Using your ACs this summer is going to be more expensive. NEPRA has introduced a new power tariff for residential consumers in Karachi called Time of Use (ToU) and under this new tariff, people are going to be paying a lot more.
The ToU tariff began in June and will be applicable on users in Karachi with a “sanctioned load” of five kilowatts or more under two categories — peak hours and non-peak hours. A sanctioned load is the amount of energy you are allowed or sanctioned to consume.
Five kilowatts or 5,000 watts may seem like a lot, but for most, it really isn’t. If you have an iron, a single one-ton AC, a fridge, microwave, deep freezer, washing machine, laptop, water dispenser, five energy savers and five ceiling fans, you automatically fall in the 5KW category.
However, you can still fall under the ToU tariff even if you don’t use those appliances all the time, but your house or apartment has a sanctioned load of 5KW.
You can check your sanctioned load on your K-Electric bill too.
The new tariffs
The new tariffs have been divided into two categories — peak hours and non-peak hours.
From April to October, peak hours are from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. From November to March, peak hours are from 6pm to 10pm.
During these peak hours, you will be charged a fixed rate of Rs20.70 per unit of electricity. During the regular or non-peak hours, you’ll be charged Rs14.38 per unit.
That means using your electrical appliances, like your AC or TV, during these peak hours will be more expensive.
Compared to this, the users with a sanctioned load of less than 5kW have a slab-wise tariff. For the 100-units used, per unit tariff is Rs5.79 which increases to Rs8.11 per unit for the next 100units. For each unit used between 201 to 300, the users will have to pay Rs10.20. KE will charge its consumers Rs17.60 for 301-700 units used. The per unit tariff for over 700 units is the same as the peak hours price for consumers with a “sanctioned load” of five kilowatts or more.
The Ministry of Energy announced these new tariff terms in a May 22 notification, which said the new tariffs for KE consumers are in line with the consumer-end tariffs charged under the uniform tariff policy across Pakistan. It clarified that the rates for residential consumers who only use 300 units have not been increased. But that doesn’t mean much — five 24-watt light bulbs and a 80W fan consume 200 watts, which is about 12 units in a day.
KE says the ToU charges have nothing to do with the size of your house and instead depend on how many electrical appliances you use and how many kilowatts the appliances consume.
The power company says it is introducing this new ToU tariff to “foster awareness among the general public to conserve energy between the peak hours.” But consumers aren’t that satisfied with this glorified awareness campaign.
The consumers want Nepra and KE to be more lenient in implementing the ToU tariff because the most electricity is used between 6:30pm and 10:30pm. This is because everyone is home at that time — kids are home from school and tuitions and parents are back from work.
How to save electricity [money]
To give you an idea about how many units your day-to-day appliances consume and how much you can save by turning off unnecessary devices, here’s the list of items and units of electricity it consumed if used for 24 hours:
On an average, an 80W fan consumes 4 units of electricity/day while the TV consumes around 3 units a day. Similarly, a 24W energy saver uses 1-2 units a day.
Heavier appliances like a one-ton AC consumes around 18 units if it runs for 24 hours straight. A refrigerator consumes around 4-6 units, depending on the size and how old your appliance is.
So if you are looking to save some money, you better watch out how many appliances are being used at a time and switch off anything that is not necessary. Instead of turning on five energy savers, try to manage with four and save around 40-45 units a month. Similarly, by not using ACs during the peak hours, you can save some more money.