Customers Exempted from Estimated Electricity Bills...
....if no meter after 60days of payment.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has exempted electricity consumers who made payment for meters under the Cash Advance Payment for Metering Initiative (CAPMI) but were not metered two weeks in excess of the required 45 days from further payment of electricity bills. This was the highlight of the last Regulatory Meeting of the Commission where it frowned at the rising incidence of electricity distribution companies’ failure to abide by the guidelines for CAPMI scheme as many customers who subscribed to CAPMI scheme are not metered within 45 days.
CAPMI was initiated by the Commission following complaints by most distribution companies over lack of funds to execute their metering plans. A study by the Commission indicated about 50 per cent metering gap in the electricity market. Under the scheme, willing electricity customers are allowed to pay into a dedicated account opened by the electricity distribution companies for purchase and installation of meters 45 days after payment. Such customers should be refunded his money with interest over a period of time by discounting the fixed charged element of his monthly bills.
However, there has been increasing number of complaints from electricity customers over failure of electricity distribution companies to install meters within the stipulated 45 days. In a resolution after the regulatory meeting the Commission said, “Customers who have subscribed to the CAPMI Scheme should be metered within 45 days. Therefore, there shall be no case of estimated billing for such customers from two weeks after the expiry of the 45 day time frame (60 days after receipt of payment for meter.”
Present methodology for calculation of estimated billing, which relies on clustering of areas or neighbourhood with similar social economic status, was retained by the meeting while calling on electricity companies to suggest alternative methodologies for Commission’s consideration as some of them have been caught violating the methodology.
Abuja Electricity Distribution Company was recently sanctioned for such violation while some others are awaiting outcome of investigations against them over similar misdemeanor.