Electricity consumers who are yet to be provided meters in line with the industry’s regulatory directive, have continued to mount pressure on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) over what they termed overbilling above the capped estimated billing template.
NERC published the Capping of Estimated Billing Order with effect from 20th of February 2020 to deter the 11 Distribution Companies (DISCOs) from the long tradition of what power consumers described as ‘crazy’ monthly electricity bills.
A DailyTrust reports says as the alleged violations of the NERC Order intensified with impunity across states, the National Coordinator, All Electricity Consumers Protection Forum (AECPF), Adeola Samuel-Ilori, in a statement claimed that many electricity consumers were disenchanted with the alleged excessive billings by DISCOs above the regulatory threshold.
He said all the DISCOs were served the Order including his AECPF group, one of the consumers advocacy group contacted by NERC for input during the Capping Order process, adding that “luckily enough, our suggestion on how it can be easily capped was adopted,” Adeola noted.
Complaining about some bills which the DisCos presented to their customers, he said a consumer in Abule Egba with expected 135 kwh as R2S was given N257 which is about N7,500 instead of N3,700 by their template kwh. “We received from Abuja DisCo a consumer from Mpape which ought to received bill of N1980 but was billed over N3000 contrary to what their released template stipulates. Same to a consumer in Mowe in Ogun with N14,234 as against the amount stipulated in the IBEDC template.
“We also have similar issue with Agboju FESTAC, Lagos consumer with same scenario under Eko DisCo,” Adeola said.
The group said it had alerted the Discos about the development and other relevant authorities, warning that its members may be compelled to take some actions, including protests across the DisCos if the exploitation is not stopped.
“As it’s obvious that the DisCos have no response to this their anomalies, we have resolved that the following actions to be taken immediately and in the nearest future after the prevailing COVID-19 lockdown incident. “We will organize shut down protests to their offices if by resumption after lock-down, the reversal to all the received bills are not done,” AECPF leader stated.
In a swift reaction, NERC has created a platform to which customers who have complaints on overbilling could channel such complaints. Information sourced by Daily Trust from NERC website on Monday, spelt out modalities with which aggrieved electricity consumer can report the DisCos for overbilling outside the Capped Estimated Billing template.
NERC stated that the platform was strictly for unmetered customers who are in R2 (Residential) or C1 (commercial) tariff category and who were billed above the NERC stipulated capped energy by their DisCos after Feb 2020, which is for the month of March 2020 and beyond.