The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, over the weekend released a new electricity tariff regime for electricity users in the country.
This tariff has various rates of increase in energy charges for consumers across the country.
Alongside with this new tariff, NERC also announced the removal of fixed power charges for all classes of electricity consumers, stressing that power users would henceforth only pay for what they consume.
The commission explained that “the new tariff regime is the result of a transparent, rigorous and credible rate review process. The tariffs will lead to greater reliability in the provision of electricity. More people will progressively have access to the grid, more meters will be deployed and the need for self generation would be gradually reduced.”
The Chairman of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi had this to say;
“This is good news for electricity consumers who have long asked for a more just and fair pricing of electricity. The regulatory commission had promised to address all the complaints against fixed charges through a regulatory process that promotes investments in the electricity industry without unfairly burdening electricity consumers. This is in line with NERC’s mandate to be fair in all its regulatory interventions”.
NERC had promised to address all the complaints against fixed charges through a regulatory process that promotes investments in the electricity industry without unfairly burdening electricity consumers.
“For instance, residential customer classification (R2) in Abuja Electricity Distribution Company will no longer pay N702.00 fixed charge every month. Their energy charge will increase by N9.60. Also, residential customers (R2 customers) in Eko and Ikeja electricity distribution areas will no longer pay N750. 00 fixed charges. They will be getting N10 and N8 increase respectively in their energy charges.
“Similarly, the burden of N800.00 and N750.00 fixed charges would be lifted off the shoulders of Kaduna and Benin electricity consumers. These consumers will see an increase of N11.05 and N9.26 respectively in their energy charges. “The new tariff is also good news for commercial consumers For example, commercial customers’ classification C2 in Ibadan and Enugu will no longer pay fixed charges of N17, 010. 00 and N22, 141. 00.
Their energy charge will increase by N12.08 and N13.35 respectively. “In line with the transparent disposition to its operations full details of the new tariff regime would be advertised in major national dailies and commission website within the next 24 hours.”
The commission also instructed all distribution companies (DISCOs) to issue meter all its customers.
“The metering policy will be strictly enforced. For those willing electricity customers who paid for meters under the Cash Advance Payment Metering Initiative (CAPMI) but are yet to be metered within the allowable 60 days would no longer be billed by the electricity distribution companies under the new tariff regime. And the discos will not disconnect them. There is zero tolerance for overbilling of customers. An unmetered customer who is disputing his estimated bill would not be expected to pay the disputed bill. He would pay his last undisputed bill as the contested bill go through the dispute resolution process. This is a departure from the old practice which prescribes that customers should first settle the bill while dispute resolution is in process.”
NERC strictly warned that DISCOs must not connect new customers without metering the customer first. This is to close the wide metering gap of over 50 per cent and reduce high incidence of collection losses in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).