29 March 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has stated that it newly approved Meter Asset Providers (MAP) regulation would drastically reduce the metering challenge in the sector by ensuring that meters are installed at customers’ premises within 10 working days after payment.
A document made available to journalists in Abuja by the Head of Public Affairs Department of the Commission, Mr. Usman Arabi, stipulates that the payment will be at a competitive cost approved by the commission.
Recall that on March 12, 2018, NERC’s Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Mr. Dafe Akpeneye, unveiled the new regulation in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
The regulation, which is slated to commence on April 3, 2018, is projected to close the metering gap and eliminate estimated billing in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) within three years of coming into effect.
It was reported that a new monthly metering service charge has been introduced into the MAP regulations.
Arabi confirmed the report but said the service charge is to cover for investment in meter assets which will cease upon full payment of the cost of meter procurement.
NERC said payment of a metering charge by a customer will stop when he or she has fully paid the cost of the meter but if a customer decides to pay for a meter in full upfront, such customer will not pay the metering service charge.
The regulation grants a 15-year license to MAP to help the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) speed up meter installation for their customers.
With the licensing of the 87 MAPs, prepaid meters are expected to flood the market.
However, the new regulations provide that customers only pay for metering service charge after the installation of a meter at their premises, hence Discos will create new tariff plans to achieve that.
Effectively, the electricity bill of customers provided with a meter under the new regulatory framework shall comprise of two parts – energy charge and metering service charge.
With 4.7 million unmetered customers nationwide as of December 31, 2017, customers who procure meters under the new MAP regulation will also enjoy a ‘distinct tariff’ lower than other customers with legacy meters.
In addition, the new regulation says that defective meters will be repaired or replaced free of charge within two working days of being notified, only if the damage is not caused by the customer.
In a situation where there is a delay in repair or replacement of a faulty meter within the billing period, an average of the last three months billing will be applied to determine customer’s energy consumption.
Under this new regulatory framework, if a customer relocates within the franchise area, the customer can apply for transfer of services including applicable credits for energy.