“End Estimated Billing”: Consumers Protest Hike in Price of Prepaid Meters

“End Estimated Billing”: Consumers Protest Hike in Price of Prepaid Meters

  • Consumers are against the recent increase in the price of prepaid metre by 40%
  • They say it is the responsibility of the electricity distribution firms to handle metering
  • The chairman of the Electricity Consumers Association accused the regulator of increasing tariffs without improving service delivery

Customers of energy have accused the Nigerian Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC) of being insensitive after it raised the price of electricity meters by 40%.

The customers, however, kicked against the move. They claimed NERC's policies and operations in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) had been anti-consumer.

NERC prepaid
Charman of Electricity Consumer Association said said meter is an asset that enables the DisCos to do their business. Photo Credit: Technext, All news Nigeria
Source: UGC

Metering is the responsibility of NERC

Addressing the development, Chijoke James, the chairman of the Electricity Consumers Association, said it was entirely the responsibility of the electricity distribution firms to handle metering.

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James described meter as an asset that enables the DisCos to do their business, adding that transferring the burden of meter provision to the consumers was wrong.

He said the commission had always favoured the operators to the detriment of the consumers.

He also said the regulator has consistently increased tariffs without a commensurate improvement in service delivery.

He said:

The last increase was tagged service-based, but did service improve? Consumers were placed on bands based on the hours of supply they will get but did they get the supply?
What action did NERC take against the DisCos for meeting the supply target? Nothing. Rather the Commission has approved a new tariff for the DisCos.

He noted that individuals and communities keep making investments by purchasing transformers, cables, poles, and other equipment but are not refunded by the DisCos and NERC.

He added:

We want NERC to end estimated billing by compelling the DisCos to provide meters for every consumer. That is the way to go and not making consumers pay more for meters which are the statutory responsibility of DisCos.

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Uju Ogbunka, PBAN President told Legit.ng that the problem is with customers not willing to spend some time to look at their account and know what is going in and coming out. he said the guide to bank charges operational in the banking system is available on the internet for people to read.

"If you get that and study it, you will know the type of charges available and when you are diligent enough to follow it up, you will know when banks are overcharging you and then you complain and if nobody answers, you can lay complaint with the CBN, NDIC, CIBN as ethic committee and the mediation centre.
"But what is happening is that many people are not willing to follow up on what is happening with their account and If the banks are mischievous, they will do anything they like. So it is the responsibility of account owner to monitor their account and ensure that everything is well and when there is a mistake, then you complain and get a remedy."

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NERC Warns Prepaid Meter Users to Update Before November 2024

Legit.ng had reported that the NERC advised all electricity consumers in Nigeria using prepaid meters to update their meters before November 24.

The Commission released the message to prepaid meter users through its official Twitter account on Tuesday, August 22, 2023. It urged electricity consumers to take note of the deadline.

NERC stated that consumers would be issued two free key change tokens by their respective electricity distribution companies (DisCos), which they will use in carrying out the update.

Source: Legit.ng

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