Power regulatory agency, NERC publishes ‘rights of every consumer’.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the body empowered to meet the yearnings of Nigerians for stable, adequate and safe electricity supply, has taken the bull by the horn by releasing to the public, the rights of every electricity consumer.

Read the rights below:

1. All new electricity connections must be done strictly on the basis of metering before connection. That is, no new customer should be connected without  meter first being installed.

2. A customer who elects to procure meter under the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) Scheme must be metered within 60 days, after which the customer will neither be billed nor disconnected by the electricity distribution company.

3. It is the customer’s right to transparent electricity billing. Unmetered customers should be issued with electricity bills strictly based on NERC’s estimated billing methodology.

4. It is the customer’s right to be notified in writing ahead of disconnection of electricity service by the electricity distribution company serving the customer in line with NERC’s guidleines.

5. It is the customer’s right to prompt investigation of complaints arising from the customer’s electricity service disruption

6. It is not the responsibility of electricity customer or community to buy, replace or repair electricity transformers, poles and related equipment used in supply of electricity.

7. It is the customer’s right to contest any electricity bill. Any unmetered customer who is disputing his or her estimated bill has the right not to pay the disputed bill, but pay only the last undisputed bill as the contested bill go through the dispute resolution process of NERC.

8. All complaints on your electricity supply and other billing issues are to be sent to your nearest business unit of the electricity company serving your premises. If your complaint is not satisfactorily addressed, you can forward your complaint to the NERC Forum Office within the coverage area of your electricity distribution company. Customers also have the right to appeal the decision of the forum at the NERC headquarters in Abuja.

Log into: www.nercng.org for more details or contact:

NERC ZONAL OFFICE CONTACTS:
08164201445 Joseph John southwest; 08130363581 Tony Ray Ene South South; 08062219714 Ekeh Samuel Chukwuemeka Southeast;
07061117416 Hassan GWANDU   north west;
07061097132 Mohammed Umar fufore North East;
07036948408 Friday Sule North Central.

Please share this information and help us protect your rights. However,note that you have an obligation to pay your valid electric bills,avoid meter by-pass or stealing of electricity and protect power infrastructure from being vandalized.

Together,by doing our part, we can get the power sector we all desired.

Dr.Anthony Akah,mni
Ag. CEO/Chairman,NERC

FG to sanction electricity companies that fail to provide meters to customers

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, says it will sanction DISCOs which failed to meter electricity customers in their networks before Feb. 28, 2017.

NERC in a statement on its website and obtained by News Agency Of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja on Wednesday said that sanctioning of the defaulting DISCOs would begin on March 1.

It stated that the envisaged sanction was sequel to the initial directives by NERC and the moratorium period given to DISCOs to meter consumers.

The company said this was in line with its mandate of protecting the rights of customers. It said it had in June 2016 after consultation with the operators, directed DISCOs to conclude metering of all customers before Nov. 30, 2016.

According to NERC, the commission at the expiration of that notice granted three months moratorium which will expire February 28, 2017 to enable the DISCOs effectively execute the metering deployment plan for customers.

It stated that any electricity customer yet to be metered as at February 28, 2017 should report to the commission through any of its Forum Offices in all the states of the federation.

NERC urged customers that had advanced money to the DISCOs through the now wound down Credited Advance Payment for Metering Initiatives, CAPMI, to make use of the complaint redress mechanism.

“The Commission is by this notice advising electricity customers not to take laws into their hands by attacking staff of electricity distribution companies.

“They may wish to be guided not to resort to legal proceedings as the first option in seeking redress, but to explore the commission’s redress mechanism to save litigation cost and time.”

14 deaths, 5 injuries; NERC decries incessant electrical accidents at EEDC.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has decried the worrisome electricity accidents resulting in 14 deaths and five injuries in 2016 alone in the Enugu Electricity Distribution Network.

The Acting Chairman of NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah, expressed the worry in a statement by Dr. Usman Arabi, the Head Public Affairs Department of NERC, in Abuja on Monday.

Akah frowned at EEDC’s violation of NERC’s standards on performance.

He expressed dismay over alleged disregard of the commission’s directives on mass disconnection of communities and high incidences of high estimated billing resulting from inadequate electricity metering of its customers.

