The Ikeja Electric, yesterday flagged on the Meter Asset Providers, MAP, scheme targeting over 500,000 unmetered customers within its network.
Speaking at launch in Ikorodu, the managing director and chief executive officer, MD/CEO, of the company, Anthony Yaoudeowei said the Disco would establish a number of Dispute Resolution Center, DRCs, to handle anticipated bill disputes arising from estimated billing regime.
Youdeowei, who was represented by the acting chief commercial officer of the Disco, Ugochukwu Obi-Chukwu, affirmed the readiness of the company to meter all customers within its network.
He said any customer without meter would be disconnected as the regulation stipulates that every consumer must be metered.
He said the Ikeja Electric has engaged three Meter Asset Providers, MAPs to undertake the task of acquiring and installation of meters on its behalf.
Explaining how customers with backlog of bill would be treated, the CEO, said”Yes every customer is entitled to prepaid meter, but on the issue of backlog the Dispute Resolution Centers would consider all complaints and when all parties are satisfied with the outcome, a repayable plan would be agreed upon.
There is a four year grace period of repayment plan under the new regime, depending on the amount in the bill you may elect to be paying 1,000 a month until you offset the backlog.”
Speaking on the roll out plan, the managing director of New Hampshire Capital, the MAP, in charge of Ikorodu and Epe, Mr. Odion Omonfoman, said the company would in the next 18 months commence metering of customers within its jurisdiction.
Omonfoman, said the company has secured a ten year contract with Ikeja Electric for the exercise.
He said, the company is partnering with local meter manufacturers to achieve 30 per cent local content as demanded by the regulation.
Apart from indigenous meter manufacturers, the company is also working with other local suppliers to achieve 60 per cent local content within the contract period.
Oriental News Nigeria, recalls that in a renewed bid to ensuring that electricity customers only pay for what they actually consume, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved a regulation that provides for the supply, installation and maintenance of end-user meters by other parties approved by the Commission. The regulation is expected to fast track a closure of the metering gap and encourages the development of independent and competitive meter services in the electricity industry.
The Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation (Regulation No. NERC/R/112), which was formally flagged off on May 1, introduces meter asset providers as a new set of service providers in Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry.
As assets with a technically useful life of 10-15 years, the regulation provides for the third-party financing of meters, under a Permit issued by the Commission, and amortisation over a period of 10 years.
The electricity distribution companies, Discos in line with their licensing terms and conditions, are obliged to achieve their metering targets as set by the Commission under the new regulation. The contracting of Meter Asset Providers shall be through an open, transparent and competitive bid process thus ensuring that meters are provided at a least cost to electricity customers.
It is to be noted that there are no free meters even under the current tariff regime as all customers, including those on estimated billing, currently pay for a return on the investment made by electricity distribution companies on meters in their networks. Under the new MAP regulation, customer classes shall be amended to ensure that customers only pay for meters when a meter is physically installed in their premises.
The electricity bill of customers provided with a meter under the new regulatory framework shall comprise of two parts – energy charge and metering service charge.
The payment of metering service charge will be removed from the customer electricity bill upon the full amortisation of the meter asset over its useful life.
All faulty meters are expected to be repaired or replaced free of charge within two working days, except in instances where it is established that the customer is responsible for the damaged meter.
Also, in pursuit of promoting local content, the new MAP regulation mandates the investors to acquire a minimum of 30 per cent of their metering volume from indigenous meter manufacturers.
This local content threshold may be adjusted by the Commission from time to time in line with the verified manufacturing volume of local manufacturers.
According to Ikeja Electric, yesterday launch is part of the first phase which will further extend to Abule Egba and Shomolu Business Units next week.
Through the online process, customers are to abide by the rules and regulation guiding the metering process and they should not to pay cash to anyone or fall prey to unscrupulous element who may want to take advantage of the scheme to fleece customers.
They will be advised on the designated channels for payment.
Every customer is expected to go through the Know Your Customer (KYC) process and also agree on settlement of the outstanding debt. After this, account survey will then be carried out before payment for prepaid meter is made. The meters will be provided and installed within 10 working days of payment.
Consumers who dispute their unsettled post-paid would take advantage of the various repayment options available during the KYC process. Outstanding balance can also be rolled over into the customer’s prepaid account and paid in installments.
The stipulated cost of a single-phase meter is N38, 850 while a three-phase meter is N70, 350. These are all inclusive of VAT.
Source: Oriental News