A recent news item showed how billions of rupees have been generated by overcharging electricity consumers across the country. In a recent interview Khawaja Asif, the Federal Minister for Power and Water stated that the government had conducted an audit on the issue of electricity overbilling that had been faced by
many people over the last few months. The audit found that consumers had actually been billed for 35 days instead of the normal 30 days period. So the consumers had actually been supplied 13-14 % more electricity in the additional 5 days thus increasing their slab levels. Without giving an explanation as to why and how this “error” actually happened, he went on to state that this matter had been corrected as the consumers had been only charged for 25 days in the next month thus balancing out the surplus and overbilling.
The numerous inaccuracies in these statements were explained by a Dunya TV analyst.The analyst used a LESCO bill of 100 units per month which is the minimal average amount of electricity used by many low income consumers, to explain his point. Using 100 units of electricity in 30 days would on average generate a bill of PKR 472.With an overbilling of an additional 5 days, consumers were supplied about 116 units in total for which they paid PKR 853 which is an increase of approximately 80% as compared to their normal bills!
Now to correct the overcharge, the electricity companies simply sent a bill of 25 days in the following month. Using the previous example, consumers were billed for 84 units (16 units less) for 25 days for which they paid PKR 361.Hence they were reimbursed for only PKR 111(472-361) whereas the overbilling was of PKR 381(853-472), generating a loss of about PKR270 (381-111) per electric bill!
And these figures are only for very nominal users of electricity, those that consumed more have obviously suffered more of a loss. The video clip above shows the statement by Khawaja Asif.
(Video Courtesy: Dunya TV)