Nigeria: Govt Sets Bill Limit for DisCos

26 February 2020

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has barred the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) from charging residential customers above an average of N1,800 or 78 kilowatt hour monthly until those customers are metered.

NERC in an Order 197 signed by the Chairman, Prof. James Momoh to compel DisCos to meter customers. NERC said all unmetered residential and commercial customers shall not be invoiced for the consumption of energy if they are not metered by April 2020 when a new tariff will be implemented.

Currently for residential customers, NERC said DisCos cannot bill them above 78 kilowatt hour (kwh) of energy monthly which is averagely N1,800.

As consultations for the new tariff continue, the Association of Power Generating Companies (APGC) has faulted NERC for leaving out some macroeconomic changes and generation capacity in the tariff review.

GenCos said NERC was not fair to the GenCos. "DisCos remittance water fall for year 2020 of the minor review indicates that GenCos on average will receive 36% of their revenue requirement while DisCos will receive 100% if they fulfil their obligations."

Also discussing with customers on Tuesday, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) said it will improve networks to provide better services to customers with N43 billion investments.

The Managing Director of AEDC, Engr. Ernest Mupwaya said the 92 projects targeted will add 892MW energy to its network.

The DisCos on their part have claimed that the federal government has never given subsidy to power sector operators as recently stated by the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman.

A statement from the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) on Tuesday said, "To date, the DisCos have not received any subsidy from the federal government. References to the N1.7 trillion in subsidies paid by the government are associated with payments that have been made to the generating and gas supply companies."

ANED said despite constraints, DisCos have improved their collection efficiency, from 2017 (57.89%) to a high of 74.5% by December 2019.

It added that while DisCos owe the electricity market only N81bn, the federal government due to tariff shortfall owe the DisCos and the entire market N1.73 trillion.

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