DISCOs fined for 2022 power outages

NEPRA imposes Rs50m fine each on PESCO, QESCO, HESCO, SEPCO and K-Electric

Our Correspondent April 05, 2024


The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has imposed fines to the tune of 250 million on five power distribution companies for subjecting their consumers to load shedding in May and June 2022, a statement on Thursday read.

It stated that the power regulator had imposed the fines after a thorough investigation into the matter.
A fine of Rs50 million each was imposed on Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco), Quetta Electric Supply Company (Qesco), Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco), Sukkur

Electric Power Company (Sepco), and K-Electric for violation of the rules and regulations, it added.
They were found to be involved in carrying out four to 16 hours of load shedding on a commercial basis.

According to the statement, Nepra had launched legal action after receiving complaints about countrywide load shedding in 2022.

It continued that the power regulator provided every opportunity to the distribution companies to present their defence.

Nepra had directed the distribution companies to disconnect power supply to defaulters only rather than suspending it to the entire feeder.

The distribution companies were also found involved in carrying out load shedding on a commercial basis during the last summer as well, the statement read.

In a separate development, consumers are likely to pay an additional burden of billions of rupees in their electricity bills during the next financial year as Nepra has reserved its judgment on up to 20% hike in the margin of the ex-WAPDA power distribution companies (XWDiscos) for FY2024-25.

The power regulator has completed its two-day hearing on the all the 10 XWDiscos’ petitions for their revenue requirement of Rs2.763 trillion for the next financial year.

Apart from this, one of pleas included prior year adjustments for FY 2022-23. It also sought the remaining amounts from previous years and other associated costs.

The XWDiscos have sought up to 20% hike in the distribution margin.

The increase in the revenue requirement will become part of the electricity base tariff for FY 2024-25.
Nepra has reserved its judgement on the XWDiscos petitions and will issue its decision after reviewing the data.

During the hearing, Nepra was upset over the XWDiscos’ performance.

The power regulator expressed its anger at Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) over the number of fatal accidents.

It was observed by Nepra member Rafique Ahmed Shaikh that IESCO was on the top in comparison with other XWDiscos in terms of fatal accidents.

Shaikh further pointed out that 450 news connections were pending with IESCO for more than a year.
The IESCO CEO informed Nepra that there was a shortage of 9,000 employees in his power company.
He added that 30% of IESCO’s 11,000 existing workers were over 50 years of age.

Shaikh said the explanation of IESCO on fatal accidents was that faced a lack of manpower, adding that it was a problem being confronted by all XWDiscos.

He pointed out that IESCO was a federal capital company and its whole system was underground, but even then it topped the list for fatal accidents.

“If any other company said this, it would make sense but not IESCO.”

Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) sought a revenue requirement of Rs852.05 billion, Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (Fesco) Rs501.48 billion, IESCO Rs400.48 billion, Hesco Rs41.88 billion, Gujranwala Electric Power Company (Gepco) Rs376.2 billion, Multan Electric Power Company (Mepco) Rs160.8 billion in addition to its prior year adjustments of Rs88.54 billion and depreciation of Rs7 billion, Qesco Rs236 billion, Tribal Electric Supply Company (Tesco) Rs92 billion, Pesco Rs67.2 billion, and Sepco Rs35.7 billion.


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