Following consumer’s complaint of being over-billed for electricity consumed, the chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi, has affirmed that some services that contributed to the increase in electricity tariff would not be included in the power tariff to be reviewed this year.
This was revealed at an organized symposium for estate developers and residents at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
NERC, which is the government body saddled with the regulation of electricity power industry in Nigeria, plan to remove the service charge and meter maintenance fee that has always been added to the electricity tariff.
The tariff to be removed is formerly backed by the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) 2005 Act but the NERC chairman stated that the reason for removing these service delivery components is to ensure transparency in electricity delivery service.
In stating the reason for initial inclusion of the charges, Amadi said that the tariffs were included because each time the consumers want meter, each Distribution Company will bring the bill, which will be approved by the commission to embark on investment. But when they make the investment, they embark on a tariff increase to recoup their investment, which is the norm all over the world.
However, in the new tariff, NERC will factor metering into the tariff because somebody has to pay for the investment made. When these investments are made, the consumer will issue a proposal to recover the money in 3-4 years. The commission will then work it out with the consumer in such a way that the consumer will pay N4 or more until the investment is recovered.
The symposium, which was organized to balance the competing interest between electricity producers and consumers addresses consumer’s complaint such as installation of the wrong kind of meter indiscriminate charges/billing, recurrent hike in electricity tariff and complains by tenants on how estate developers are charging them exorbitantly.
It also shed light on issue concerning electricity distribution arrangement, rights and obligation of consumer and service providers, standard and procedures of consumer complain handling, electricity tariff design, electricity metering as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency in estate development in the country.
NERC also promise to protect consumer’s right even in the case of conflict of interest whereby producers want to gain more in electricity supply and consumer wanting a reduced tariff. Monitoring that consumers are not given inflated bill as well as ensuring that that are given their money worth in service delivery will ensure its implementation.
With this initiative, it is believed that the power sector will move forward and there will be power generation that will meet the demands of consumers in the next few years.