Nigeria’s power distribution firms start new electricity tariff
By Samuel Bankole
Nigeria’s electricity distribution companies (DisCOs) have started the implementations of the approved new tariff on energy consumption from September 1, according to an official of one of the firms.
A spokesman for the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) in a statement said the company has started implementing new Service Reflective Tariff Plan (SRT) across its franchise area from Sept. 1.
Oyebode Fadipe said the SRT plan is a Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) mandated tariff structure, whereby an upward increment in tariffs will result in substantially longer hours of power supply.
He said that the tariff structure would also result in good quality voltage profile, swifter response to faults clearing and provision of pre-paid meters.
Oyebode noted that the service reflective tariff plan was an innovative structure designed to deliver on the need for an upward review of tariff with an attendant caveat of improved service in the power sector.
“The service reflective tariff plan signals a new approach to tariff design that is required to ensure equity and fairness in delivering quality service to customers.”
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It also ensures that customers get good value for their money. “The new tariff design proposes an upwardly adjusted tariff for customers who are not averse to paying more to enjoy longer hours of supply, standard voltage profile and faster fault clearance timelines.
“While we keep working at ensuring all classes of customers enjoy improved supply, customers who enjoy less than 12 hours of supply will not be affected by the new tariff plan.
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“Hours of supply to this class of customers will also not be adversely affected by the implementation of the plan,’’ Fadipe said.
Though other DisCos are yet to make public announcement on the implementations of the new tariff hike, it is expected that many of them will soon come out with public communication on the new development.
Last month, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) released a statement denying the approval of an increase in electricity tariff by the government in an attempt to damp outrage by the public against the capitulations by the government to pressure from the World Bank to erase subsidies in the country.
The power regulatory agency said in a statement that: “No tariff raise for poor and vulnerable Nigerians; DisCos directed to embark on mass metering.”
According to the commission, under the Service Based Tariff Structure, DISCOs can only review tariffs for customers under the following conditions, when customers are consulted and communicated a guaranteed level of electricity service by the DISCOs based on hours of supply and no estimated billing through the strict enforcement of the capping regulation.
“This means that unmetered customers will not experience any cost increase beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area. Even under the above conditions, there will be no change in tariff for the most vulnerable as tariffs for those consuming 50KW or less remain frozen.
“Customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply will also not experience any change in tariffs. In addition, the President has directed that there should be a nationwide mass metering program in an effort by the Federal Government to put a stop to estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity. He has also approved a waiver of the import levy on meters so that those that do not have meters can be supplied as early as possible at reasonable costs,” NERC stated in the statement.
It urged the public and all stakeholders in the power sector to disregard any reports of an arbitrary tariff increase affecting Nigerians.