He said among the various violation of EEDC was its failure to submit inventory data for 2016 to the commission; hence it was slammed a fine of N13 million.

Akah said it was on record that from January to September, EEDC recorded over 2,466 unresolved electricity complaints from customers who were dissatisfied with services rendered.

He said NERC would open its 17th forum office to ensure speedy resolution of complaints by electricity customers within EEDC’s network.

He said the members of the forum were appointed among representatives of all classes of customers, including industrial, commercial and residential.

Akah said the forum was devoid of class, adding that electricity customers across the country must desist from taking electricity complaints to court.

He urged customers with electricity issues to approach the forum when dissatisfied.

According to him, growth and development of the electricity sector remains a joint responsibility of both operators and electricity customers.

Benin DISCO tops metering roll out rating by NERC.

Benin Electricity Distribution Plc. (BEDC) has emerged tops in metering progress performance rating report amongst Distribution Companies (Discos) carried out by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in its second quarter 2016 state of affairs of the electricity supply industry.

The report, which came on the heels of additional 100,000 metering plan for the remainder 2016 announced at the recent power sector stakeholders it hosted in Benin, according to a statement, showed BEDC scoring 65.30 per cent to emerge overall lead performer in metering progress aspect of the report which indicates the percentage of customers metered.

BEDC had demonstrated its consciousness of the metering gaps existing across its various customer classes and had commenced the process to cover the metering gap for existing customers in its area of operations.

The company said in a statement that it has been proactive in installation of meters having installed over 120,500 meters since takeover.

The statement noted that BEDC has taken advantage of both the Industry CAPMI Scheme and own funded meters. More than 90,000 out of these have been installed in 2016 alone.

In its metering rollout plan for the rest of the year, BEDC plans to achieve 100 per cent metering of all Industrial and Maximum demand customers by the end of November 2016; installation of another 100,000 meters for domestic and commercial customers for the remainder of the year; extension of the existing Automated Meter Reading (AMR) capability to 3,000 maximum demand meters, and metering of at least 1,000 distribution transformers in order to adequately account for energy billing to customers.

To achieve the targets set, the company said it has in addition to the existing stock of 32,000 meters; placed order for another 45,000 units for distribution, while it has also recently re-engineered its metering process with a view to eliminating all administrative bottlenecks to reduce processing and installation time.

NERC Urges Electricity Distribution Companies To Provide Consumers With Prepaid Meters

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has called on electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to “meter’’ consumers, who have paid for various types of meters since November 2013.

The Acting Chairman of NERC, Dr Anthony Akah, made the call in Abuja on Tuesday at a meeting with representatives of distribution companies.

Cue in audio

“Before we conclude our investigation we want to use this opportunity to ask any distribution company that has collected money from any consumer since November 2013 for meter and has not metered him that it is a criminal offence.

“You can’t hold the consumers’ money.

“Between this time and the time we are verifying, find a way to go and meter these consumers, because the kind of complaints we get on our table every day is as huge as this.’’

Cue out audio

According to Akah, it is the responsibility of the distribution companies to provide meters to consumers in line with the tariff model all over the world,.

He said Nigerian electricity consumers were desirous of constant electricity supply in the country.

“Nigerian consumers certainly need 24 hours light that is the most important thing they want to hear.’’

He said the commission’s engagement with the consumers showed that they were dissatisfied with estimated billing rates, noting that they desired an end to unfair estimation.

He said the greatest challenge facing the commission as a regulator was metering, noting that efforts were on to mitigate the challenge.

“We must protect the consumers; there is no going back on our resolve to step up our monitoring mechanism to stop unfair billing of Nigerian consumers. It is grossly unfair.’’

He said that NERC had written to the distribution companies requesting for clear information on the consumers metered over the years.

