Don’t pay for electricity after 2 weeks of outage – NERC announces new regulations
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has asked Nigerians not to pay for meter service charge and also the electricity cost if there is power failure for more than 2 weeks.
NERC said that the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) regulation has stopped the electricity Distribution Companies from collecting power and service charges after 2 weeks of power outage.
Its chairman, Prof. James Momoh, broke the news at the Abuja Electrical Distribution Company (AEDC) launch of the MAP in Abuja on Friday.
Abudukadir Shetima, the General Manager, Finance and Management Services, who stood for the Chairman, said that with the MAP regulation, the meters need to be mounted not later than 10 days after payment.
According to him, should the DisCo refuse to change a malfunctioning meter after 2 days, the consumer is not anticipated to make any kind of payment.
He claimed that NERC, DisCos and the clients have their deadline to offer the meters to the consumers at the needed time.
He said the regulation was created in a way that relates to the consumer as the king in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) value chain.
The customer, he said, is expected to have the most effective services.
He added, “Deadlines were provided in the regulation for the DisCos, even the commission so that we don’t delay so that the customers get the service at the time that it is required.
“For instance, if a meter is about to be installed, it must be installed within 10 days of making payment. There will be sanctions if that deadline is not met.
“Number two, to ensure there will be sanction, the MAP has been asked to provide a bank performance guarantee that will be called upon. So they will lose money if they delay in providing the meters even by one day.
“Number two, if the meters get bad, they will be replaced by the MAP without any payment for the entire ten years period.
“If the meters don’t work they must be replaced within two days, if they are not replaced within two days, the customer will not make the monthly customers service charge payment. That payment will be seized.
“Another part of the regulation is that if there is a prolonged outage and they are out of electricity for months, in addition to other measure that the commission is taking to address those kind of scenarios, the customer will not pay for the meter service charge and will not even pay for the electricity if there is outage for more than two weeks.”
Listing the objective of the regulation, Momoh said the first important objective is the removal of estimated billing in order to remove the controversies around it.
He added: “The customers are happy to make the payment. The second issue is revenue assurance, happy customers will be willing to pay.
“Nigerians are willing to pay for the services they can get so that there will be revenue assurance and that will impact on the industry as a whole. Currently, the revenues in the industry are nit sufficient to enable investments and better services. So, it is like a vicious circle and this this metering is intended to correct that problem.”
Speaking, the AEDC Managing Director, Engr. Ernest Mupwaya, revealed that altogether the company has planned to meter the customers in its franchise areas with 900,000 meters.
He said that bearing in mind that the customers would increase, the meter vendors would also cater for their metering.
He said: “In all, 900,000 customs have been scheduled for metering in AEDC franchise area in the first instance. Being a moving target, we are aware that the number may increase and as it does, the vendors will take them along.”