Edozie Udeojo, Abuja
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday issued notices of its intention to commence enforcement action against seven electricity distribution companies (DISCos) over their failure to comply with an Order 197/2020 capping unmetered residential (R2) and commercial (C1) electricity customers charges.
NERC which gave the enforcement notice through its Twitter handle, @NERCNG, said the objective was to ensure consumers in the two categories, who do not have electricity meters installed by the DISCos, are not disconnected from the supply grid.
The power vendors that got the NERC notice include Benin, Enugu, Eko, Ikeja, Kano, Kaduna and Port Harcourt. They were given 14 days beginning from June 4, 2020, to explain why they should not be sanctioned over their alleged non-compliance.
The order was to ensure consumers in the two categories, who do not have electricity meters installed for them by the DISCos, were not disconnected from the electricity supply grid.
It listed the affected DISCos to include those in Benin, Enugu, Eko, Ikeja, Kano, Kaduna and Port Harcourt.
The DISCos were given 14 days beginning from June 4, 2020, to explain why they should not be sanctioned over their alleged non-compliance.
On February 20, 2020, NERC issued Order No/NERC/197/2020 on capping of estimated billings in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
The Order repealed the NERC (Methodology for Estimated Billing) Regulations 2012 and placed a cap on estimated bill to unmetered customers by DISCos in the NESI effective February 20, 2020.
The NERC said the Order was to protect unmetered R2 (Residential-single and 3-phase meters, who consume more than 50kWh per month) and C1 (Commercial-single and 3-phase meters, small businesses) customers from arbitrary billing and expedite their metering process.
Details of the Order was for DISCos to ensure all tariff class A1 customers were properly identified and metered latest by April 30, 2020.
A1 customers are those using grid-connected premises for agriculture, schools, water boards, religious houses, government and teaching hospitals, and others, requiring single or three phase meters.
All unmetered R2 and C1 customers, the Order said, shall not be invoiced for consumption of energy beyond the price capped in schedule.
The capped prices included in the Order, was N1,872.00 for R2, where consumption is capped at 78-kilowatt hour per month at a tariff of N24 per kilowatt.
Also, all Residential customers who consume not more than 50-kilowatt hour (R1 Customers) per month shall be billed N4 per kilowatt hour at a total maximum of N200 per month.
Besides, the Order said all other customers on higher tariffs shall be metered by April 30, 2020, otherwise they shall remain connected to supply, but without further payment to the DISCos until a meter is installed for them.
The Order directed that any customer whose current estimated bill was below the capped price shall remain so without upward review until the installation of a meter by the DISCos.
Any customer who rejects the installation of a meter must be disconnected by the DISCos.
Meanwhile the Commission has said a total of N193.66 billion invoice was issued to the eleven (11) DisCos for energy received from Nigerian Bulk Electricity Traders (NBET) and for service charge by market operators (MO), while only N74.20 billion of the total invoice was settled, representing 38.32 per cent remittance performance. This represents 0.44 percentage point increase from the final settlement rate recorded for the third quarter of 2019 following the commencement of enforcement action by the commission.