KARACHI: KE’s improved operational performance was acknowledged in the State of the Industry report for FY21-22. The report which offers a detailed snapshot of the health of the power sector of Pakistan. The report, published annually by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), also highlighted the longstanding issue of supply of low gas to K-Electric’s power plants at Korangi and SITE, which is affecting 200 MW of generation capacity for Karachi and leading to expensive power generation.
Through sustained investments, KE has been able to drive a significant reduction in Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses, closing the financial year at 15.35%, lower than the regulator’s target of 15.95%. The utility has also been able to add over 250,000 new connections to its network bringing the total consumer base to over 3.4 million at the close of the fiscal year. Additionally, the number of units of energy served to these customers has also increased.
Commenting on the results, Director of Communications & Spokesperson KE, Imran Rana stated, “We continue to explore ways to improve our services for our growing customer base, and we are very pleased that KE’s operational improvement is being acknowledged in Power Sector’s credible annual performance report from the Regulatory Authority, NEPRA. We look forward to carrying this momentum year on year, through increased digitization and automation of our processes and sustained investment across the value chain. We are also keeping our stakeholders – including the NEPRA Authority and the Ministry of Energy, Government of Pakistan among others – fully informed of the factors that continue to affect KE’s sustainability. Long delays in release of the Tariff Differential Subsidy (TDS) claims, and absent of supply of natural gas to KE are two important issues on top of the list that directly affects our ability to serve our customers.”
KE has also been actively developing a culture of regular bill payment and expanded its facilities to offer consumers convenient channels to clear their dues. Over the year, KE’s website has been integrated with NIFT ePay gateway offering real-time bill payment through interbank fund transfers. Consumers can use the KE Live App to pay their bills from the convenience of their phones regardless of geographic location. Multiple banks and financial institutions have also been brought on board as partners offering cashback incentives and the option of converting utility bill payments on installments for certain credit cardholders. Furthermore, KE is also engaging with area representatives at a community level for support in promoting a culture of bill payment and has also established multiple facilitation camps across the city to address and support billing queries. These efforts have resulted in improved recovery ratios which closed at 96.69%. During the same period, recovery ratios for DISCOs across the country dropped by 7 percentage points to 90.51%.
The company has also maintained a strong focus on safety, creating awareness on pertinent infrastructure issues including encroachment of constructed properties, the use of kundas, and unauthorized civil works carried across the city which create an unsafe environment for citizens. In addition to securing its infrastructure through earthing and grounding protocols, the utility continues to liaise with relevant civic agencies to ensure a safe and uninterrupted supply of electricity to the city. This has enabled KE to achieve a 28% reduction in safety related incidents within its territory. By comparison, safety incidents increased by 14% within state-owned DISCOs.
The report also commented on macroeconomic and other factors such as the devaluation of the Rupee against the US Dollar, delays in completion on power projects and outages of new power projects which exacerbated the cost of fuel procurement and raised the cost of electricity for the end-user. The report recommends a lot of measures for improvement of power sector for Government to consider–