Electricity Consumers To Pay More For Prepaid Meters

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has increased the price of pre-paid meter to N82,855.19 for three-phase and N44.896.16 for single-phase meters, respectively.

Three-phase meter previously at N67,055 was raised to N82,855.19, while the cost of a single-phase meter was raised from N36,991 to N44.896.16.

With the latest increment in the prices of prepaid meters, electricity consumers will now pay extra N15,778.19 for a three-phase metre and N7,905.16 for a single-phase metre.

Elecricity consumers are therefore going to pay more to acquire the asset

The development was contained in a memo signed by the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Professor James Momoh. He said that the pegging of the new price was in pursuant to section 19 (d) of the MAPs regulation.

Momoh explained that the hike in the foreign exchange rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria prompted the increase in the prices of prepaid metre.

He said, “In arriving at the approved unit costs, the commission has considered the recent changes in foreign exchange approved by the CBN and the applicable rate available to importers of meter components or fully assembled meters through investors and exporters’ forex window.”

Figures from the commission showed that out of a total of 8,310,408 registered active electricity customers, only 3,704,302 (44.6 per cent) had been metered.

This indicated that 55.4 per cent of end-user customers were still on estimated billing.

In an effort to bridge metering gap leading to commercial and collection losses by the operators, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission enacted the 2018 Meter Asset Provider Regulations.

In 2018, NERC issued the 2018 Meter Asset Provider (MAP) regulations. A step the regulatory agency said it was a renewed move to end estimated billing and close the metering gap through accelerated meter roll out.

The regulations were made under Section 96 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA).

The objective of the MAP regulations according to NERC was to provide standard rules to encourage development of competitive metering services  in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), and fast-track meter roll-out and close the metering gap within the three years target.

The meter asset providers are expected to eliminate estimated billing practice, attract private investment into the provision of metering services, and close the metering gap through accelerated meter roll-out.

However, since the enactment of the 2018 Meter Asset Provider Regulations, the Distribution Companies (DisCos) have continued to struggle under the weight of supplying meters as quickly as they are demanded.

The present increment in the prices of prepaid meters may further hamper NERC’s plan to close metering gap through MPA.

Peace Obi

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