Pakistan’s power industry is undergoing very significant and profound seismic changes, transitioning from solely government-owned utilities to fully autonomous companies that will engage in power generation, transmission, and distribution under the progressive reform agenda for the institutions. A similar industry structure exists and functions in many other countries of the world today.
Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) has recently announced that it is going to introduce an online application system for obtaining connections in 2017. This facility shall be available for both the household and the commercial consumers.
Another salient feature is that the new online registration system will roll out with the general consumers first, and 191 subdivisions shall benefit from it from the start.
The announcement came during a meeting at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Thursday. The event was hosted by LCCI; attendees included CEO of LESCO, President of LCCI, Vice Presidents, and some notable business persons and industry experts.
Speaking at the event, which brought together government officials and business leaders, Wajid Ali Kazmi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LESCO, announced the plan of the company for the upcoming year. According to Mr. Wajid, the new online system will remove all the possible human interventions in order to get rid of power shortages, load-shedding and power thefts.
LESCO is hoping that the new technology will help improve power transmission efficiency and billing mechanism transparency while ensuring that all consumers segments, including household and commercial sector, can get involved in the system. According to the current statistics, LESCO is contributing to 25 percent of the estimated overall revenue generated by the distributors.
This development is of extreme significance at a time when the country is experiencing worst energy shortage of its history. Partly owing to the chronic losses and ineffective organizational policies, power supply from utilities is well short of scale of demand. The current shortfall has arisen due to a huge increase in the overall demand, exceeding 7,000 megawatts (MW), or about one-third of peak demand, during extreme periods. Fluctuations in the global price of oil have substantially increased power generation costs and strained budgets. The energy shortages are estimated to cost around 2 percent of the GDP annually.
LESCO is a wholly Government-owned utility with its headquarters located in Lahore; it is located in the northern part of Punjab. It has boundaries with the Faisalabad Electric Supply Company Limited in the east, Gujranwala Electric Power Company Limited in the north, and Multan Electric Power Company Limited in the southern side.
LESCO has about 16% market share in terms of the number of customers of all Power Distribution Companies (DISCOs). Yet its share in the energy sales is 22% and contribution to revenue collected is 21%. LESCO is responsible for about 20% of the allocated load and total peak demand of all the DISCOs.
However, there are multiple opportunities for LESCO to achieve improved effectiveness and operational efficiencies. There are certain areas where we can expect massive technological improvements. The company needs to improve its operating practices in order to lower operating costs, and improve overall financial and technical performance.
image: lcci.official / Facebook