40% prepaid meters increase expensive for average consumer – Group

Bisola David
Bisola David
Power consumers paid N268bn electricity bills in Q2 - FG

The price of single-phase prepaid meters in Nigeria has increased by 40%. According to the advocacy group Electricity Consumer Protection Forum, this is of great concern to the typical consumer.

According to The Times, in a statement issued on Friday, the group, represented by its National Coordinator, Adeola Samuel-Ilori, expressed similar worries and called for a more liberalized approach to prepaid meters.

“This is on the high side for an average consumer that is affected by dwindling purchase power, which is caused by the same reason adduced to get prepaid meters being increased by NERC,” claimed Mr. Samuel-Ilori.

A single-phase prepaid meter now costs N81,975.16k instead of N58,661.69k, while a three-phase prepaid meter now costs N143,836.10k instead of N109,684.36k.

The National Coordinator expressed shock at NERC’s silence over the misery of customers and the program for Meter Asset Providers being seen as a failure.

The MAP 2019 August project was supposed to make it simple for customers to buy meters from authorized MAP providers, but it has not lived up to expectations.

Mr. Samuel-Ilori pointed out that despite multiple customer complaints, NERC has not taken prompt action to resolve the issue, leaving customers feeling helpless and disappointed.

He underlined that it is unreasonable for customers to pay for meters and then wait months to receive them. Mr. Samuel-Ilori requested that NERC mandate Discos to install meters within 10 days of payment, in accordance with the provisions of Section 34 of the Electricity Act, 2023.

If this condition is not met, the Electricity Consumer Protection Forum has called for severe reprimands and compensation for any impacted customers who experience delays.

The organization also requested NERC to swiftly implement Section 114(2) of the Electricity Act of 2023’s requirements for Discos to quickly meter customers inside their franchise zones.

Mr. Samuel-Ilori urged NERC to make sure that the new directive to Discos includes refunding past-purchased meter users. He recommended that the identities of these customers be prioritized and made public so that others might make educated choices before acquiring meters at the recently approved prices.

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