The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has issued a deadline of August 1, 2018 to the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) to engage the services of Meter Asset Providers (MAP), stressing that the move is aimed at achieving the 3-year metering target prescribed by the Commission.
NERC had earlier announced the introduction of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation (Regulation No. NERC/R/112), which it said would become effective on April 3, 2018, stressing that the initiative is designed to ensure that electricity customers only pay for what they actually consume.
A statement issued on Tuesday by the head of Public Affairs Department, NERC, Dr. Usman Arabi, the Commission the approval the new regulation provides for the supply, installation and maintenance of end-user meters by other parties approved by the Commission.
The regulation is expected to fast track a closure of the metering gap and encourages the development of independent and competitive meter services in the electricity industry, the statement added.
As part of effort to ensure the urgent implementation of the regulation NERC, said the Discos are expected to engage the service of MAP within 120 days from the date of commencement of the regulation.
“The eleven (11) electricity distribution companies are expected to, within 120 days from the effective date of the regulation; engage the services of MAPs towards the achievement of their 3-year metering targets prescribed by the Commission,” the statement read in part.
NERC charged the Discos in line with their licencing terms and conditions, obliged to regulation in order to achieve their metering targets as set by the Commission under the new regulation.
The statement further explained that contracting of Meter Asset Providers shall be through an open, transparent and competitive bid process thus ensuring that meters are provided at a least cost to electricity customers.
While emphasising that customers have been cheated by Discos even without providing the meters, NERC said, “It is to be noted that there are no free meters even under the current tariff regime as all customers, including those on estimated billing, currently pay for a return on the investment made by electricity distribution companies on meters in their networks.
“Under the new MAP regulation, customer classes shall be amended to ensure that customers only pay for meters when a meter is physically installed in their premises. The electricity bill of customers provided with a meter under the new regulatory framework shall comprise of two (2) parts – energy charge and metering service charge.
“The payment of metering service charge will be removed from the customer electricity bill upon the full amortisation of the meter asset over its useful life. All faulty meters are expected to be repaired or replaced free of charge within two working days, except in instances where it is established that the customer is responsible for the damaged meter.”