Do you know your right as an electricity consumer?
The Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (the Commission) has provided some Regulations targeted at safeguarding the rights of electricity consumers. In this series, we will be examining these Regulations and the rights they provided. This week, we are considering the Connection and Disconnection Procedures for Electricity Services, 2007. According to this regulation, the following are the rights of a consumer:
- Right to supply of electricity: According to Regulation 1 of this Procedure, whenever a Customer is desirous of the supply of electricity to an existing supply address, he/she is expected to Submit an application in his or its name to the Distribution company (DisCo) in a format required by the DisCo and approved by the Commission.
Once this application is submitted and the connection charge is paid, the DisCo is to provide the Customer, in writing, with its terms and conditions of supply, approved by the Commission and connect the Customer’s supply address as soon as practicable, but not later than 48 hours after the Customer applies for connection.
- Right not to be disconnected except where the Customer has not paid the amount correctly billed for that supply address by the relevant payment date. Provided that payment date is clearly shown on the bill and it is at least 10 working days from the date of delivery of the bill to the supply address provided by the Customer.
The DisCo must verify from its records that the payment has not been made and the period between the payment date and the date of disconnection is not less than 3 months.
- Right to be notified (written warning) ahead of disconnection of electricity service by the DisCo except for where the customer’s connection is illegal, or it is dangerous to health and the integrity of the network.
- Right to request for disconnection: As a Customer, you can request that your DisCo disconnect electricity supply to your premises. However, the DisCo is expected to conduct investigations and confirm that the consent of the other occupants (if any) of the premises has been obtained before carrying out the request.
Once this is carried out, the DisCo cannot bill you for any period after the disconnection.
- As a customer, whenever a DisCo disconnects supply to your premises, it shall leave a written notice of disconnection advising you of the following:
- The date and time of disconnection;
- The reason for disconnection;
- The actions to be taken by you to have the electricity supply reconnected; and
- The contact address and telephone number of the DisCo
- Any DisCo which disconnects electricity supply to a Customer’s premises in violation of this Regulation commits an offence and is liable on conviction to pay the Customer a penalty as stipulated in the Regulation for each, or part of a day that the supply is wrongfully disconnected.
So, this is the end for this week. See you next week and keep staying safe.
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