Power firms vow to reduce estimated billing


Power operators in the country have expressed their commitment to reduce estimated billing as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission concludes work on new metering regulations to ensure consumers are metered.

Following the privatisation of the power sector in November 2013, the demand for prepaid meters has continued to grow with many consumers groaning over estimated billing.

The operators, including electricity distribution and generation companies, also said manufacturers should inform the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing of the locations where they need power so that the unutilised 2,000 megawatts could be delivered to them.

The operators stated this in a communiqué issued at the end of the 23rd monthly meeting of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, with the operators of the sector, held in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

The meeting noted that the 2,000 MW available from the power distribution firms and the Transmission Company of Nigeria still needed to be distributed, adding that work was ongoing to improve distribution infrastructure, thereby taking power to Nigerians.

The meeting also noted improvements in functional generation capacity and transmission capacity to over 7,000MW and proven distribution capacity to over 5,000MW in distribution infrastructure.

“This impact has been noticed with the ministry receiving positive feedback from consumers. Consumers, particularly those with prepaid meters, had also noted improvements in energy availability to the point that energy conservation has become necessary,” the communique added.

The operators said teamwork was necessary to sustain progress and achieve milestones both on and off grid, and commended NERC’s regulatory diligence by releasing the mini-grid regulation.

They also noted the successful mini-grid conference hosted by the Rural Electrification Agency, which, according to the communiqué, had over 600 participants from 40 countries, raising interest in Nigeria as an investment destination for power operators.

Commenting on the resolution of a setback occasioned by a damaged gas pipeline, which caused the shutdown of gas supply to six power plants, the meeting described gas as the fuel used by most plants for generating power.

“Gas pipelines are, therefore, vital national assets, and all Nigerians are encouraged to have a personal interest in ensuring the security and functionality of these pipelines,” the communique added.

The operators restated their commitment to better customer service and timely communication on any service disruption by all operators in the industry with the public.

According to the communiqué, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader commended the performance of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company and Eko Electricity Distribution Company for timely remittance of revenue to the market for electricity generated.

Source: Punch

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