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Govt is considering options to increase power consumption as March demand decreases by 7.5%

The government is exploring various strategies to boost electricity consumption in light of a 7.5 percent decline in demand witnessed in March 2024 compared to the same period last year, across consumer categories including industry.

CEO of CPPA-G, Rihan Akhtar, made these remarks during a public hearing at NEPRA regarding a proposed positive adjustment of Rs 2.94 per unit for March 2024 to recover an additional amount of Rs 22.8 billion from consumers.

During the hearing presided over by NEPRA Chairman Waseem Mukhtar and other members, concerns were raised regarding the reasons behind the decline in consumption, challenges, net metering, treatment of different power plants, and future strategies to stimulate demand.

Addressing these concerns, Rihan Akhtar highlighted that the decline in demand is a significant issue and the government is actively addressing it through various means.

He mentioned that the new IGCEP has been adjusted to align with current demand patterns and future power requirements. Additionally, concerns were raised about the transmission system, with plans to notify the Transmission System Capacity Expansion Plan to address these issues.

Regarding expensive RLNG power plants and net metering, representatives from NPCC clarified operational aspects and economic merit order logic. They emphasized the need for ramping up power plants to compensate for reduced solar generation during sunset periods due to increased net metering.

Furthermore, it was noted during the hearing that overall average electricity demand declined by 7.5 percent in March 2024, with significant reductions across various consumer segments. Changes in weather patterns were cited as a contributing factor to shifting consumption patterns.

The CPPA-G representative also highlighted the impact of rising costs of RLNG and coal components on the FCA, especially when combined with previous claims.

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