Electricity consumers have slammed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for increasing the cost of electricity meters by 40 percent.
Wakadaily earlier reported that the Federal Government on Wednesday announced an increase in the prices of single-phase and three-phase pre-paid electricity meters, which takes effect from September 6, 2023.
A single-phase meter would now cost N81,975.16k from the previous price of N58,661.69k, while the price of a three-phase meter was raised to N143,836.10k from N109,684.36k.
On why it increased the costs of the meters, the NERC claimed that to “Evaluate the affordability of meter services for consumers, aiming to prevent excessive pricing that could burden end-users. Ensure that MAPs are able to provide meters to end-use customers in the prevailing economic realities,” the commission’s in a jointly signed statement noted.
Reacting to the new electricity hike, the Chairman of Electricity Consumers Association, Chijoke James, said metering was the full responsibility of the electricity distribution companies.
James said, “A meter is an asset that enables the DisCos to do their business. First, transferring the burden of meter provision to the consumers is wrong. Now, where consumers have accepted to do this, they cannot be exploited.
“The commission has always favoured the operators to the detriment of the consumers. Overtime, they have consistently increased tariff without the commensurate improvement in service delivery.
“The last increase was tagged service-based, but did service improve? Consumers were placed on bands based on the hours of supply they will get but did they get the supply?
What action did NERC take against the DisCos for meeting the supply target? Nothing. Rather the Commission has approved a new tariff for the DisCos.
Individuals and communities keep making investments by purchasing transformers, cables, poles and other equipment but are not refunded by the DisCos and NERC.
“We want NERC to end estimated billing by compelling the DisCos to provide meters for every consumer. That is the way to go and not making consumers pay more for meters which are the statutory responsibility of DisCos.”