The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has said the electricity distribution companies (Discos) may replace faulty and obsolete meters for their customers under the National Mass Metering Programme.
The commission’s directive was contained in its Order No. NERC/246/2021 and signed by its Chairman , Mr Sanusi Garba and Commissioner for Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Mr Dafe Akpeneye. NERC said the new Order took effect from March 4.
It said: “DisCos may replace faulty/obsolete meters under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) but must be done in strict compliance with the Metering Code and other regulatory instruments of NERC‘’.
According to NERC, the commission started receiving complaints from metered end-use customers in the fourth quarter of 2020.
It said the period was when all stakeholders were preparing for the implementation of the National Mass Metering Programme.
NERC said the complaint by customers was that they had been served meter replacement notices by Discos.
The commission said it had reviewed the customer complaints, adding that Discos were responsible for the installation and replacement of meters for end use customers, and ordered them to grant priority to the metering of unmetered customers under the NMMP.
“The Commission shall be copied on all replacement notices issued to end-use customers for the purpose of conducting random reviews of the replacement exercise. New meters must be installed upon the removal of the faulty/obsolete meter.
“And under no circumstances shall the customer be placed on estimated billing on account of the Disco’s failure to install a replacement meter after the removal of the faulty/obsolete meter,’’ NERC said.
It said the customer and Discos representative should jointly note the units on the meter being replaced and the customer must be credited with the units within 48 hours after installation of the meter.
NERC said customers should only be billed for loss of revenue where the Discos established meter tampering, by-pass or unauthorised access as contained in NERC Order/REG/ 41/2017 on Unauthorised Access, Meter Tampering and Bypass.
The commission said activation tokens should be issued to customers immediately after replacement of the faulty/obsolete meter.
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