NERC clarified the conditions for the purchase of transformers, meters, etc. by electricity consumers

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NERC explains condition for purchase of transformers, meters, others by electricity consumers


The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has clarified the conditions under which electricity consumers can purchase transformers, meters, poles or any assets for Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

The electricity sector regulator said the consumer must sign an agreement with the DisCos stating when and how the consumer will be reimbursed the cost of the transformer or the purchased asset.

This was announced in Abuja by NERC’s Commissioner, Consumer Affairs, Aisha Mahmud, at the 3-day NERC/Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Customer Complaint Resolution Meeting, where she insisted that it is not the responsibility of electricity consumers to buy transformers. or any other properties for Discos.

Mahmud said the agreement should contain dispute resolution and all other things expected of a standard agreement.

NERC makes provision under ‘Investment Regulation’

Mahmud said“It is not the responsibility of the consumers to buy meters, poles or any asset for the DisCos because we already have a tariff for the utilities.

“But in any circumstances where you need to buy this item and you cannot wait for the DisCos to make that investment, we have made provision for that under our “Investment Regulation.”

He said that the commission created a regulation called investment in the network and based on that, if a customer needs to buy a transformer, it must be done through an agreement.

DisCos claim consumer investment as donations due to lack of agreement

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The NERC Commissioner said, “The agreement should contain dispute resolution and all other things expected of a standard agreement.

“What we expect from the DisCo is to use their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to buy the assets or rather use shareholders’ investment or borrow from banks to buy the assets.

“If they can’t buy the properties, customers can come in and they have to be refunded.

“So what consumers don’t know is that there is regulation and they continue to make all kinds of investments that the DisCos say is a donation to them because there is no agreement.”

NERC to enlighten consumers on their rights, obligations

The commissioner said that part of NERC’s responsibility is to educate customers on their rights and obligations and everything they should know about the electricity market.

He said the commission realized that most consumers in Nigeria do not know about the existence of the regulator, ”They don’t know their rights, they have many rights that they don’t know about.

“It is our duty to tell them that it is their right to get a meter because the Discos are not doing you any favors by giving you a meter.”

Mahmud said that NERC’s mandate is also to educate consumers on their responsibilities such as the issue of meters, bypass or tempering of meters.

He said, “They should know that the Discos are only collection agents and the revenue they collect is not all theirs because they have to pay the gas suppliers.

“Pay the Transmission Company (TCN) and the generation companies to let customers know that the moment they touch the utilities they are also sub charging themselves.’

For the records

  • The electricity sector regulator, NERC, has always maintained its earlier policy statements that electricity consumers should not directly pay for the meters issued to them under the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP).
  • While it stated that this is the responsibility of DisCos, NERC, however, noted that consumers can choose to get a meter from the Meter Asset Program (MAP).
  • NERC pointed out that the regulatory framework approved by the commission under the MAP/NMMP Regulation provides a refund of the cost of the meter through energy credits to the customer during the supply of electricity.

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