• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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80 vendors set to close electricity metering gap


The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is set to certify 80 firms as meter vendor installers which will work towards bridging the enormous metering gap in the country.

This part of the regulator’s interim measure, credit advance payment for meter installation (CAPMI), allows consumers to pay for the meters and get refunds for payments after its installation through monthly reductions on the fixed charge element of their electricity bills over time.

This announcement is particularly significant as, according to NERC, electricity distribution companies (DISCOS) will fail to bridge the metering gap by the 18-month deadline set by NERC last year due to struggles with “bloated personnel costs” brought about particularly by the 50 percent increase in salary of DISCO staff approved by the Federal Government.

“Finally, we’ve got an approval from the Bureau of Public Procurement(BPP),” says Sam Amadi, chairman of NERC, “This allows us now to certify about 80 firms to become vendor installers. So we are issuing out the order and part of it is that 45 days after payment is made everybody that has made payment is entitled to get meters installed.”

Amadi adds, “I think this temporal setback is because our MYTO model did not work as planned because there were unexpected payments, costs that DISCOs had to carry. So we are using CAPMI as interim measure and CAPMI has gone through the process and is now ready to be launched. Part of the order we are issuing is that those who have paid money since January 2011, the DISCOs are under obligation to supply the meters without CAPMI in 45 days. ”

He explained that after installation there is a process for rebating that money paid over a period of time, adding that the rebate will, however, be for those components of the meters that are not in the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) which largely includes “hardware and some accessories.”

Notably, customers will be charged an estimated N25, 000 for single phased meters and up to N50,000 for three phased meters, however, “smart meters come with other costs.”

Amadi said, “The principle here is no double penalty. If you pay for the tariff component then you should not pay for what you have already paid for. But if there are components that are not in the tariff then you should pay for them.”

The chairman, admitting that the metering gap still remains till now because “of