Under no circumstances should a customer be placed on estimated billing on account of the failure of a power distribution company to install a replacement meter, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said. According to NERC, Discos must desist from such acts henceforth, as a lot of customers had raised complaints about this. This directive was contained in a document by the commission on Structured Replacement of Faulty/Obsolete End-Use Customer Meters, with Order No. NERC/246/2021.
In the document, which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday, NERC said it started receiving complaints from metered end-use customers in the fourth quarter of 2020 that they had been served meter replacement notices by Discos.
It said the customers complained that the meters were not inspected by the Discos prior to the issuance of the meter replacement notices. The commission stated that power users also complained that the meter replacement notices did not specify the fault which required the meter to be replaced.
Other complaints, according to NERC, include ‘the removal of meters and being placed on estimated billing as new meters were not installed on their (customers) premises’. It further stated that customers complained of not being able to vend on the new meters as activation tokens were not issued, as well as a failure or refusal to transfer units from the old meter to the new meter, among other concerns.
To address these complaints, the commission ruled that Discos should grant priority to the metering of unmetered customers under the National Mass Metering Programme.