15 June 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday stated that only maximum demand customers are exempted from the estimated billing.
This is in line with its directives on the verification and validation of the Maximum Demand (MD) electricity customers metering exercise.
The Commission had at the weekend, directed that no MD customer should henceforth be billed based on estimation to further validate the confirmation and assurance given by the Discos that all such customers are now metered.
It stated that the affected electricity customers are those within the threshold of 45kVA consumption and above.
The commission made the clarification in a statement issued in Abuja by the Assistant General Manager (AGM) media, Mrs. Vivian Mbonu.
The commission explained that the directive to exempt MD customers from estimated bills was sequel to an earlier Directive of the Commission to the 11 Distribution Companies (Discos) to completely meter all their MD customers on or before 31st November, 2016.
It further noted that the Discos sought for and were granted extension to 1st March, 2017.
The commission in its directive also stated that: “No electricity distribution company shall disconnect any Maximum Demand electricity customer that was not metered by March 1, 2017 on the basis of the customer’s refusal to pay a bill issued after the compliance deadline on the basis of estimated billing methodology.”
It urged any maximum demand electricity customer to promptly report any attempt to disconnect them on the basis of refusal to pay estimated bill issued after March 1, 2017 to the Commission.
“The underlying rationale to this directive is the effect that since this category of customers have been completely metered as directed by the Commission and reported by the Discos, no MD customer should be issued with estimated bills.
“For non-MD unmetered customers on their networks, electricity distribution companies have been warned to adhere strictly to the Commission’s approved estimation methodology in accordance with the Estimated Billing Methodology Regulation.
“Electricity customers are also advised to avail themselves of the Commission’s redress mechanism in instances of contested bills before seeking legal advice,” it added.