Why DISCOs shun metering

17 Febraury 2015, Lagos – Electricity consumers’ lamentation over estimated billing may not end soon if the reasons adduced by generating GENCOs, and distribution, DISCOs, companies for shunning meters are followed to the letter.

In an interaction with journalists, the Chairman of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Kola Adesina, said that no operator can install meter that cannot evaluate the use of electricity by consumers.

He said, “As regards metering, the model that most people are suggesting has failed. You don’t just install meter that cannot speak to the various infrastructure relevant for monitoring and evaluating how electricity is taken and how it is being used by the consumers. As it is, we have a lot of free riders in the system, free riders that will naturally connect to the pole, use electricity and not pay for them.”

Adesina explained that the concern of the GENCOs and DISCOs at the moment is to know the quantum of electricity that comes from the transformers and the number of homes connected with electricity.

“What we are doing currently is at each point of the transformers before the homes; we want to measure precisely the quantum of electricity that comes out of the transformer and the number of homes it is going into. At the end of the day we would to be able to precisely determine in our own office, sitting down in our control room that house number A is meant to use X quantum of electricity, it is using X quantum.“The moment it starts to use something higher, it means you are no longer a residential user, you are now an industrial or commercial user and you must be able to pay the appropriate tariff for the quantum of electricity you are using,” he said.

He also said that the aim is to get the exact voltage that gets to every customer.“The essence of what we are doing is to have an integrated approach, whereby we can capture the electricity that comes from the transmission company and electricity that goes out to each of the customers. All these will be embedded in the metering programme we are installing,” he added.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, had a couple of days ago, given DISCOs two weeks within which to provide electricity consumers whose meters are yet to be delivered months after paying for the products.

– Vanguard

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