Credit: NAN

Power Drops Below 2,800mw– NERC

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that power supply through the national grid which peaked to 5000mw in past two weeks had dropped below 2,800mw due to vandalism. Dr. Anthony Akah, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the commission disclosed this while signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Consumer Protection Council (CPC). A statement issued on the ceremony by Dr. Usman Abba- Arabi, Head, Public Affairs Department of NERC was made available to newsmenon Wednesday in Abuja. In the statement, Akah expressed dissatisfaction and worries over the spate of vandalism in the power sector. It stated that the NERC boss enjoined the public and the CPC to collaborate with Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and security agencies to safeguard electrical installations. The statement also said that the NERC would soon compel the DISCOs to publish their meter deployment schedules. It added that the publication would ensure adherence to the meter roll out plan contained in the performance agreement signed with government by the utility firms. “Such publication will make unmetered customers to be aware of the estimated period they have to wait before they can be metered,’’ it stated It stated that NERC had issued warning to the DISCOs against wrongful estimated billings and the acts of compelling customers to buy, install and repair transformers and poles. The statement said the MoU between, NERC and CPC was part of concerted efforts to reduce the incidence of estimated billing completely. According to the statement, the Director General of CPC, Mrs. Modupe Atoki, commended NERC for the long standing relationship between the two agencies. Atoki, according to the statement, expressed CPC’s cooperation and renewed effort to protect electricity consumers from abuse of their rights.

Credit: Vanguard

Electricity Tariff: Court Dismisses Contempt Suit Against NERC

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, dismissed a contempt suit against the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) over alleged disobedience of its order.

 

A Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Mr Toluwani Adebiyi, had filed the suit, challenging the hike in electricity tariff.

 

He had sought an order of court, committing NERC’s Chairman and the Chief Executive Officers of the Distribution Companies (Discos) to prison for allegedly flouting a subsisting order of the court.

 

Justice Mohammed Idris had on May 28, 2015, directed NERC to suspend all actions relating to any increment in electricity tariff pending the determination of a suit filed by Adebiyi.

 

Adebiyi had argued that despite the subsisting order, NERC in conjunction with the Electricity Distribution Companies commenced the implementation of the new electricity tariff on Feb.1, 2016.

 

He said the implementation of the new tariff by the defendants indicated that the substantive suit meant nothing to them.

 

Delivering his ruling on Monday, Justice Idris held that the procedure for committing a party for contempt outside the face of the court must be strictly adhered.

 

“Before a party can be committed for contempt it must be shown that he is aware of the order or judgment because a person cannot be said to be in contempt of an order he is not aware of. The best way to notify the alleged contemnor of the pending order or judgment is to serve him with the order personally.

“In the light of the law, it is clear in this case that the purported service of form 49 without service of form 48 is premature.

“In the circumstances, I hold that the defendant’s objection have merit. The form 49 and the motion for order for committal are hereby set aside,’’ he said

 

Idris held that he set aside the contempt proceeding due to procedural irregularities.

 

“However, let me warn that where the disciplinary jurisdiction of this court is properly invoked, anyone found to have neglected the order of court will be dealt with.

“Those who intend to take the judicial system for a ride should think twice and those who have done so should retrace their steps.

“To be fore warned, is to be fore armed; this is the ruling of the court,’’ he said.
Idris then adjourned the case to March 15 for hearing.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Adebiyi, in the substantive suit, is seeking an order restraining NERC from implementing any upward review of electricity tariff without a significant improvement in power supply.

 

He also wants an order restraining NERC from foisting compulsory service charge on pre-paid meters, until the meters are designed to read charges per second of consumption.

 

(NAN)

New Electricity Tariff Out This Week- NERC

Nigerians will this week know the new tariff for electricity, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said at the weekend.

The regulatory agency said at a workshop in Abuja that it had considered the submissions of the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in Nigeria’s electricity market, and would after a final regulatory meeting in the week, announce the new rates.

The Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, said the regulator had held meetings with the Discos to finalise their respective tariff proposals. He said that the commission had also got feedbacks from both government and the Discos and would now conclude the process.

“We have gone to the Discos, gotten feedback; gone to government and gotten feedback. We have not finalised. In our view, we have basically done the crunching of numbers,” he said, adding: “It is not about tariff increase, it is also not about their financial outlay. We have done the technical work, remaining the regulatory work. By next week, we should sign off on the new tariff.”

Amadi’s disclosure follows that of Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who last week announced that NERC and the 11 Discos had been directed to meet and come up with what he described as a fair market tariff.

Credit: ThisDay

NERC Denies 2.7bn Naira Severance Package

The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has dismissed claims that it set aside 2.7 billion Naira as severance pay for its commissioners.

