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DisCos Gives Reason Why Customers Pay For Meters

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) hinted that not all approved metering schemes, currently active in the country, offer meters at no immediate expense to customers.

ANED’s Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Barr. Sunny Oduntan gave this hint while making clarifications to the media on the different channels through which customers can obtain electricity meters.

According to him, “Under the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)’s “Meter Asset Provider and National Mass Metering Regulations,” Regulation No. NERC-R-11-2021, there are two metering programmes – National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) and the Meter Asset Provider (MAP). The NMMP is a policy intervention by the federal government, with funding from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This programme commenced in 2021 and the objective of the program is to expeditiously close the electricity metering gap. These meters are provided free of charge to customers and as loans to the electricity distribution companies (DisCos). The first phase of NMMP covered the delivery and installation of a million meters and concluded in October, 2021. In the second phase, four million more meters are expected to be installed.”

“The second route to obtaining a meter is under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme which was approved in 2018. This avenue is available to customers who are unwilling to wait for the availability of meters under the NMMP. Such customers can pay for a meter under the scheme. The amount paid by the customer will be amortised and refunded over a 36-month period via energy credits, ,” Oduntan explained.

“This twin approach is aimed at closing the metering gap in the next one or two years, so that estimated billing will be reduced to a minimum. However, of note is that under the second program, with the advantage of expedited delivery and installation, the customer has to first pay for the meter before being refunded. Ultimately, the meter is free to the customer, via the energy credits.

The implementation of Phase 0 (zero) of the NMMP has been concluded by all the DisCos, while waiting for the commencement of Phase 1. All the DisCos are finalizing the documentation and disbursement requirements of the funding for Phase 1, with an expected kick-off of the same soonest.

“It is important to clarify that the DisCos are operating within the regulatory guidelines established by their regulator, NERC, relative to meeting customer metering requirements,” he added.

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