NERC introduces new meter regulations to eliminate estimated billing
New regulations expected to eliminate estimated billing practices in the Nigerian power sector, have been introduced by Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The policy known as Meter Asset Provider Regulation (MAP) 2018, is also expected to attract investment into the provision of metering services in the power sector.
MAP means a person that is granted a permit by the Commission to provide metering services which may include meter financing, procurement, supply, installation, maintenance and replacement.
NERC, which released the new regulation on Monday, said that the provisions of these policy shall be enforced by the Commission from April 3rd 2018.
The Commission explained that the main objectives of the regulations were to provide standard rules to encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services in Nigerian Electricity Statistics Industry (NESI).
It added that would also eliminate estimated billing practices in NESI, attract private investment to the provision of metering services in NESI and close the metering gap through accelerated meter roll out in NESI.
NERC said that MAPs shall source a minimum of 30 per cent of their contracted metering volumes from local meter manufacturing companies in Nigeria. “Further changes to the minimum local content thresholds shall be as specified in the NERC Local Content Regulations”, it added.
Dwelling on its benefits to electricity consumers, NERC stated: “All customers are eligible for the installation of an appropriate meter to accurately determine energy consumption and to provide for energy accounting. In line with the provisions of the Metering Code, a customer’s meter shall be repaired or replaced by the MAP within two working days.
“A customer meter shall be repaired or replaced at no additional cost within the amortization period of the asset unless the damage was as a result of the willful action of the customer. Where there is a dispute on the responsibility for the damage of a meter asset, the customer has a right to fair resolution in line with the Metering Code and other applicable Regulations and the MAP shall provide a meter pending the resolution of the dispute.
“Where it is established that the customer willfully damaged a meter, the MAP shall replace the meter based on an upfront payment by the customer or other mutually agreed terms of payment.
“Where the MAP is unable to provide a replacement meter within a billing period, an average of the last three months billing/vending shall be applied for the purpose of determining customer’s energy consumption. Where a customer relocates within the franchise area, the customer shall apply to the Distribution Licensee for the transfer of services including applicable credits for energy”.
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