The NERC Chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, refuted the claims on Tuesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Power investigating the alleged plan by the commission to make the payment.

Declaring the public investigation open, the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, said there was an urgent need to address a lot of issues in the power sector.

The Chairman of the committee, Honourable Daniel Asuquo, listed some of the objectives of the hearing.

The committee is also probing the power sector to understand the challenges faced by major players in the sector and how the parliament can help address them.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, also made a brief appearance before the committee.

Credit:ChannelsTV

NERC Has Potential to End Plight of Electricity Consumers- Senate

The Senate commended the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for its prompt decision to address the extortion of Nigerians by electricity distribution companies (Discos).

The Senate in a statement by  the chairman of its ad-hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye, said NERC’s directive to Discos to restructure fixed charges, discontinue estimated billing and bulk metering of consumers, had shown that the commission had the potential to save electricity consumers from the excesses of service providers.

While describing the steps taken so far by NERC as pro-people, Melaye added that the commission had shown that it is a responsible regulatory body.

The Senate had on August 11, asked NERC to immediately ensure that Discos discontinue  the fixed monthly charges on electricity consumption following a motion by Senators Sam Egwu (Ebonyi North) and David Umaru (Niger East) entitled: “Unfair trade practices of electricity distribution companies in Nigeria.”

Read More: thisdaylive

NERC Replies Senate’s Query On Fixed Charge And Estimated Billing

In the spirit of transparency and accountability in the monitoring of the electricity market, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has responded to the query issued it by the Senate on Fixed Charge, Estimated Billing and Sundry issues.

In an address to newsmen; at the headquarter of the Commission,  Chairman/Chief Executive of NERC, Dr Sam Amadi informed that the Commission received seven queries from Senate, which the Commission has respectfully responded to.

The queries touched on the customer complaints by electricity consumers, the fixed charge, bulk metering of customers and estimated billing.

The Senate query also centred on payment for electricity meters, regulations and investments in electricity networks in Nigeria.

Amadi who expressed believe in the importance of the oversight function of the National Assembly, pointed out that the Commission has maintained its place as the first public agency in Nigeria to openly pledge to the Freedom of Information Law.
‘’ This is why we continue to avail the National Assembly of all necessary co-operation in its oversight functions’’.

On  customer complaints, the Commission helmsman affirms NERC’s understanding of the place of customers in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry as the Commission performs its function of encouraging distribution  companies on consumer protection adding that  ‘’The Regulation on Customer Complaints Handling Standards and Procedures covers that aspect’’ Amadi said.

He revealed that ‘’ this regulation stipulates that every distribution company should establish functional customers complaints units to receive and resolve all complaints from customers on electricity supply within their area of operation. A timeline of 15 days is specified for this’’.

He further revealed that the Commission monitors the complaints to distribution companies on a monthly basis.  This includes establishment of the NERC Forum Offices to make effective complaint management mechanism. Representations at the Forum comprise stakeholders from Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Consumer Protection Council, Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Civil Society Organisations.

On the query for the abolition of fixed charge, NERC’s Chairman stated ‘’ Fixed Charge is not tied to consumption as such NERC cannot wake up in the morning and say, we have abolished this. We will always go through process and even before the intervention, we have commenced the process’’.

According to him, Senate’s concern is not far-fetched. ‘’ Senate is just worried that people are paying for what they did not consume’’ while he maintained that the fixed charge that consumers pay is not an illegal.

‘’The purpose of the fixed charge is to recover the capital and fixed cost of the various operators in the industry. Section 32 of the EPSR  Act 2005 mandates the Commission to approve a tariff that allows investors recover their prudent cost with reasonable return on the assets on a regular basis and recover their investments through the fixed charge paid by the consumers’’ Amadi stated.

He disclosed that fixed charge is a universal practice, thus abolishing it may impact negatively on the market participants who have invested a lot and are continuously making investments in the industry.

The  Commission  has asked the distribution companies to find a way to restructure the fixed charge such that no one would be made to pay fixed charge for electricity not consumed. ‘’ This remodelling of the fixed charge will be part of the on-going tariff review process being conducted by the distribution companies’’ Amadi said.

As for bulk metering of customers the Commission agrees with the Senate on the need to eliminate the practice, preferring that electricity customers should be metered individually and declared that customers have the right to reject community bulk metering. ‘’ Communities who are placed on bulk billing should reject it and insist on individual metering’’ Amadi declared.

