Unmetered Electricity Consumers May Stop Paying Tariff - AMEBO NEWSPAPERS NG.


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Unmetered Electricity Consumers May Stop Paying Tariff

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has disclosed plans to stop electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) from collecting tariff from unmetered customers within their networks after a 16-month grace period.

The commission, which stated this at a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday, explained that the measure is aimed at enforcing widespread metering in view of DISCOs’ reluctance to carry out aggressive metering of customers in preference for estimated billing.

The NERC chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, who briefed the media, said that it was unacceptable that over 50 per cent of registered electricity consumers in the country are either unmetered or have non-functional meters despite measures over time put in place by the commission to encourage metering.

Amadi said this new proposal will follow the NERC’s recent decision to cap the maximum charges that a DISCO can levy on its unmetered customers within its approved estimated billing methodology. However, he said, the new proposal will be subjected to reviews by industry operators after which a 16-month grace period will be granted to the DISCOs to exercise their full metering plans or lose revenues from consumers who they fail to meter within the period.

While noting that the measure was not aimed at hurting stakeholders in the sector, he said, “There are three-prong approaches to this. One is that there is a moratorium between now and the next four months for the capping of estimated revenue to start. The capping means that within four months you must have metered all your Credit Advance Programme for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) customers and as many of them as you can. After four months, you have an extra 12 months within which to meter all customers who are in your network.

“After the 12 months and four months, which is 16 months, every unmetered customer will no longer pay electricity bills until they are metered,” Amadi stated.

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