Over seven million power users have not been metered while three million meters installed in the residents of power users are obsolete, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.
In its latest Order No. NERC/246/2021 on structured replacement of faulty and obsolete end-use customer meters, obtained in Abuja on Friday, the commission said the three million obsolete meters were due for replacement.
It stated that the large number of unmetered customers in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry was contributory to the financial challenges bedeviling the sector.
The NERC said, “The commission notes that over seven million customers are currently unmetered as indicated by customer enumeration data.
“It is also estimated that an additional three million meters are currently obsolete and due for replacement.”
The regulator added, “The existence of a large population of unmetered customers contributed to threats affecting the financial viability of NESI as unmetered end-use customers expressed deep dissatisfaction with the estimated billing methodology.”
The commission stated that the revenue assurance objectives of power distribution companies had also been challenged by being unable to properly account for the utilisation of electricity by end-use customers.
Meters serve as a revenue assurance tool for NESI service providers and a resource management tool for end-use customers that receive services.
The commission explained that the metering code for the sector provided that to ensure financial viability of the electricity industry after the unbundling, modern accurate meter systems with reliable communication facilities shall be deployed across the industry production and supply chain.
This, it said, was to measure and record energy production and utilisation.
In a bid to ensure the provision of meters, the NERC stated that the Meter Asset Provider Regulations was introduced and it came into force on April 3, 2018.