Dr Amadi also revealed that the Commission has carried out extensive customer sensitization at both local and state levels in conjunction with the distribution companies and the consumer protection council. This is even as the distribution companies have been mandated to carry out sensitization programs as part of their tariff review exercise.

He informed that electricity consumers are not expected to make any other payment for electricity supply outside the monthly tariff   as approved by the Commission. There are however, a few exceptions where a customer may make payment for capital items and get refunded, with reference to payment for meters and capital items.

While the Commission renders its quarterly report periodically to the National Assembly, the regulation for investments in electricity networks was approved by the Commission to aid market participants to carry out network expansion projects and get compensated through the tariff.

Dr. Usman Abba Arabi – Head, Public Affairs Department
email: uabbaarabi@nercng.org
            mfaloseyi@nercng.org

Why Electricity Fixed Charges Can’t Be Abolished, NERC To Senate

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, yesterday, defied the directive by the Senate to abolish the Fixed Charges, FC, introduced by the commission, noting that there is nothing illegal about the charges.

Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, who spoke against the background of the motion by members of the red chamber, maintained that the electricity fixed charges are legal and cannot be abolished.

It will be recalled that the Senate had, last Tuesday, directed the commission to abolish the monthly fixed charges being collected from electricity consumers by the Distribution Companies, DISCOs.

The resolution followed a motion entitled, “Unfair trade practices of Electricity Distribution Companies in Nigeria,” sponsored by Senator Sam Egwu, Ebonyi and Senator David Umaru of Niger East Senatorial District.

But Amadi maintained that any attempt to promptly abolish the fixed charges will have adverse effect on the electricity market.

This is even as the commission has urged communities that are placed on bulk billing to not only reject it, but also insist on individual meters.

The commission also revealed that it has abolished the connection of new customers without meters.

Read Morevanguardngr

Joda Committee Proposes Merger Of DPR, NERC

The Nigerian Government may be considering the establishment within the next 30 days of an inter-ministerial energy committee that would undertake the regulatory functions of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in the gas/electricity value chain, to ensure uninterrupted supply of natural gas from the oil companies to the power plants in the country.

Under the National Gas Master Plan, the DPR is mandated to implement a Gas Pricing Regulation framework of 2007, which provides the legal basis for gas supply to domestic market, particularly the power sector, to provide the energy required to power productive activities in the economy.

On the other hand, NERC has the responsibilities under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act to undertake the technical and economic regulation of the tariff, approval of capacity expansion and business plans in the electricity industry value chain.

To guarantee the energy necessary to drive productive activities in the economy, the Finance and Economy sub-committee of the Ahmed Joda-led Transition Committee set up by the ruling All Progressives Congress to assist the smooth take off of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, recommended that the creation of the committee that would merge and streamline decision making processes between the two agencies and increase regulatory certainty and investor confidence in the power sector.

Read More: premiumtimesng

”Lagos State Alone Uses 40% Of Power Generated Nationally” – VP Sambo

Speaking during the unveiling of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited Oke-Aro 330/132kV transmission substation in Lagos yesterday Friday May 15th, Vice President Namadi Sambo who was represented by the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company and Eko Electricity Distribution Company account for over 40% of power consumption in Nigeria.

He said this was understandable from the fact that Lagos, which used to be the country’s capital remained Nigeria’s commercial and industrial hub with a large concentration of industries in Lagos state and Ogun State. Oke-Aro is situated in a border line between Lagos and Ogun states.

 “Prior to the advent of Oke-Aro substation, there were only three 330/132/33kV substations in Lagos. One of these three is Ikeja West 330/132/33kV substation which was the major marshalling point for all power plants that flow their generation into Lagos, and this development had thrown the state into a state of great congestion with limited space for safe expansion of capacity for increased flows into Lagos and environs.

“All the 330kV power lines from the Benin and Oshogbo 330kV hubs of the national grid, which were also serving as evacuation lines for NIPP new power plants at Omotosho as well as Olorunsogo, terminated there. Even 330kV evacuation lines for older major power plants such as Egbin in Lagos also terminated at Ikeja West.”

Source: Punch