NERC gives electricity distribution firms 120 days to engage new meter providers

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Tuesday gave the 11 electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) 120 days to engage the services of the newly introduced Meter Asset Provider (MAP) to bridge the metering gap in the country’s power sector.

In 2016, NERC said barely three million electricity customers, or 45 per cent of the 7.47 million nationwide have access to pre-paid meters.

The data showed a consumer metering gap of almost five million, which the government and the DISCOs have been struggling to meet without success.

Part of the industry efforts to bridge the metering gap was the introduction of a new meter intervention programme called, ‘Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation’ (CAPMI) by the electricity sector regulator in 2012.

Under the CAPMI scheme, customers were expected to self-finance the meter, with the meter cost repaid over a period from their energy charge at 12 percent interest rate per annum.

But, the arrangement appeared not to yield much dividend as most electricity consumers who paid for the meters have to wait for several years without the delivery of their meters by the DISCOs.

NERC said in a ‘Fact Sheet’ obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday the latest MAP arrangement, which would become effective on April 3 would provide a final solution to the meter supply needs of electricity consumers.

“That is why NERC has given electricity distribution companies 120 days to engage the MAP service to achieve the 3-year metering targets prescribed by the Commission,” spokesperson of NERC, Usman Arabi said.

“The MAP Regulations will eliminate estimated billing and its attendant challenges in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry within three years,” Arabi said.

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