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NERC deregulates meter prices for discos under MAP scheme

NERC renews generation licence for Afam VI power plant for another 10 years

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has deregulated meter prices under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Scheme for end-user customers, effective May 1, 2024.

NERC made this known in an Order released and signed by Sanusi Garba and Dafe Akpeneye, chairman and commissioner of legal, licensing & compliance respectively.

Dated Monday, April 29, 2024, the new order will introduce a competitive bidding process, allowing customers to choose from a variety of authorised vendors, marking a shift from the previously regulated pricing structure.

According to the Commission, this move is expected to foster transparency and reduce prices, as customers will have the freedom to select their preferred meter providers among those authorised under the scheme.

The deregulation lifts previous restrictions, allowing all MAP permit holders to provide services across all Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, provided they meet specific requirements.

This broader operational scope is anticipated to increase competition among MAPs, potentially leading to better services and innovations in metering solutions.

DisCos are required to integrate smart meters supplied by MAPs into their head-end systems and meter data management systems.

In addition, they are obligated to offer a publicly accessible online portal exhibiting the technical specifications and commercial terms for MAP participation. This guarantees a uniform method for meter installation and operation across all platforms.

A comprehensive testing and validation procedure for new meters has been delineated, with DisCos mandated to finalise these assessments within 20 working days from when a MAP fulfils all stipulated criteria. Any meters failing the validation test must be promptly reported to the MAP, including details regarding the failure points.

Also, the new deregulation introduces flexibility in the types of meters available under the MAP scheme.

DisCos can now offer basic electronic meters, IoT meters, DIN rail meters, and current limiters, depending on the customer’s energy consumption profile.

While deregulating meter prices, the NERC will oversee the submission of price offers from MAPs to ensure fair competition.

This includes a requirement for MAPs to hold a minimum stock of 2,000 units of meters as an eligibility criterion for participation in the bidding process.

According to the order, end-use customers now have the sole right to choose their preferred MAP and meter types, which align with their specific energy needs.

“In addition, stringent measures have been placed to ensure timely installation of meters, with penalties for MAPs that fail to meet installation deadlines.”