ISLAMABAD: National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Tuesday hinted at a slight review in its proposal of replacing National Average Power Price (NAPP) of Rs 19.32 / Kwh with National Average Energy Purchase Price (NAEPP) of Rs 9/Kwh after dozens of electricity consumers who have installed net metering and supply surplus electricity to Discos, opposed revision in rates.
The Authority, comprising Chairman Tauseef H Farooqi, Member Sindh, Rafique Ahmad Shaikh and Member KP, Maqsood Anwar Khan heard the viewpoints/ comments of net metering consumers/ owners for over two hours.
The technical team also presented a model of net metering system according to which government’s peak tariff is Rs 31.79 per unit excluding taxes.
The cost as per Nizam Energy for 10-kW is Rs 170,000/kW. The units generated from this system were 14,892 per annum. Annual saving tariff will be Rs 473,397 which implies that the payback period is 3.59 years.
The Authority was of the view that no change has been in mechanism of netting-off units with Discos (buyers) and consumers (net metering) but just the rate of Rs 19.32/ Kwh is being revised to Rs 9/ Kwh as the tariffs of new solar projects is also around that rate. However, the Authority seemed lenient to new rates and hopefully the new rate will be around Rs 10/ kWh as win-win for both sellers and buyers.
During the hearing both convincing and unconvincing arguments were presented by the owners of net metering across the country, including Karachi.
Chairman Nepra argued that the regulator has to protect the interests of both sides, i.e., 36 million general consumers and 20,700 net metering consumers.
Chairman NEPRA maintained that domestic consumers’ cries have come due to massive electricity bills, adding that his bill was also Rs 69,000.
When some of the representatives of net metering consumers made hue and cry that they are not getting actual benefit of their investments, the Authority suggested that they should install batteries and disconnect electricity export of Discos.
The Authority argued that if net metering owners would not have installed solar system, they would also be paying Rs 34 per unit. The technical team of NEPRA also explained to the audience and those who joined by video link that the net metering owners installed the system to get cheap electricity, adding that they would recover their cost in 3.5 years whereas IPPs/ other projects recover their cost in 25 years.
Some legal minds representing net metering consumers raised legal questions on the powers of Authority to review already approved tariffs. The Authority responded that it has powers to review tariff of net metering systems but it would further look into this viewpoint.
Chairman Nepra said that the Authority would not take any decision under pressure from any group or impression given on social media.
“If we take decisions under pressure from any group or social media then each decision will be on the basis of pressure group. We neither take such decisions nor will we lay any such foundation,” he added.
The Chairman maintained that expenditure which has not been incurred on a project but is allowed will be considered as exorbitant profit, like the IPPs.
During the hearing Chairman Nepra also explained that power sector’s capacity payments have reached Rs 1.4 trillion which are even more than the country’s defence budget.
Nepra, in its official statement issued at the end of hearing stated that the proposed amendment will neither affect net metering consumers on their electricity charges nor netting-off of units.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022