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NERC says 62.3% electricity consumers still on estimated billing

NERC says 62.3% electricity consumers still on estimated billing
Written by Maritime First

…Highlights 8.10m MWh electricity generated in Q4 2019 – NERC***

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), on Saturday said 62.3 per cent of electricity consumers in the country were still on estimated billing as at December 2019.

NERC made this known in its Fourth Quarter 2019 Report which was obtained from its website by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

The commission said: “Inadequate metering remains a serious challenge in the industry, with only 3,918,322 (37.77 per cent ) of the total customer population of 10,374,597

metered.

“With 62.37 per cent of the end-use customers on estimated billing, huge collection losses due to customer apathy have posed a serious challenge to the viability and sustainability of the industry.”

It said  in comparison to the third quarter of 2019, the  numbers of registered and metered customers increased by 699,850 (7.23 per cent) and 22,825 (0.59 per cent) respectively.

NERC said the increase in the number of registered customers was attributable to the on-going enumeration exercise by DisCos while the increase in metered customers was due to the roll-out of meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) schemes.

It said: “The commission notes with concern that the additional 22,825 end-use customers’ meters installed during the fourth quarter fell significantly from the 83,768 meters installed during the third quarter.

“This poses risk to the Commission’s goal of closing the metering gap in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) by Dec. 31, 2021.

“Although some MAPs have not fully commenced meter deployments, the low metering recorded during the quarter was partly due to the increase of 35 per cent in import duty on meter components.

NERC said it was already working with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning toward addressing those issues in order to fast-track meters roll-out.

It said during the period under review, only Abuja, Eko, Enugu, Ikeja, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt DisCos metered additional customers.

According to NERC,  the metering status of the DisCos as at December 2019 is: Benin DisCo, 53.71 per cent;  Abuja,  52.39 per cent; Eko,  46.67 per cent; Ikeja, 40.38 per cent and Jos,  31.71 per cent.

Others are: Port Harcourt, 38.34 per cent; Ibadan, 32.21 per cent; Kaduna,  22.2 per cent; Kano, 18.36 per cent; Enugu , 41.26 per cent and Yola, 18.75 per cent.

The commission said it would continue to monitor the DisCos to ensure total compliance with the MAP regulations.

In the meantime, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said that 8.101 million Megawatts-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019.

NERC made this known in its Fourth Quarter Report 2019 obtained on Saturday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos from its website.

The regulatory agency said the total electricity generated during the fourth quarter of 2019 was 1.46 per cent higher than the energy generated during the preceding quarter.

The commission said: “Within the same quarter, the industry recorded a peak daily generation of 5,157MW.

“The available plant generation units on bar decreased to 63 from the daily average of 66 units recorded in the preceding quarter.

“However, in spite of the decrease in the available generation units in the fourth quarter, the total electric energy generated increased by 1.46 per cent with 5.44 percentage points increase in generation capacity utilisation. “

According to NERC, the improved capacity utilisation is attributed to reduction in constraints such as gas supply shortage, transmission and distribution networks and water management at the hydropower stations.

It also disclosed that there was one incidence of partial system collapse (failure of a section of the grid) during the fourth quarter of 2019, as compared to zero partial system collapse recorded during the third quarter.

Also read:  UN puts Nigeria’s electricity access rate at 57%

The commission disclosed that the resolution of technical and operational constraints in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) remains one of its top priorities.

NERC said it would continue to work on addressing the interface bottlenecks between the 11 electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

It said the move intends to free up part of the stranded generation capacity by addressing the technical constraints inhibiting the flow of energy.

NERC said: “Also, the commission is currently reviewing the Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) submitted by the DisCos.

“The PIPs, which were prepared following guidelines issued by the commission, cover the period 2020-2025.

“They have an overall objective of ensuring that utilities invest in projects critical to addressing the technical and operational challenges affecting their operational efficiency,” it said.

 

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Maritime First