NERC Approves N21bn For Purchase Of Electricity Meters At No Cost

Prepaid Meter
Prepaid MeterGoogle Photos

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved N21 billion on Friday for the acquisition of electricity metres for Band 'A' customers, stressing that the purchase and installation will be free of charge to end users.

In an order signed by the commission's Chairman, Sanusi Garba, and the Commissioner in Charge of Legal, Licencing, and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, NERC claimed that the sum was the first tranche of the Presidential Metering Initiative (PMI) under the Metre Acquisition Fund(MAF).

NERC claimed that, while other laws gave several options for customer metering, the interventions did not result in the closure of the national metering gap, which today stands at more than 7 million customers.

It highlighted the inability of distribution companies (Discos) to raise funding in the form of debt or extra equity as the primary impediment to the acquisition and deployment of end-use meters and other capital investments.

The MAF programme, it said, was created and authorised by the commission principally to solve the issue of Disco creditworthiness, which is impeding meter deployment, by providing a legitimate income stream from market funds.

Furthermore, NERC noted that the presidential metering effort aims to close the country's metering deficit within three years by employing smart metering technology for data analytics.

NERC pointed out that there was an imperative to accelerate a closure of the metering gap for all customers currently classified under tariff Band ‘A’ for the purpose of revenue protection and facilitating demand side management for the affected customers.

NERC stated that N21 billion of the accumulated available N21.86 billion under the MAF scheme as of the April 2024 market settlement cycle has been made available for the procurement of metering devices.

The sum to be allotted pro rata to the Discos' contribution as tranche 'A' of the MAF plan revealed that Ikeja Disco will receive the lion's share of N4.35 billion, followed by Abuja Disco with N2.99 billion.

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