The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors, ANED says the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s order directing consumers not to pay estimated electricity billings doesn’t apply to all customers.
It applies to only Maximum Demand customers –whose consumption threshold is 45KVA only.
Maximum Demand customers are commercial and industrial customers who consume high levels of electricity and contribute substantially to the revenues of distribution companies.
ANED’s Chief Executive Officer Azu Obiaya made the clarification in Abuja on Sunday.
“We recognise that our residential consumers will be interested in this notice thinking that it applies to them in their need for meters, and we recognise that everyone will like to be metered, we are working towards that,” Obiaya said.
“But this time, that notice by NERC is specific for maximum demand customers.”
MD meters are connected on the 11Kv (High tension wire) electricity lines, mostly on dedicated transformers. The customers include heavy users of electricity like commercial business plazas, large firms, and small-scale industries among others.
NERC had in June 2016, issued a directive to distribution companies for all MD customers to be metered by November. 30, 2016.
Following the expiration of the deadline, it further directed that MD customer that was not metered by March 1 shall not pay any electricity bill presented by a distribution company on the basis of estimated billing methodology.
And no distribution company shall disconnect any MD customer that was not metered by March 1, on the basis of the customer’s refusal to pay a bill issued after the compliance deadline on the basis of estimated billing methodology.
The commission had also urged any MD customer not metered by March 1, to notify the commission directly.
On the metering problem, the body admitted it is a challenge. “But we are working hard to ensure that we meter all the MD customers to eliminate issues associated with estimated billing that those customers have,” said Obiaya.
He said that the DisCos had substantially metered MD customers, adding that the mass metering of residential consumers was on–going.
He said it was also in the interest of the DisCos to meter all MD customers and other categories of customers in the country.
“So our expectation is that the metering of MD customers comprehensively is been completed at this time.
“I know in my various discussions with the DisCos, with respect to the deadline we have been given by NERC, it is in our interest to essentially meter all of our MD customers.’ ‘
The ANED CEO called on Nigerians to support the DisCos to comprehensively meter all residential customers by fulfilling their obligations of payment of electricity bills.
He said that the DisCos were committed to delivering quality electricity supply to all categories of customers.