• Sunday, February 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

NERC fines DisCos N10bn over non-compliance for unmetered customer billing

NERC fines DisCos N10bn over non-compliance for unmetered customer billing

The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has sanctioned the 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) in the country with a N10.5 billion fine over non-compliance with capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers.

According to NERC in a statement dated February 8, 2024, the deduction would be made from the annual allowed revenues of then11 DisCos during the next tariff review, to deter future non-compliance with the energy caps approved by the Commission.

NERC also ordered the DisCos to issue credit adjustments to all over-billed unmetered customers for the period January to September 2023 by the March 2024 billing cycle.

“DisCos have been directed to publish the list of credit adjustment beneficiaries in two national dailies and on their website no later than March 31, 2024.”

As of the recent data by the Commission, unmetered customers in Nigeria are 6.68 million out of the 12 million people that registered to get into the system in the third quarter of 2023.

However, according to NERC, a review of the DisCos billing unmetered customers for 2023 has revealed non-compliance with the energy caps issued by the Commission.

In a bid to safeguard unmetered customers from arbitrary billing by DisCos, the Commission, pursuant to Section 34(1)(d) of the Electricity Act 2023(“EA 2023”), issued the Order Non-Compliance with Capping of Estimated Bills with Order No: NERC/2024/004-014.

“The public may recall that in 2020, the Commission issued the Order on Capping of Estimated Bills (Order No: NERC/197/2020) and subsequently issued monthly energy caps which aimed align the estimated bills for unmetered customers with the measured consumption of metered customers on the same supply feeder.

“The Commission reaffirms its commitment to regulatory compliance and consumer protection within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry,” the statement read.