An investigation from Daily trust shows that electricity consumers in the nation’s capital, Abuja, and its environs pay higher in bills under the estimated billing system compared with their counterparts using metres.
However, some customers were interviewed in the metered and unmetered categories around Abuja and its environs, with the majority of them kicking against the estimated billing system.
Some of the unmetered customers interviewed expressed their fear that their bills could increase as the national grid rose to 4,000 megawatts (MW) at the weekend.
Unmetered customers were usually handed a paper called the ‘estimated bill’ every month stating the amount they should pay.
This category of customers claimed that they used to pay more than what they had consumed, with some of them refusing to pay their bills.
A resident of Mararaba area of Nasarawa State, a border town with Abuja, Mr Sunday Bello acquired a single-phase meter about 50 days after he paid through the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Initiative (CAPMI) to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).
In his words, “Prior to getting the meter, I used to pay about N7,500 monthly on the estimated billing method. Now, with the meter, my electricity expenses dropped to N5,500 every month.”
Similarly, Mr Okechukwu Amos of Kubwa, Abuja, said that with his three-phase meter, more consumption points and longer electricity supply hours, he only spent about N5,000 monthly.
He said, “My neighbours who are waiting for AEDC to deploy meters are still battling with their bills of N10,000 to 14,000 per month.”
He added, “I paid through CAPMI and got it after 60 days but I was made to pay for the transport fare and some other expenses incurred by the installer.”
After procuring seven meters for his block of flats at Mararaba, recently,
Mr Falowo Olu said: “I enquired from AEDC and I was told to pay N25, 000 for the single-phase unit and N55,000 for the three-phase.
“I was told that the costs will be refunded to me in one to two years with 12 percent interest. I waited for two months before the meters were installed,” he said.