Stories by Etuka Sunday
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has ordered the electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOS) to close the metering gap and ensure the standardisation of customer estimation to avoid extortion and exploitation.
The Chairman/CEO of the Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi said, “With the wide gap in metering, which was put at 54.8% in 2012, resulting in very high estimation, it became necessary to introduce a temporary measure for billing customer who are not effectively metered”.
According to him, Customer Service Standard Regulation on meters stipulates that, “if there is no electricity meter to record electricity usage at a customer’s supply address, the Disco must base customer’s bill on estimated energy consumption, which is calculated in accordance with a method approved by the Commission”.
Basically, estimation should be on verifiable scientific method for monitoring and dispute resolution purpose. It must also be reflective of local consumption pattern and close to a actual readings previously obtained.
A statement by the Head, Public Affairs Department of NERC, Dr. Usman Abba Arabi quoted the Commission’s Chairman as saying that other basis for consideration in estimation is power availability and issues associated with system losses; that is, commercial losses.
Dr. Sam Amadi enjoined the Discos to intensify metering programs to reduce estimation over medium to long-term. He also warned against the practice by some Discos who apply the unapproved estimation method that is based on averaging billed energy.
On Generation Companies, Dr. Amadi said that amendment were made to the capacity charge after it discovered errors in the generation tariff order, and thereby directed Gencos to recalculate their projected revenues based on the correct figures.
Dr. Amadi said, “Both the capacity and energy payments that were received by the hydro generation plants prior to the correction were inflated”, and the correction will not affect their regulated revenue but would rather ensure that tariff falls in line with energy payments.