The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday held its final consultation workshop with stakeholders and electricity consumers as a final step to the adoption of a standard and unified method of estimated electricity billing pending when the entire industry would be metered.
The commission had upon the commencement of the new electricity tariff regime which took effect on June 1, 2012, set a time-line of 18 months to meter the entire electricity industry.
Speaking at the event which held in Abuja, Chairman of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, said the Commission had earlier developed a framework for estimated billing which it had placed on its website and solicited for public input in order to improve on its quality.
A draft of conditions of meter connection fees was also discussed at the workshop with a view to getting public input before the methodology is finally adopted.
Amadi explained that the connection fee for a meter would be determined by the cost of wires, fuse and other auxiliary items needed for the connection of a meter.
“We have asked the distribution companies (DISCOs) to do three independent market surveys to establish the cost of those items.
The DISCOs have to justify the cost to us. The price will be based on real market price.”
He clarified that the connection fee would not be fixed but will change when the market price changes, adding “our focus as a regulator is clarity and transparency. It is very scientific and mathematical. It is open to public challenge.”
He further assured that the 18 months timeline set for the metering of all customers was on course, noting that the need to protect unmetered consumers from unfair billing in the meantime, necessitated the framework for estimated billing.