Electricity: NERC gives deadline for stoppage of estimated billing methodology

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said it had repealed the estimated billing methodology regulation, effective February 20th, 2020.

Following the repeal, the estimated billing methodology will cease to be used as the basis for computing the fees of unmetered electricity consumers in NESI.

According to a document released by NERC, the repeal became necessary in a bid to ensure that there is parity in how unmetered R2 and C1 electricity consumers are billed, in comparison to how their metered counterparts in NESI are billed. This is also expected to make all customers happy and satisfied.

It also aimed to completely eradicate arbitrary billing, which basically entails charging electricity customers exorbitant fees that are higher their actual consumption, and to fast-tract the metering of unmetered R2 and C1 customers.

In a related development, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has also decided that three methods should, henceforth, be used for the determination of energy caps when billing unmetered customers.

The first method entails the imposition of energy cap on the basis of projected average monthly consumption of each tariff class under the MYTO model. The second method specifies that unmetered customers should be billed on the basis of the average consumption of each tariff class within a franchise area. The last method is all about imposing an energy cap on the bill of unmetered customers within a business unit, at the average vending of customers of the same tariff class within the same area.

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The energy cap that has been prescribed by NERC only applies to R2 and C1 customers. Other customers who are on higher tariff classes are to be metered by the DisCos no later than April 30th, as earlier mentioned.

Nigerian DisCos are to ensure that all the electricity consumers on tariff class A1 are duly identified and metered latest by April 30th, 2020.

Unmetered R2 and C1 customers should not be invoiced for their energy consumption beyond the stipulated cap.

For the customers, whose current estimated billings are below the prescribed energy cap, no upward adjustment should be made until the relevant DisCos have installed meters for them.

Customers, who for any reason refuse to have meters installed within their properties will immediately be disconnected from electricity supply by the relevant DisCo. Reconnection to the grid will only happen provided such customers are willing to have their meters installed.

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