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Govt For Efficient Energy Utilisation, Recovery Of Bills

ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday pushed for efficient use of energy supplies through reduction in unsustainable system losses and recovery of outstanding bills from consumers.

A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) presided over by Finance Minister Asad Umar decided to strictly deal with electricity defaulters.

The Power Division reported in a presentation that its anti-theft and recovery campaign showed robust results with additional recovery of Rs40 billion in three months but was faced with roadblocks due to various reasons including litigations.

The meeting decided that any consumer defaulting in payments for three months, particularly those involving large amounts, should be proceeded against as permitted under the Electricity Act.

The Power Division was asked to authorise power companies to disconnect electricity 15 days after one-month default notice and in case of further delay, electricity meters should be permanently removed after a total of 3 months. This principle should also be applied even if the ministry of finance defaults in payment of bills and there should be no mercy to any consumers whether in the public sector or private sector. The committee also reviewed the issue of abnormally high system losses in the gas sector called unaccounted for gas with annual fiscal impact of Rs60-70bn. The Petroleum Division said it was working on reducing gas losses through use of technology and administrative measures and had given target of reducing at least one per cent unaccounted for gas (UFG) losses every year.

It was reported that system losses in Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) were close to 11pc while that of Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) were even higher than 13pc and there were various pockets in the country where organised theft was causing huge (UFG) losses to gas companies on annual basis. The committee directed the Petroleum Division to take corrective measures to reduce gas losses. It asked the Petroleum Division to submit monthly report on UFGs on the pattern of the report on electricity losses presented by the Power Division.

The committee directed the SNGPL and SSGPL to prepare a joint presentation, and submit the same to the Task Force on Energy before submission to CCoE in its next meeting.

The committee was briefed by the Power Division about the status on efficiency and heat rate tests report for Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

It was informed that the mandatory test had been carried out for all the seven units in the public sector. The data analysis had been completed for five units while progress on two remaining plants was presently underway. The CCoE directed that a complete report on all the seven plants should be submitted at the earliest.

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