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NERC revokes estimated billing methodology for electricity consumers

The NERC said it had repealed the estimated billing methodology regulation, effective February 20th, 2020. 

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said it had repealed the estimated billing methodology regulation, effective February 20th, 2020.

Following the repeal, the estimated billing methodology will cease to be used as the basis for computing the fees of unmetered electricity consumers in NESI.

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See NERC’s objectives for this move

According to a document that was released by NERC, as seen by Nairametrics, the repeal became necessary in a bid to ensure that there is parity in how unmetered R2 and C1 electricity consumers are billed, in comparison to how their metered counterparts in NESI are billed. This is also expected to make all customers happy and satisfied.

Other objectives for the repeal of the estimated billing methodology, according to NERC, include:

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  • to protect unmetered R2 and C1 customers from arbitrary billings as well as ensure that they are billed at rates comparable to what their metered counterparts are charged;
  • to completely eradicate arbitrary billing, which basically entails charging electricity customers exorbitant fees that are higher their actual consumption;
  • to fast-tract the metering of unmetered R2 and C1 customers;
  • to encourage DisCos to expedite action on meter deployment under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation of 2018; and
  • it is also aimed at reducing incidents of high collection losses in NESI.

[READ MORE: DisCos respond to NERC’s threat to revoke operators’ licenses)

Determination of energy cap

In a related development, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has also decided that three methods should, henceforth, be used for the determination of energy caps when billing unmetered customers.

The first method entails the imposition of energy cap on the basis of projected average monthly consumption of each tariff class under the MYTO model. The second method specifies that unmetered customers should be billed on the basis of the average consumption of each tariff class within a franchise area. The last method is all about imposing an energy cap on the bill of unmetered customers within a business unit, at the average vending of customers of the same tariff class within the same area.

Here’s your need to know

The energy cap that has been prescribed by NERC only applies to R2 and C1 customers. Other customers who are on higher tariff classes are to be metered by the DisCos no later than April 30th, as earlier mentioned.

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Nigerian DisCos are to ensure that all the electricity consumers on tariff class A1 are duly identified and metered latest by April 30th, 2020.

Unmetered R2 and C1 customers should not be invoiced for their energy consumption beyond the stipulated cap.

R1 customers, who do not consume more than 50kWhr of electricity in a month will continue to be charged NGN4/kWhr at a maximum of NGN200 per month.

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For the customers, whose current estimated billings are below the prescribed energy cap, no upward adjustment should be made until the relevant DisCos have installed meters for them.

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Customers, who for any reason refuse to have meters installed within their properties will immediately be disconnected from electricity supply by the relevant DisCo. Reconnection to the grid will only happen provided such customers are willing to have their meters installed.

Do note that NERC may decide to amend this order at any time. More so, it can also be repealed on a later date.

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You may read the full document by NERC by clicking here.

Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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COVID-19: FG to launch Rapid Response Register for urban poor

The FG has moved to inaugurate an emergency intervention database for the poor residing in urban centres and affected by the pandemic.

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Nigeria blows past 40,000 COVID-19 cases

The Federal Government has announced that it would inaugurate a COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR), which would be a health emergency response for the poor living in urban centers that have been affected by the pandemic.

This was disclosed by Mr. Joe Abuku, Communications Manager, National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), on Sunday in Abuja.

Mr. Abuku said the register would identify Nigerians that have been made poorer due to the pandemic, targeting mainly Traders and SME Owners.

He added that the scheme was designed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, through NASSCO, in partnership with the World Bank, and will be inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

What Joe Abuku is saying

  • “This register is being built by NASSCO as an expansion of the existing National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP). It targets small business owners, street vendors, petty traders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and service providers.
  • “Others are low wage employed individuals and families, including daily wage-based laborers, urban poor and destitute (persons with disabilities), and vulnerable families in slum areas, affected by the pandemic.
  • “The category of Nigerians who will be in this register is typically the urban/semi-urban poor engaged in the informal sectors of the economy, who lost their source of livelihood due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and jobs. The Federal Government plans to extend cash transfers to households in this register for a period of 12 months.”

