21 October 2015, Lagos – After proposing an average increase of 49.4 per cent in electricity tariffs for residential customers last week, power distribution companies in the country are now seeking a hike in the tariffs payable by commercial consumers by 21 per cent on the average.
Although their demands are subject to approval by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, it was learnt that the Discos had submitted various proposals for an increase in the electricity tariffs of commercial consumers to the regulator.
A document containing the proposed tariff, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, showed that the 21 per cent rise in tariffs was for commercial power consumers in the C1 category.
In the document, which was obtained from NERC, a commercial consumer is defined as a person who uses his premises for any purpose other than exclusively as a residence or as a factory for manufacturing goods.
Findings showed that seven out of the 10 distribution firms that submitted proposals to NERC demanded various percentage increase in the tariffs of their commercial consumers.
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company is seeking 56.53 per cent increase in the commercial tariff; Jos, 30.01 per cent; Ibadan, 18.64 per cent; Ikeja, 25.02 per cent; Kano, 46.93 per cent; Port Harcourt, 10.99 per cent; and Yola, 43.16 per cent.
Two of the firms, the Abuja and Eko Discos, did not request any increase, while the Benin Disco reduced its commercial tariff by 23.55 per cent.
On the average, the firms are calling for an increase of 20.77 per cent in the tariffs of commercial electricity consumers.
Last Wednesday, The PUNCH exclusively reported that the Discos had submitted proposals to NERC for increase in the tariffs of residential customers by an average of 49.4 per cent.
The commission, however, stated that it would critically review the submissions before approving the rates brought before it by the power firms, adding that the rates so approved might be released by the end of this month.
The Discos had also agreed to reduce the amount paid as fixed charge by consumers across the country.
NERC stated that the Discos had adopted different measures to reduce the fixed charge.
The Chairman, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, explained that before any tariff would be approved, the Discos must fulfil certain terms and conditions.
He stated that the approved tariffs might get to the Discos by the end of this month, adding that the consequence of non-compliance with agreed terms would be severe once the proposed tariffs were approved.
Amadi had said, “Every distributor whose tariff is approved must deliver on specific terms and conditions. For example, the number of meters to be distributed will be spelt out in your MYTO (Multi Year Tariff Order) and you will deliver the specified number of meters every month.”
“Also, the consequence of non-compliance will be spelt out again. It then means that we will penalise you if you default on these terms and conditions reached when your tariff is approved. We hope to have this done on or before the end of the month.”