NERC fines 11 DisCos N10.5 billion over overbilling of unmetered customers
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has issued a fine of N10.5 billion to be paid by all eleven Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) for their non-compliance with the mandated capping of estimated billing for unmetered customers across the country.
This was contained in a statement signed by the management of the commission and dated February 8.
According to the statement, the Discos have defied the mandated credit cap for unmetered customers, opting instead to levy arbitrary charges on them.
NERC noted that this action is in violation of Section 34(1)(d) of the Electricity Act of 2023.
The statement reads in part,
“In response to this and the bid to safeguard customers from arbitrary billing by DisCos, the Commission, pursuant to Section 34 (1)(d) of the Electricity Act 2023 (EA 2023) has issued the Order on Non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills which stipulates the following:
Credit Adjustment to Customers: Discos are to issue credit adjustments to all overbilled for the period of January to September 2023 by the March 2024 billing cycle.
Public Notice: DisCos have been directed to publish the list of credit adjustment beneficiaries in two national dailies and on their website no later than 31st of March 2024.
Regulatory Sanctions: the commission shall deduct a sum of N10, 505, 286,072 from the annual allowed revenues of the eleven (11) DisCos during the next tariff review, to determine future non-compliance with the energy caps approved by the Commission.
“The commission reaffirms it’s commitment to regulatory compliance and consumer protection with the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.”
In February 2020, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, ordered a capping system on estimated billing for the u energy companies in Nigeria to charge unmetered customers in the country.
According to NERC, the caps are determined based on the consumption of neighbouring customers and DisCos are penalized for flouting them. The introduction of energy caps by the NERC aims to provide a fairer billing system for customers who have not yet been metered.
Meanwhile, according to NERC, the regulations have been not yet been followed by the Discos, enabling them to charge energy users arbitrarily.
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