President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Shamim Ahmed Firpo, has urged K-Electric to offer relief to citizens by implementing Time-of-Use (ToU) system across the board, and doing away with the current practice of charging Peak-Hour rates. Applying ToU will significantly reduce electricity bills for domestic, industrial and commercial consumers.
The President of KCCI highlighted in his statement that under ToU system peak-hourly rates were imposed only for four hours and consumption of electricity for the rest of the day charged at normal rates. In addition, charging peak-hour rates not only increases the cost of doing business in the city, but also puts an additional burden on the average consumers, already suffering from higher inflationary trends.
As per the policies mentioned under the ToU system, the power utility could charge peak-hourly rates only from 6pm to 10pm and the remaining 20 hours should be billed at off-peak tariff. Consumers across the city also believe that it is highly unfair to keep charging peak-hour rates throughout the day.
President KCCI also said that National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has been notifying K-Electric about the peak and off-peak hour rates for industrial consumers since 2006 and from 2009 onwards for domestic and commercial consumers- notifications are available on NEPRA website.
As per the information shared by NEPRA, peak hour rates are PKR 18 (kwh) and off-peak hour rates are PKR 12 per kwh. However, many reports indicate that K-Electric continues to charge peak-hour rates from its consumers and offers relief under ToU facility only on the basis of consumer request, rather than by default.
Despite the fact that the power utility has failed to end load-shedding in many parts of the city, the company is also charging peak-hour rates from its consumers. The statement alone is enough to present a disappointing picture of K-Electric.
President KCCI advised customers of K-Electric to demand their rights of ToU, which will surely offer relief to the masses.