Metering All Consumers Only Way To Increase Revenue Collection By DisCos, Not Tariff Hike - Expert

Electricity: NERC Tasks DisCos On Bridging Metering Gap, Warns Against Estimate Billing

Says consumers want to pay for what they consume
2 months ago
1 min read

The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission has called on Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to step up efforts in providing meters for customers to ensure accurate billing.

This the Commission said would help in addressing the longstanding issue of estimated billing plaguing Nigeria’s power sector.

During a meeting with investors and owners of DisCos in Lagos State, the  NERC conveyed consumers’ dissatisfaction with estimated bills, emphasizing the need for precise metering.

NERC Chairman, Sanusi Garba, articulated consumers’ frustration, stating, “Customers want to pay for what they consume. It is the single most prevalent complaint of consumers.”

READ ALSO: 7.1million Unmetered Electricity Consumers Overbilled By DisCos- Nigerian Govt Reveals

This sentiment reflects the widespread discontent among electricity consumers who have long been subject to arbitrary billing due to the lack of adequate meters.

Eriye Onagoruwa, Team Lead (Power) in the Office of the Special Adviser on Energy to the President, highlighted the magnitude of the metering gap in the power sector.

She outlined the Presidential Metering Initiative’s objectives, aiming to procure smart meters, reduce losses, and engage stakeholders to address sector challenges comprehensively.

Moreover, NERC officials clarified consumers’ rights regarding meter payments. Nathan Rogers, Commissioner for Finance and Management Services at NERC, stressed that customers should not pay for meters when not in stock, and once paid for, meters must be installed promptly at no additional cost.

Dafe Akpeneye, Commissioner of Legal, Licensing, and Compliance at NERC, underscored the importance of communication between DisCos and customers awaiting meter installation, criticizing the existing communication gap.

The failure of Discos to provide meters has prompted regulatory intervention, including capping estimated bills.

NERC announced sanctions against non-compliant power firms, deducting a substantial sum from their annual allowed revenues.

These measures aim to protect consumers from arbitrary billing and ensure transparency in the power sector. Despite ongoing challenges, the government’s proactive stance signals a commitment to addressing systemic issues and improving service delivery in Nigeria’s electricity distribution system.

READ ALSO: ‘Nigeria Needs $2.5bn Investment To Tackle Power Sector Crisis’

As electricity consumers nationwide continue to advocate for fair billing practices, the government’s actions offer a glimmer of hope for a more equitable and efficient power sector in Nigeria.

Correspondent at Prime Business Africa | + posts

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.

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