Lagos — Following the take-off of the new electricity tariff from this week, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC has assured consumers that they would be compensated by distribution companies in case of any default in service delivery.
A report by Punch quoting Vice Chairman, NERC, who doubles as commissioner at the commission, Sanusi Garba, said DisCos had committed to quality service delivery before the takeoff from September 1, 2020, hence, DisCos that fail to supply the required quantity of electricity will compensate the affected consumers.
According to him, the regulator had deployed a mechanism to monitor the Discos, adding that the new tariffs regime will ensure that customers pay for what they consume.
He said, “The commission has come forward to say tariffs will be service based, meaning that you will pay your rates in correlation with the level of service you get.
“Now, obviously the commission has its own mechanism for monitoring the performance of the Discos. This is because if a Disco says you are in Band C, it means the Disco is committed to giving you between 12 to 16 hours as minimum.”
Garba added, “So the role of the commission is to monitor and at the end of the month to determine which Disco has complied with their service commitment or not.
“And consumers will be compensated for failure to deliver on that service. We do not expect consumers to start putting gadgets to monitor electricity.”
He explained that the monitoring was on the basis of clusters, as the commission would monitor all consumers in a particular area, for instance, those on Bands A, B or C.
“Then the commission now determines whether the Disco has complied or not,” Garba stated.
He said the NERC would not expect consumers to be the ones to monitor compliance by Discos.
“Of course, if a consumer believes that there has been service failure, you follow the normal processes of complain and the commission will step in to resolve the issue,” the NERC vice chairman stated.
When told that many consumers do not have the required meters to make the right tariff payments, Garba said government was working towards providing funding for meters.
He said, “On the issue of metering and the concern that consumers don’t have meters, I’m sure you are aware that the commission issued an order capping the amount of energy that an unmetered customer should be billed.
“That was designed to make all Discos to expedite the process of providing meters to all consumers because that is the way the electricity business is designed to run.”
He added, “Now in also approving this rates review, the President directed that financing should be put on the table so that all consumers are metered much faster than the rate that Discos can raise financing.”
Garba said the commission was now looking at the timelines, the rates, installation rates, specifications, etc, in order to make the story of estimated billing a thing of the past.