President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Shamim Ahmed Firpo has urged K-Electric to avoid charging peak hour rate all day and implement the concept of Time of Use (ToU) across-the-board which would substantially reduce the electricity bills for industrial, commercial and domestic consumers. In a statement issued, President KCCI pointed out that ToU allows high charges for just 4 hours only whereas the electricity consumption during the remaining 20 hours each day is supposed to be charged at off-peak rate but it was highly unfair on part of K-Electric to keep charging at peak hours rate throughout the day which not only enhances the cost of doing business for industries but also overburdens the common man in the ongoing era of inflation.
He said that the ToU concept bifurcates peak hours in Karachi from 6:00PM to 10:00PM and the remaining 20-hour time is considered as off-peak hours.
President KCCI further mentioned that National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has been notifying peak and off-peak hour rates since 2006 for industrial customers and 2009 onwards for commercial and residential customers, which were also available at NEPRA’s website. According to NEPRA, peak hours and off-peak hours for residential and commercial consumers were Rs18.00 and Rs12.00 per kwh respectively whereas for industrial consumers, the peak and off-peak hours were Rs18.00 and Rs12.29 down to Rs12.00 per kwh depending on the load but it was a matter of grave concern that K-Electric continues to charge peak hours rate all day from majority of its consumers and provides relief under ToU facility on the basis of demand only, not by right.
He said that K-Electric was of the opinion that this facility can immediately be extended only to those consumers who have digital meters installed in their premises. Hence, it should be one of the top priority for the utility service provider to install digital meters across-the-board so that the common man, commercial and industrial consumers could avail this facility.
However, it seems that K-Electric was hesitant to provide ToU facility with an excuse that the matter was under discussion with NEPRA and would only be implemented once these discussions were finalized but on the other hand, it has come to KCCI’s notice that this facility was being provided to consumers on individual basis only when it was demanded, he added.
Shamim Firpo stressed that K-Electric, being a professionally-managed organization, should comply with NEPRA orders, avoid delaying tactics and provide tariff incentive to its customers which would also encourage them to reduce load during peak hours. He further advised all K-Electric customers to demand their rights for TOU metering/billing facility which, upon installation, would surely provide huge relief to the masses.