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Ekiti News reports that the Ekiti State Government, via the Ekiti State Electricity Regulatory Bureau, has mandated electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) operating within the state to commence the compulsory metering of all electricity consumers.

EKSERB further directed that electricity tariffs within Ekiti State must align with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) prescribed rates outlined in the Multi-Year Tariff Orders (MYTOs) periodically issued.

The Bureau issued two orders, labeled ‘Order No: EKSERB/2024/001’ and ‘EKSERB/2024/002’, in separate statements dated June 3, 2024, and June 7, 2024. These statements were signed by Engr. Dare David, Executive Secretary, and Engr. Adewale Adeniyi, Director of the State Electricity Management Services Department.

Praising NERC Order 040, which deregulated the pricing of meters installed under the Meter Assets Provider Scheme, the Bureau instructed DISCOs to phase out estimated billing and ensure that all new customers receive smart prepaid or postpaid meters.

EKSERB also directed DISCOs to henceforth accept certified smart meters which must be purchasable by customers directly from Meter Asset Providers duly registered with the Agency.

The statement explained that order 001 was issued to address recurring issue of arbitrary and outrageous electricity bills majorly caused by estimated billing method imposed on unmetered customers by the Discos.

It reads inter alia that “this type of electricity billing method has discourage many customers from paying for monthly electricity consumption, resulting in loss of revenue for the distribution companies (Discos) and loss of confidence on the part of electricity consumers.

“Licensed Meter Asset Providers may sell directly to eligible electricity customers in the state, and must provide and install these meters within ten (10) working days of payment to their (MAP) designated bank accounts. Failure to install these meters shall draw a fine not exceeding the cost of these meters multiplied by each day not installed after payment.

”Electricity distribution companies operating in the state are mandated to integrate these meters with their back-end systems within five (5) working after being informed of their installation by the Meter Asset Providers, and must work towards ensuring that these customers receive transparent billing every month. Failure to integrate these meters shall draw a fine not exceeding the cost of these meters multiplied by each day not integrated after being informed by the MAP.”

EKSERB however reserved the right to change the tariffs in tandem with NERC rates or set its own rates in consultation with relevant parties.

“The Distribution Company shall ensure that the minimum Band hours for any given band stipulated shall be delivered on a DAILY basis, and shall publish shortfalls on its website on a daily basis.

“In addition, each Distribution Company shall electronically provide to EKSERB a daily log of the power (in Kilowatts or Megawatts) and the number of Hours of availability on all the Feeders in its Distribution network.

“For postpaid customers, shortfalls on any given day shall result in energy costs being calculated at the appropriate Band rate while shortfalls on any given day for prepaid customers, shall result in credits being given to them in the following month by calculating the energy to be paid at the appropriate Band rate.

“Failure to publish such shortfalls, to revise energy costs, or to credit customers accordingly, shall attract a sanction of equal to five times the total credit due.”

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