The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Plc management has stepped up to clear the air on reports of overbilling a sect of their customers. There had been widespread reports the introduction of prepaid meters, there have been widespread allegations by those yet to receive the meters, that Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) are skewing the estimated billing methodology to defraud customers yet to have meters.
The spokesman for AEDC Ahmed Shekarau while responding to questions from The Guardian on the allegations. He noted that although the AEDC is compelled to bill some of its customers through estimation because the majority of them had no meters at takeover in November 2013, the estimated billing is done through a methodology designed and approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
“Since the takeover, we have not billed them beyond 80 percent of the electricity supplied to us by the Market Operator. For instance, from January to December 2015, we received 3578Gwh of electricity but the energy billed within the same period is 2865Gwh, thereby showing a billing efficiency of 80 per cent.
“In 2016, AEDC received 3229Gwh of energy and only billed for 2511Gwh, thus showing a billing efficiency of 78 per cent. Also, from January to April this year, we received 1095Gwh and billed for 846.7Gwh, thereby showing 77 percent billing efficiency.”
“The methodology is based on broad assumptions that are applied on a cluster of customers, and although they may be accurate for most customers, there is the possibility of some margins of error which could result in under-billing or over billing.
You would recall that Senator Dino Maleye had complained about AEDC services, narrating his own ordeal with the distribution company.