Following a recent disclosure by the NERC that the metering gap in the country’s power sector has continued to enlarge, Chineme Okafor examines the approach to closing the gap. NERC has said six in every 10 users of grid generated electricity supplied by 11 Discos in Nigeria, have not been metered so far, thus indicating that five years into power privatisation, the practice of estimated billings by the Discos has remained prevalent.
In effect, the NERC report, was prepared after the Discos had undertaken a comprehensive review of their metering statuses, showed that even though comprehensive metering was part of the performance agreements, the Discos signed with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) during the privatisation exercise, they hardly followed the plan, hence the widening gap.
To arrest this, the NERC indicated it would introduce a regulation to cap estimated bills given every other months to consumers by the Discos across board. This it suggested, could push the Discos to begin comprehensive metering of customers within their networks. It equally noted that in the regulation, which it has asked for stakeholders’ input, consumers, who reject meters installed or do not want meters to be installed at their premises by Discos would be cut off from electricity supplies.