Your Rights As a Nigerian Electricity Consumer
This week we will be examining the Meter Reading, Billing Cash Collections and Credit Management for Electricity Supplies Regulations, 2007.
The following are the rights to note from this regulation:
- Right to transparent electricity billing: Every Distribution Company (Disco) shall obtain, through its authorized representatives, an actual reading of all meters in all electricity supply addresses within its areas of operations every month. So, it is very important that there is an actual reading of a meter before billing.
However, where a Disco is unable to obtain a meter reading in a Customer’s premises, it is expected to leave a notice approved by the Commission, explaining that it was unable to obtain a meter reading and that unless the Customer provides his own meter reading within a stipulated period, it shall estimate the Customer’s electricity usage. The Disco shall accept the Customer’s own meter reading.
- Right to request for a special meter reading to check a previously obtained meter reading which appears to be incorrect or where the meter appears to be recording inaccurately. An appointment will be made with the customer to obtain the reading. However, as a customer, you are under the obligation to provide access to the Disco to obtain the reading. Where no access is given, the Disco will write to you that no further attempts to obtain a special meter reading shall be made and that the meter reading that you questioned shall be deemed to be accepted as correct by you.
- Right to be issued a bill for every electricity used at regular intervals approved by the Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC or the Commission). A Disco cannot issue more than one routine bill to any Customer during the same billing period.
- Right to be issued with electricity bills strictly based on NERC’s estimated billing methodology where the customer is unmetered.
- Right to request an adjustment to bill. While the review is ongoing, the Customer shall pay an amount which the Customer and the Disco agree to as reasonable, provided that where agreement on an amount cannot be reached, the Customer shall pay an amount equal to the average amount of the Customer’s bills at current supply address.
- Where a DisCo has over-charged a Customer, it shall notify the Customer in writing, within five working days of its becoming aware of the error and it shall repay the amount to the Customer in accordance with his reasonable instructions, or if no reasonable instructions are received from the Customer, by crediting the amount of the overcharge to the Customer’s next bill.
However, where a Disco has under-charged or not charged a Customer, it is entitled to recover the amount of the undercharge from the Customer but in so doing it shall notify the Customer in writing of the error that led to the Customer being undercharged or uncharged and the amount of the undercharge or charge.
- As a customer, whenever you make payment to a Disco, it is expected to issue for the full value of the payment made, a receipt containing:
- The name of the Customer;
- The supply address for which payment is made;
- The account number of the supply address;
- The full amount paid; and
- Any other information that the Distribution Company may deem necessary
So, that is all for this week. See you next week for another educating session. Keep staying safe.
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