By Ayo Kehinde
As from April 30 , 2020 Nigerians will begin to consume electricity based on readings from meters compulsorily installed in their houses by all 11 electricity distribution companies, DISCOS, courtesy of a new directive from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.
By the new directive collection of electricity bill under the estimated billing system has been scrapped
The suspension order signed by NERC’s Chairman, Mr. James Momoh and Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Mr. Dafe Akpeneye, takes effect from February 20, and has been circulated to all Discos concerned.
According to his directive stated under, he said the ‘‘Order on the Capping of Estimated Bills in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI”, repeals the methodology for estimated billion regulations 2012 and shall cease to have effect on the issuance of a new order on the same subject matter by NERC.
He said: ‘‘Discos shall ensure that all customers on tariff class A1 in their franchise areas are properly identified and metered by 30 April 2020. While all unmetered RS and C1 customers shall not be invoiced for the consumption of energy beyond the cap stipulated in schedule 1 of this order.
“All R1 customers, who by definition consume no more than 50 kilo watt hour(kWhr) of energy per month, shall continue to be billed at N4 kWhr and a maximum of N200 per month unless otherwise amended by an order of the commission.
The NERC order instructed further that the energy cap prescribed by the commission shall only apply to R2 and C1 customers, adding that all other customers on higher tariff classes must be metered by Discos no later than April 30, 2020, failing which these customers are not liable to pay any estimated bill issues by Discos
Any customer on such higher tariff classes not metered beyond April 30, 2020 shall remain connected to supply without further payment to the Disco, until a meter is installed on the premises under the framework of Meter Asset Provider (MAP) regulations or any other financing arrangement approved by the commission.
Customers whose current estimated bills are lower than the prescribed energy cap shall remain so without any upward adjustment until a meter is installed by the Disco under the MAP regulation or any other initiative approved by the commission.
However, it authorised Discos to disconnect any customer that rejects the installation of a meter on their premises
Meanwhile, ahead of the April target for the likely introduction of new electricity tariffs, NERC said it will, begin a nationwide consultations with stakeholders.
According to a notice by Momoh, the consultations will hold from February 25 to March 11 in 12 locations nationwide.
He said the NERC has received Extraordinary Tariff Review Applications from the eleven (11) Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria Plc (TCN).
He said the consultations will hold as follows: Eko Electricity DISCO (February 25); Kaduna (February 25); Abuja (February 26); Ikeja (February 26); and Ibadan, (February 28).