Home News Refund overbilled unmetered customers -NERC to Discos
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Refund overbilled unmetered customers -NERC to Discos

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has declared that it would deduct N10.5 billion from the annual allowed revenues of 11 power distribution companies during the following tariff review as part of sanctions over their non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers.

The regulatory body also ordered the Discos to refund the affected customers fully, ensure compliance in the future, and prevent future occurrences, and it placed a 10 per cent fine on them.

NERC disclosed this in press release on Thursday, stressing that the billing of unmetered customers in their various franchise areas for 2023 indicated non-compliance with the monthly energy caps issued by the commission.

The commission said the Discos would pay about 10 per cent of the amount they overbilled their customers between January and September 2023. The separate orders to the Discos revealed that they overcharged their customers about N105bn in nine months.

NERC said, “The public may recall that in 2020, the commission issued the order on Capping of Estimated Bills (Order No: NERC/197/2020) and subsequently issued monthly energy caps which aimed to align the estimated bills for unmetered customers with the measured consumption of metered customers on the same supply feeder.

“A review of the electricity distribution companies’ billing of unmetered customers for 2023 has revealed non-compliance with the monthly energy caps issued by the commission.”

To protect unmetered customers from irrational billing by Discos, the commission issued an order in line with Section 34(1)(d) of the Electricity Act 2023 on Non-Compliance with Capping of Estimated Bills (Order No: NERC/2024/004-01 4) that:

“i. Credit adjustment to customers: Discos are to issue credit adjustments to all over-billed unmetered customers from January to September 2023 by the March 2024 billing cycle.

“ii. Public notice: Discos have been directed to publish the list of credit adjustment beneficiaries in two national dailies and on their website no later than March 31, 2024.

“iii, Regulatory sanctions: The commission shall deduct a sum of N10,505,286,072 from the annual allowed revenues of the 11 Discos during the next tariff review to deter future non-compliance with the energy caps approved by the commission,” it said.

The commission also reaffirmed its commitment to regulatory compliance and consumer protection within the Nigerian electricity supply industry.

 

 

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