As part of the sanctions for non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)will deduct N10,505,286,072 from the annual allowed revenues of the 11 power distribution companies during the next tariff review.
The billing of unmetered customers in their various franchise areas for 2023 revealed non-compliance with the monthly energy caps issued by the commission, as disclosed in a notice obtained in Abuja by NERC.
According to the order, Discos must issue credit adjustments to all over-billed unmetered customers for the period January to September 2023 by the March 2024 billing cycle.
The notice states that Discos have been directed to publish the list of credit adjustment beneficiaries in two national dailies and on their website not later than March 31, 2024.
Electricity consumers across the country in Nigeria have been consistently filing complaints against power distribution companies due to excessive estimated bills.
Within three months, power consumers lodged a total of 333,947 complaints to their various distribution companies, specifically related to metering, billing, and service interruption, as reported on December 31, 2023.
In the 2023 third-quarter report of NERC, it was disclosed that the complaints were lodged in July, August, and September 2023, according to the report.
The report stated that the customer complaints in the third quarter were higher than what was recorded in the preceding quarter by 8,049 cases.
The NERC report stated that in 2023/Q3, the total number of complaints received across all Discos (distribution companies) was 333,947. Among these complaints, Ibadan Disco received the highest number with 59,901, accounting for 17.93% of the total complaints received. Abuja Disco received the least number of complaints (1,919), representing 0.57 per cent of the total complaints received”
On Friday, the commission reaffirmed its commitment to regulatory compliance and consumer protection within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, meanwhile.
Various sanctions can be imposed by the power sector regulator on power distribution companies for violating regulations or failing to meet performance standards.
To deter non-compliance and improve service delivery, these sanctions are imposed on defaulting power firms in Nigeria.
As fines vary in amount based on the severity of the offence, the regulator imposes financial penalties on power firms. Recently, Abuja Disco was fined and ordered to refund overbilled customers for violating billing regulations.
The regulator imposed fines on Benin and Port Harcourt Discos for their failure to comply with customer complaint rulings.