By Oke Peter
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has stated that the electricity distribution companies (Discos) will have to follow service-based principles when it comes to tariff reviews.
The Commission was responding to media reports that there is an increase in tariffs for Nigerians.
NERC explained in a media statement that “under these service-based principles Discos will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with customers, commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day and quality of service. In all cases poor and vulnerable Nigerians will not experience any increase.”
The Commission also pointed that in line with these expectations, Discos are directed to engage with their customers on a service based tariff structure.
Under the service based tariff structure, Discos can only review tariffs for customers under the following conditions:
- Customers are consulted and communicated a guaranteed level of electricity service by the Discos based on hours of supply;
- Customers are metered;
- No estimated billing through the strict enforcement of the capping regulation.
This means that unmetered customers will not experience any cost increase beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area, NERC stated.
“Even under the above conditions, there will be no change in tariff for the most vulnerable as tariffs for those consuming 50kW or less remain frozen. Customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply will also not experience any change in tariffs,” the Commission added.
In addition, NERC noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that there should be a nationwide mass metering programme in an effort to put a stop to estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity.
According to the Commission, President Buhari has also approved a waiver of the import levy on meters, so that those that do not have meters can be supplied as early as possible at reasonable costs.