31 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has limited to 90-days, the length of time electricity distribution companies, discos, can subject their customers to estimated billing.
In a publication by the commission on its website, NERC said the maximum period a disco is allowed to issue estimated bills to any customer, should not be more than three months, after which the discos must metre such customer.
“The Commission’s Regulation on Standards of Performance for Distribution Companies 1.10 stipulates three months or 90 days after which the Utility Firm must find every means possible to read the meter for actual energy consumed if the premises is metered,” it said.
According to the Commission, estimated billing is likely to lead to crazy billing- a situation where electricity bills are given to a customer that does not reflect the correct consumption of that customer.
“Such crazy bills usually come in the form of estimated bills where the electricity distribution company gives the customer an estimate that far exceeds what that customer could possibly have consumed within the billing period”.
NERC said it had issued an estimated billing methodology or formula, and has ordered all electricity distribution companies to apply this formula in estimating their customers.
“This will ensure that customers pay for only what they consume”, the Commission said.