Karachi: In light of the COVID-19 crisis and the city-wide restrictions, K-Electric has notified NEPRA that it will facilitate customers by using the consumption value of either the previous 11 months’ average or the corresponding month last year whichever is “Lower”. This decision has been taken purely to provide relief to customers during these challenging times, especially since the CSM mechanism for average billing defines that the “Higher” of the two numbers should be considered.
The power utility had suspended physical meter reading in the interest of the safety of its employees and its customers and as such KE bills to its residential and commercial customers have been calculated based on the average number of units consumed, in line with National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) mechanism defined in the Consumer Service Manual. Per the Consumer Service manual (CSM), which is uniform for all DISCOs, billing on average mode is based on either the average consumption of the prior 11 months, or the consumption of the same month last year, whichever is “higher” during circumstances where physical meter reading is not possible. However, recognizing that the current situation is particularly tough for economically vulnerable segments of society, K-Electric with intimation to NEPRA will bill consumers on the “lower” of the two numbers for April. The step is in continuation of its earlier efforts to provide relief via due date extension for bills below PKR 4,000. This is in addition to the option of deferred payment via instalments over three months to customers consuming less than 300 units a month, which has been announced as part of the “PM relief for COVID-19.”
Customers are also requested to understand that average billing is an interim measure and will eventually be adjusted in future bills, based on actual meter readings as soon as physical meter reading begins. At the same time, KE continues to appeal to consumers to ensure timely payment of their electricity bills as these go towards managing operational costs including fuel payments. Both of these underpin continuity of power supply, which has become even more critical in the fight against COVID-19.