31 of Regulation, Generation, Transmission Distribution of Electric Power Act, 1997 for providing basis for Re-Targeting Power Sector Subsidies in future.

The authority approved phase-I of the programme only, keeping the consumers’ rights prime, after ensuring that it had no financial implication on the users.

Nepra accepted the request of MoE for rationalisation of subsidies as the government presented its vision of provision of subsidies through Ehsaas Programme by linking residential electricity metres with the CNICs, making it possible to use Ehsaas socio-economic registry for provision of electricity subsidy.

Read More: NEPRA allows Rs1.37 tariff hike

The MoE has been directed to ensure provision of detailed workings including financial impact on each category of consumers at the time of submission of phase-II and phase-III to the Authority.

Nepra would independently process phase-II and phase-III on its merits and only consider it if the authority is satisfied after due diligence and following the due process of law.

Non-Time of Use consumers have been bifurcated into two blocks of protected and unprotected categories and the 301-700 slab has been bifurcated into four slabs – 301-400, 401-500, 501-600 and 601-700 with the same tariff thus having no financial impact on the consumers.

The definition of lifeline consumer has been modified to include consumption of up to 100 units (presently lifeline includes up to 50 units), having maximum of last 12 months and current month's consumption 100 units; two rates for 50 and 100 units will continue.

The lifeline consumers using up to 50 units had been paying Rs3.95 per unit while the consumers using up to 100 units were paying Rs7 per unit. After the decision, the consumers using up to 100 units per month will also pay Rs3.95 per unit.

Similarly, a new category of protected consumers has been created for those consuming 200 kWh per month consistently for the past six months.

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