He also stated that NASSCO would use geographical satellite sensing to locale the wards where the urban poor live, as the targeting of the poor would be done via cell phone Short Messaging Service (SMS) technology that allows residents of targeted communities register to be assisted by following simple steps using USSD codes.

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The SMS approach would be integrated through data gathered by the National Living Standard Survey Assessments and would be complemented by existing databases of Non-Governmental Organisations and local self-help-support groups.

  • “Mobile phone numbers of those deemed eligible for assistance will be linked to digitized bank accounts to receive cash support, under an expanded cash transfer program of the Federal Government. These cash payments are designed to boost consumption for these households, build their resilience, and in some cases, inject fresh capital into small businesses.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported last year that the World Bank said the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic could make an additional 5 million Nigerians poor.
  • The Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report 2020 by the World Bank Group indicate that between 88 million and 115 million people could fall back into extreme poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This is in addition to an increase between 23 million and 35 million in 2021, potentially bringing the total number of new people living in extreme poverty to between 110 million and 150 million.

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Covid-19: Nigeria needs serious controls not a second lockdown – House Committee on Education

A member of the lower legislative house has advised the government to focus on serious control measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Professor Julius Ihonvbere, Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education & Services, said the Federal and States governments should not impose a lockdown, but rather focus on serious control measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

He disclosed this during an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.

  • “I do not think we need a national lockdown now, I think what we need now is the first instance is serious controls. Let me say that the Governor of Lagos is the ‘poster man’ for the fight against covid-19. If we see you outside without a mask, we will arrest you and charge you to court, that is the kind of courage we need.”

He cited serious controls like buying hand sanitizers and washing materials to schools and urban areas in Lagos as part of the controls that should be commended.

  • “The issue is not a lockdown. If you lock people down, and you are not doing the right thing inside the lockdown, the cases will still increase. They (masses) will break it and will challenge it as they did during the first lockdown. So, the real issue is to bring out the policies and implement them.
  • “The Federal Ministry as a supervisor, yes states have the autonomy, but we give the state’s money from UBEC every year, we give them billions, what are they doing with it?

He urged that the FG should investigate what States use their Universal Basic Education Funds for, as Nigeria is in a time for “retooling and repurpose” and UBEC funding should be utilized in the fight against Covid-19.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last week that the Federal Government said Nigeria is not contemplating another lockdown and urged Nigerians to ignore social media posts circulating the possibility of another lockdown.

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Covid-19: Ghana’s healthcare could be overwhelmed – President Akufo-Addo

Ghanaian President has warned that he might impose a partial lockdown as healthcare facilities are overwhelmed by growing cases of coronavirus.

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Africa: Ghanaian inflation rate drops for the 3rd straight month to 10.1%, Ghana’s cedi becomes investors’ best choice ahead Nigeria’s naira, Ghana restricts flights into country after detecting Coronavirus but Nigeria ignores measure

The Ghanaian Government has warned that Ghana’s second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is rising fast and could overwhelm its already extended Covid-19 treatment centres.

This was disclosed by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday in a Reuters report.

The Ghanaian President warned that he might impose a partial lockdown in the coming weeks as cases might reach peak levels.

Active cases in Ghana climbed to 1,924 from about 900 since the 5th of January. He also confirmed that the new variant was present in the country, as cases were imported from people entering Ghana.

The President said,

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  • “Our COVID-19 treatment centres have gone from having zero patients to now being full because of the upsurge in infections. At this current rate, our healthcare infrastructure will be overwhelmed.
  • “Work is ongoing to determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government also alerted Nigerians that hospitals across the country were running out of facilities to handle more serious cases of coronavirus infections, as the virus is spreading fast with mild symptoms in some victims and severe illnesses and death in others.

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