Electricity prepaid meters: To be given free of charge by EKEDC

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said electricity consumers who paid for meters under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme, will have a refund of their money.

This clarification is coming on the heels of enquiries by some electricity consumers, who wanted to know if the money they had paid for meters under the MAP scheme, would be refunded, bearing in mind the recent government’s pronouncement that 6 million meters would be distributed at no cost to customers under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP)

NERC in statement, through its Head Public Affairs, Mr Michael Faloseyi, on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, said that all power distribution companies (Discos) had keyed into the NMMP initiative, adding, “Meter deployments are commencing in earnest across all Discos under the first phase of the NMMP.”

The commission said the first rollout of meters had already started based on meters that were already available at the warehouses of the Discos and meter asset providers.

On if the consumers would later bear the cost of meters, NERC said, “Given that all prudent costs are borne by customers, the full cost of metering would form part of the tariff once the industry assumes full cost recovery.”

“All customers who made payment for meters under the MAP scheme would be refunded. The modality for the refund of the meter’s cost funded by the customers either through upfront payment or amortized payments is being worked out.”

NERC had in a bid to close the huge metering gap in the power sector, approved MAP in March 2018, a regulation that provides for the supply, financing, installation and maintenance of end-user meters by other parties approved by the commission.

The scheme introduces third-party meter asset providers as a new set of service providers in Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry.

Under the MAP scheme, which took off on May 1, 2019, electricity consumers have two options for acquiring a meter: upfront payment or instalment payments through metering service charge on a monthly basis.

But the scheme has suffered setbacks, including changes in fiscal policy and the limited availability of long-term funding, according to the regulator.