The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) says some customers pay for meters because not all approved metering schemes currently active in the country offer meters at no out-of-pocket cost.
However, ANED Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said that whatever is paid will always be spread out and reimbursed to them over a period of time.
He explained that there are currently two different channels through which customers can obtain electricity meters in the country.
Oduntan said the two metering programs were the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP) and Metering Asset Provider (MAP) under regulation No. NERC-R-11-2021 of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
According to him, the NMMP is a government intervention policy, with funding from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“This program started in 2021 with the goal of quickly closing the electricity metering gap.
“These meters are delivered free of charge to customers and on loan to electricity distribution companies (DisCos).
“The first phase of NMMP included the delivery and installation of one million meters and concluded in October 2021. In the second phase, four million more meters are expected to be installed,” he said.
Oduntan said the second route to get a meter was under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme which was approved in 2018.
He explained that MAP was available to customers who were not willing to wait for meter availability under the NMMP.
“Such customers can pay for a meter under the scheme. The amount paid will be distributed and reimbursed over a period of 36 months through energy credits.
“This twin approach aims to close the metering gap in the next one to two years, so that the estimated billing is reduced to a minimum.
“Under the second program, with the advantage of fast delivery and installation, the customer must first pay the meter before receiving a refund. Ultimately, the meter is free to the customer, through energy credits,” he said.
Oduntán said that the implementation of Phase 0 (zero) of the NMMP Electric Power Distribution Company (DisCos) was completed pending the start of Phase 1.
He said that all DisCos were finalizing the documentation and disbursement requirements for Phase 1, and it is expected to start as soon as possible.
“It is important to clarify that the DisCos are operating within the established regulatory guidelines, NERC, in relation to meeting customer measurement requirements,” he said.